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Tobacco usage and tongue piecing can be dangerous for patients of any age but are especially risky for children and teenagers. At Bay Colony Dentistry, we are committed to helping your child learn about and be aware of the risks associated with using tobacco products and with tongue piercing. We encourage you to contact our office at 757-333-0922 for more information about tobacco usage and tongue piercing in Virginia Beach, Virginia, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Deborah Blanchard, our caring dentist.

Tobacco Usage

Tobacco usage is one of the leading causes of death in society, and causes a variety of problems including oral cancer, reduced or slowed recovery following oral surgery, increased risk of periodontal disease and a reduced ability to smell and taste.

Tobacco usage in any form brings your mouth and oral region into direct contact with cancer causing agents. This contact occurs with both the more traditional forms of tobacco, such as smoking and chewing tobacco, and with smokeless tobacco. In fact, smokeless tobacco actually delivers a great concentration of harmful agents into the body.

There are several strategies you can use when discouraging children and teens from using tobacco products. First, speak with your child one-on-one about the dangers of tobacco use. You can also ask our dentist to speak with your child. Second, lead by example. Third, monitor your child closely to make sure they avoid developing a tobacco habit. You can also ask for tobacco screenings when at our office.

Tongue Piercing

While teenagers often view tongue piercings as expressions of individuality, this type of piercing can have a serious impact on health, and in some cases may even lead to death. Our dentist and team strongly discourage teenagers from getting tongue piercings for this reason. Long-term problems with tongue piercings are common. The piercings often scrape against tooth enamel, making the teeth and gums more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Soft tissues surrounding the piercings can also become infected, or the tongue bar can get tangled around the tongue or teeth and be ripped out of the tongue.

Other problems associated with tongue piercings include:

  • Infections
  • Blood clots
  • Blood poisoning
  • Brain abscess
  • Chronic pain
  • Damaged nerves
  • Fractured or cracked teeth
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Gum disease
  • Gum recession
  • Scarring
  • Difficulty enunciating when speaking
  • Heart infections

To learn more about tobacco usage and tongue piercings and set up an appointment with our dentist, please contact our office today.