Tongue Piercing Can Damage Your Teeth and Gums

Is Your Piercing Really Worth It?

Most people who get tongue piercing do not take time to consider the possible tongue piercing risks that they might be facing. Some of these risks are quite serious and should never be taken lightly. It can damage your teeth and gums in a way that could be very costly to repair.

Tongue Piercing Can Damage Your Teeth

Having a hard metal object in your mouth can easily damage the teeth by chipping, cracking, or fracturing them. If you have had dental work on your teeth, it may also damage it, making it necessary for a dentist to have to redo the work to repair it.

Various types of tongue jewelry will do even more damage to your teeth if you leave it in while playing sports. You are better off removing the jewelry when engaged in sports activities, but you do not want to leave tongue jewelry out for more than a couple of hours.

People who wear tongue jewelry frequently push the tongue ring or barbells against the back side of their lower front teeth. This will wear away the enamel which is apt to make them sensitive to hot and cold or spicy foods. It can also wear away the gums, exposing the roots. This makes it easy for cavities to form. Shorter tongue barbells are less likely to cause much damage. Research has found that the closer the piercing is to your teeth, the greater the damage.

It is also possible to bite on it when you talk, eat, or even when you are asleep. It could come apart and you might even swallow part of it. The danger with this is that the rod could become lodged in your throat or lung. This may require a surgical removal.

It May Result in a Serious Infection

Piercing a tongue to install tongue jewelry may result in a tongue infection. The presence of a lot of blood vessels in the tongue means that if an infection starts that it could spread fast. It is possible that it could spread to the brain, leading to potentially fatal conditions – although it is very rare.

You naturally have more than 500 types of bacteria in your mouth, and some of them can cause serious infections. Some of these bacteria cause gum disease, but it can also damage your heart valves and possibly other organs. There is also a danger that more bacteria will be added to the area if you manually play with it, or chew on your fingernails or pens, pencils, etc.

Tongue Piercing Can Cause Gum Disease

Gum disease can lead to serious problems with your teeth and gums. Because the tongue barbell can irritate the gums, this can lead to inflammation of the gums and periodontitis. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss today in adults. If not treated, it will ultimately destroy your gums, the structures that support your teeth, and even your jawbone. Although it may be localized, treatment for periodontitis in the advanced stages can be very expensive – especially if you need surgery and replacement teeth.

Teeth May Be Moved Out of Position

After getting a tongue piercing, many people like to play with it. This can lead to considerable damage to the gums after a couple of years. It can cause you to suffer from infections (abscesses), loose teeth, and even teeth that are moved out of position – possibly creating gaps where you did not have one before.

One study found that people that had long-stemmed tongue barbells will often have receding gums after just two years. As many as 50 percent of them had this problem that can lead to tooth loss.

Smoking Worsens the Conditions

When you wear tongue rings and smoke, you raise the risk of problems with your tongue, gums, and teeth. Smoking reduces the blood flow in your mouth, which cuts down on the effectiveness of your immune system in your gums and mouth. This can cause infection and periodontal disease to spread even faster.

Damage to Previous Dental work

Having a metal object in your mouth that is harder than your teeth can easily lead to problems with the dental work you already have. It can displace bridges, crowns, and fillings, as well as cause problems with braces.

Dentists Advise Against Tongue Piercings

Studies have found that most people who get a mouth or tongue piercing are not aware of the potential problems. In general, dentists advise against tongue piercing jewelry because of the increased risk of damaged teeth and tooth loss it can cause.

If you have had a tongue piercing and you want to ensure that you keep possible infection, gum disease, and damage to your teeth under control, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist can help you. He has offices in the Carrollton, TX and Grapevine, TX areas, and can provide treatment for these problems when needed. For a consultation or dental treatment for better dental health, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.