From hairstyles, to clothing, tattoos to jewelry, today’s youth are making a fashion statement. But those that want to look cool with oral piercing may be looking to their dentists and physicians for help afterwards.

Common symptoms after oral piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva and injuries to the gum tissue. Oral piecing can also cause tooth chipping, gum recession and periodontal disease causing tooth loss. If a blood vessel was in the path of the needle during the piercing, severe and difficult-to-control bleeding can result. For some, chipped or cracked teeth, blood poisoning or even blood clots can occur. For many, the swelling of the tongue is a common side effect. And in extreme cases, a severely swollen tongue can actually close off the airway and prevent breathing.

Unfortunately, many young people with oral piercings don’t realize that these alarming side effects could happen to them. So, skip the mouth jewelry and let your healthy smile make your fashion statement.

It is important to have full knowledge of potential complications and continually monitor for possible infection. If complications occur, go back to where the piercing was done or see a health professional for treatment.