Body modifications have been, to a greater or lesser degree, part of many cultures for hundreds of years. However, it was not until the advent of the recent contemporary era, just a few decades ago, that these modifications began to spread throughout Western societies such as ours.
Thus, it was not until the 1980s that the use of piercings and tattoos became popular among the Spanish population. It was only later, with the arrival of the Internet in homes and the globalisation that this entailed in terms of culture, that certain more extreme body modifications began to arouse interest.
One of the most extreme is the forked tongueWe have been asked on occasion, especially on social media, if we as a dental clinic perform these types of modifications. The short answer is no, but let's talk a little about forked tongue, why oral health professionals do not perform it and its consequences for oral health.
What is forked tongue?
A forked or forked tongue, or even a 'split' tongue, is made by splitting the tongue in two from the tip to the middle, a feature reminiscent of reptiles. In countries such as the United States, Britain and Australia, it is illegal for a professional to carry out this modification for aesthetic reasons alone, but in many other countries plastic surgery is used to carry it out.
Although some people try to use dental clinics such as ours because it is an oral organ, having a dentist perform this type of practice is a very difficult task. illegal in Spain. Moreover, as a matter of professional ethics, it would be logical for anyone to refuse.
Why? Well, because the tongue is a very important organ that intervenes at various levels in our oral health, as well as in functions as important as speech, chewing and swallowing, among other things.
What problems can forked tongue cause?
Forked tongue can cause certain complications in our oral health and in our daily life such as:
- Difficulty in eating and speaking. Many people who have undergone this operation begin to develop difficulties when eating different foods, especially hard foods. Also, when speaking and pronouncing certain words, although, depending on the case, this could be solved by re-educating the tongue in this sense.
- Oral hygiene problems. Extreme hygiene is necessary, as having an indentation in the tongue could cause food debris to accumulate and lead to inflammation or irritation of the area or the muscle in general.
- Malocclusions and malformations. Although patients who undergo this type of operation should have already completed their growth phase, over the years these alterations of the linguofacial dysplasia type end up generating deformities in the palate area. The alignment of the teeth may also be affected, which may require corrective orthodontic treatment in the future.
Therefore, as oral health professionals, not only are we not authorised to carry out this type of intervention, but we also strongly advise against it.