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From Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA:

I'm 15 years old, and I'm just wondering if someone with type 1 diabetes can get their tongue pierced. My mom said I could have it, just as long as it doesn't bother my diabetes.


If you are in good control of your diabetes, there is probably no compelling reason that you could not have your tongue pierced. (Sorry, mom!) Would your mother object to having your ears pierced "because" you have diabetes? However, the mouth has much more nasty germs, and you may put your mouth on things that may be germy also. So careful hygiene is important as is maintaining good glucose control.

I am told by an orthodontist friend of mine that he sees more orthodontic problems (and new problems in folks previously treated with braces) in folks who get their tongue pierced.


Additional comments from Dr. Philip Ledereich:

I would not recommend tongue piercing, even for people without diabetes, as it does cause multiple dental problems; e.g., it knocks into the teeth, etc. Many people who pierce their tongues only keep it for a short time, as they get annoyed with it.

Dental care is especially important for people with diabetes, as they can get multiple dental infections. Especially if their glucose levels are high, the glucose elevation will end up in the saliva as well. This is a perfect medium for bacteria to grow. So it is important to protect your teeth as much as possible.

Recently, dental care has been linked to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health, so this is something to think about as you brush and floss after every meal!


Original posting 4 Jan 2003
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:42
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