Home Piercings Why Are Horizontal Tongue Piercings Dangerous: 5 Risks [Life-Threatening]

Why Are Horizontal Tongue Piercings Dangerous: 5 Risks [Life-Threatening]

The 5 Risks of Horizontal Tongue Piercings
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A horizontal tongue piercing is a piercing that goes through the tongue sideways, typically somewhat close to the tip, though various placements along the tongue are possible. It looks like you have multiple tongue piercings, even though you only get pierced once.

Experts advise against horizontal tongue piercings due to dental damage and gum recession risk. The tongue consists of two separate muscles connected by tissue, and piercings can restrict their independent movement, potentially causing speech and eating difficulties. Linsp can develop when speaking, chewing, and swallowing food.

We will discuss the hidden dangers of horizontal tongue piercings and why they can put your health at risk. From infections and bleeding to nerve and tooth damage, we will explore the risks associated with this type of body piercing.

Why Are Horizontal Tongue Piercings Dangerous: 5 Risks

Dangers of Horizontal Tongue Piercings

While these piercings may look attractive, knowing the risks and dangers is essential. Here are horizontal tongue-piercing threats. You should think twice before getting one.

Infections: The Hidden Dangers

Infections are one of the most severe risks associated with horizontal tongue piercings. Here are some key points to consider:

Explanation of Mouth Bacteria and Infections

  • The mouth is home to a variety of bacteria that can cause infections.
  • When a piercing is created in the mouth, it creates an open wound that can potentially lead to an infection.
  • The bacteria in the mouth can form a biofilm on the jewelry, leading to further complications.

Symptoms and Complications of Infections

  • Mild to severe symptoms include swelling, pain, fever, redness, and oozing pus.
  • Severe infections may result in sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing: Infection Statistics and Sources

  • According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, 15 percent of oral piercings result in infection.
  • The Center for Young Women's Health reports that oral piercings are more likely to lead to infections than other body piercings.

Bleeding: The Obvious Danger

Bleeding is another significant risk associated with horizontal tongue piercings. Consider these key points:

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Explanation of Tongue Blood Vessels and Bleeding

  • Tongue piercing can lead to excessive bleeding if the piercing is not done correctly.
  • Horizontal tongue piercings risk damaging blood vessels because the needle passes through so much tissue.

Situations and Consequences of Bleeding

  • Anemia and blood loss can result from excessive bleeding.
  • Bleeding can also result in the body rejecting the piercing, which means the body pushes the jewelry out of the piercing.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing: Statistics and Sources

  • AA Dental Journal found that 25 percent of people with oral piercings experienced excessive bleeding during or after the procedure.
  • The Canadian Dental Association reports that tongue piercings are associated with a higher rate of complications than other oral piercings.

Nerve Damage: The Irreversible Damage

Nerve damage risks associated with horizontal tongue piercings

Horizontal tongue piercings can also damage the nerves. Take a look at these critical points:

Explanation of Tongue Nerves and Damage

  • Tongue nerves and a poorly placed piercing can damage them.
  • Nerve damage can result in numbness, loss of taste, or difficulty moving the tongue.

Effects and Implications of Nerve Damage

  • Nerve damage is often irreversible and can impact a person's quality of life.
  • Nerve damage can cause speech impediments or difficulty swallowing.

Horizontal tongue piercings and Nerve Damage Statistics

  • The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery finds that 15 percent of oral piercers experience nerve damage.
  • According to the Canadian Dental Association, nerve damage is the most common complication associated with oral piercings.

Tooth Damage: The Corrosion Risks

Jewelry used for horizontal tongue piercings can cause damage to teeth. Points to consider:

Explanation of Tooth Damage Caused by Jewelry Rubbing Against Teeth

  • The tongue-piercing jewelry can rub against teeth and cause them to chip or break.
  • The constant contact can also cause tooth enamel to wear away, leading to sensitivity and discoloration.
  • Dental Problems That Can Result from Tooth Damage.
  • Tooth damage can cause tooth decay, cavities, and even gum recession.
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Horizontal Tongue Piercing Damage Statistics

  • The Canadian Dental Association claims that tongue piercings pose a greater risk of tooth damage than any other type of oral piercing.
  • The American Dental Association states that 47 percent of oral piercers experience tooth damage.

Endocarditis: The Life-Threatening Infection

Endocarditis is a rare but life-threatening infection that can occur through tongue piercings. The following are the symptoms and complications of endocarditis:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Heart damage or failure.

Endocarditis occurs when bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart, resulting in inflammation. According to the Mayo Clinic, oral piercings have been linked to several cases of endocarditis.


While horizontal tongue piercings may look fashionable, they have severe health risks. Infections, bleeding, nerve damage, tooth damage, and endocarditis are all potential complications associated with these piercings. It's essential that anyone considering a tongue piercing takes these risks seriously and thoroughly researches the procedure before deciding to move forward.

If you're looking for an alternative to horizontal tongue piercings, consider a vertical tongue piercing or another type of body modification altogether. The most important thing is to make informed decisions about your health and well-being.

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Matt Callard
I am a passionate traveler, as if traveling were my full-time job. I like to change my surroundings and environment, like changing desktop wallpaper. Nature increases the concentration in my writing, which helps brainstorming flow in my blood. I have a cat named Kitana. She is the most desperate about traveling, more than any other cat. How do I know? If I miss any tour in any week, she literally destroys my clothing with her wolverine nails.

I and my cat also participate in extreme activities like surfing, biking, hill tracking, paragliding, boating, etc. She was always there in my accidents, injuries, and stitches. She always sits on my lap when it hurts me most. The funniest part is that she has experienced all my tattoos. She sleeps on my blanket when I go through any painful experience.

My hobbies and lifestyle added many pain and injuries to my life. That is why I have a lot of experience in dealing with different levels of pain and burn. It influenced me to become a pain expert and share primary suggestions to handle any unwanted situations that hurt.


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