A Risky Fashion

Piercing your tongue leaves you vulnerable to cracked teeth, infection and other bodily danger

What do you do after you've pierced your ears, your eyebrows, your lips, your nose and your navel? Why, pierce your tongue, of course! Especially if you're a Spice Girl--or a twentysomething genetically programmed to drive your parents crazy. But lately, doctors have started to be worried as well. In the past 18 months, three different dental journals have published articles about the untoward medical and dental effects of tongue piercing. As you might expect, the dentists are against it.

For starters, the mouth is full of all kinds of bacteria, so piercing any part of it can trigger some...

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