Tongue studs blamed for mouth infections

TONGUE STUDS can damage your health, dentists warned yesterday. The British Dental Association said the fashion for tongue piercing - made famous by the Spice Girl Mel G (formerly B) - was causing infections, orthodontic problems and speech impediments.

There was also a risk that they could be swallowed or inhaled if they came loose, because of their closeness to the windpipe. In some cases, people had suffered swollen tongues that interfered with their breathing. The association said several patients had suffered septicaemia and toxic shock syndrome after piercing, and warned that if equipment was not sterile it could lead to HIV and hepatitis infections.

In one case, a 25-year-old woman was admitted to hospital after her tongue and the floor and roof of her mouth swelled up and she had difficulty swallowing.

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