The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS), the group of surgeons who deal specifically with the potential life-threatening infections and problems caused by oral piercings and tongue splitting, warns that anyone having this kind of modification must go to hospital urgently if bleeding or an infection occur.
BAOMS Chair Patrick Magennis said: “Oral and maxillofacial Surgery is the specialty that deals with life-threatening infections around the mouth. Although skin can be cleaned with antiseptic before piercings, the mouth cannot be cleaned in the same way. There is always a mix of germs, good and bad, and breaching the protective lining can let in a life-threatening bug.
“It is unlikely that this advice will stop those who wish to pierce or modify their mouth or tongue, but people having this done to them must understand the risk and attend an oral and maxillofacial surgery department urgently if an infection begins to develop or if bleeding results. Their life could depend on it.”