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The Effects of Tongue Piercings on the Teeth

Today, more people are opting to decorate their bodies with piercings, tattoos, and other body modifications. This is a trend that touches all age groups, with a popular option being a tongue piercing. While these piercings may offer a great option for self-expression, there are some potential issues that may arise, such as adverse effects on the teeth, gums and overall oral health.

The fact is, there are several ways a tongue piercing ring can negatively impact your teeth, mouth, and smile.

Potential Consequences of Tongue Piercings

Many people who have their tongue pierced never remove it. This is because the tongue heals fairly quickly once the jewelry is taken out. However, there are some issues that may occur when the tongue piercing is kept in all the time, including:

  • Tooth movement: Constant pressure on the back teeth results in them loosening and moving, thus creating gaps.
  • Chipping and cracking: The jewelry may hit the teeth when eating or talking, resulting in chipped or cracked teeth.
  • Bacterial infections: Many of these piercings result in infections, which can cause angina, herpes and blood-borne hepatitis.

Avoiding Dental Issues Caused by Tongue Piercings

The good news is that there are steps you can take to help avoid the possible negative consequences caused by tongue piercings. These things include:

  • Gauge the piercing properly, choosing a smaller piece of jewelry first.
  • If metal is selected, make sure it is surgical implant grade.
  • Select a style that works well with the area in the mouth where the piercing will be located.
  • Choose a smaller ball for under the tongue.
  • Use polymer balls on the tongue to reduce the possibility of tooth damage.

It is imperative that you also take good care of your piercing to help prevent infection. This means that you need to keep your mouth as clean as possible by flossing and brushing each day.

Avoid “playing” with the jewelry you put in your mouth. While this may be tempting, it can cause damage to both your gums and teeth. You should also ensure your piercing is properly attached and be sure to check the attachments daily to prevent accidentally swallowing the piercing.

The fact is, while piercings are popular, they aren’t well-liked among dental professionals, because they can cause quite a few problems if you aren’t careful, so be sure to remain aware of the potential problems that may arise and take the proper precautions to prevent damage.