Body piercing practice is not just confined to the realm of psychological health, for many general physicians in the United States have expressed their concern over its health implications. Since the area in and around the mouth is where most young women like to get piercing, dentists are of the view that many cases of damaged teeth and gums alongside local infections are attributable to piercing in the proximal areas. According to a pediatrician dentist from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, adolescent girls these days are “piercing their lips, their tongue, their cheek, even their uvula. The uvula is the fleshy mass of tissue suspended from the center of the soft palate” (The Washington Times, p. B01, October, 22, 2002). With such piercing there are greater risks of infection. What usually results in swelling and pain in the infected area, can at times even lead to life threatening outcomes. Piercing in the uvula, for instance, can potentially block air passages, predisposing the individual to asphyxiation.
In summary, people generally undergo body piercing in order to improve their external appearance and as a way of marking their individual identity. Experts in the field of psychology and medicine express their own concerns with respect to this phenomenon among young people. Statistics pertaining to body piercing also reveals a disparity across gender and racial lines although its broader significance is yet to be learnt.
Carroll, L., and Anderson, R. (2002)., Body Piercing, Tattooing Self-Esteem, and Body Investment in Adolescent Girls., Adolescence, 37(147), 627+.
Piercing Questions; Doctors Warn of Health Hazards. (2002, October 22)., The Washington Times, p. B01.
Body Piercing: A Guide for Teens, retrieved on January 31, 2009, from …
What are the Real Risks of Body Piercing? — Advice for Parents, retrieved on January 31, 2009, from …
Aizenman, M., & Jensen, M. A. (2007)., Speaking through the Body: The Incidence of Self-Injury, Piercing, and Tattooing among College Students. Journal of College Counseling, 10(1), 27+.
King, K. A., & Vidourek, R. A. (2007)., University Students’ Involvement in Body Piercing and Adherence to Safe Piercing Practices: Do Males and Females Differ?. American Journal of Health Education, 38(6), 346+.