See also Piercing Care and
Oral Piercing Care and
|The history of piercing
- Piercing has been a custom of many
civilizations for thousands of years.
- Piercing was used to mark different
events in the course of one’s life such as
birth and adolescence.
- Body piercing with jewelry is considered
body art. The jewelry is worn in
different and unconventional parts of the
- Piercing today has little to do with
rituals. It is done to be fashionable.
People are naturally protected from
infections by their skin and mucous
membranes. When these barriers are
pierced, germs have a chance to enter the
Some of the serious consequences that can
result from oral piercing are:
- hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS
- allergic reaction, especially if the jewelry is not made of
gold, stainless steel, or titanium
- inhaling of the stud which can cause the
airway to be obstructed and could lead to
- cyst formation
- speech difficulties
- chipped or cracked teeth (due to the
jewelry hitting the teeth or from biting
- damage to gums and other soft tissues in
Unlike an ear lobe, the tongue is a muscle
and contains many blood vessels. Tongue
piercing adds additional risks which include:
- Nerve injury to the tongue which can
result in permanent loss of taste,
sensation, and/or tongue mobility.
- Blood poisoning from the germs that
form under the tongue. The germs can
spread quickly and in severe cases cause
Toxic Shock Syndrome.
- An infected tongue can swell and block
the airway which may lead to death.
- Blood clots formed at the wound site
may break away and flow through the
bloodstream. If the clot lodges in the
brain it may cause a stroke.
- Canadian Blood Services refuses donors
for one year if they recently received a
body piercing or tattoo due to the risk of
Body piercing studios/parlours
- In Saskatchewan, tattoo and body
piercing establishments are regulated by
the Health Hazard Regulations under the
Public Health Act, 1994.
- Most operators learn the trade on the job
or from someone else in the business.
- Health guidelines outline a
standard of practice to help prevent
blood-borne diseases and life-threatening
Questions to ask before getting a
The Piercing Bible: The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
- What experience does the operator have?
- Is the operation inspected and approved
by the health region?
- Is the business well established and has it
been operating in the community for a
- Does the operator follow
infection control guidelines?
- Is a sterile needle used for each piercing?
- Does the operator sterilize the
instruments in an autoclave?
- Is a spore test done monthly to ensure
that the autoclave is sterilizing properly?
- What steps is the operator taking to
protect themselves and you from bloodborne
diseases (e.g. washing hands,
wearing new latex or non-latex gloves
for each client, cleaning counters, etc.)?
- Does the operator explain the procedure,
ask for written consent, and provide
Jewelry inside the mouth can cause oral
hygiene problems. When oral hygiene is
poor the number of germs present in the
mouth increases. This may cause infections.
If you wear oral jewelry it is important to:
- use an antiseptic mouthwash after each
- brush your jewelry at the same time you
brush your teeth
- avoid hard and sticky foods
- have regular dental check-ups.
Piercings can have life-long consequences.
If you have concerns or feel unsure in any
way, remember, it is okay to change your
mind. It is too late to change your mind
after the procedure is done.
Trust Your Instincts:
It’s Your Skin You’re In