Houston, TX Dentist Shares Dangers of Tongue Piercings

Nowadays, it is definitely acceptable to have piercings and still be a professional, which is great, but not when it comes to oral health. Tongue piercings have been causing all kinds of dental problems all over the world for the last few decades. The number of piercings goes up every year, despite the damage they do to teeth, and how expensive it can be to repair that damage. 
 
There are different kinds of tongue piercing jewelry, including studs, barbells, and rings that loop around one side of the tongue.
 
Cracks and Chips
 
The most obvious reason that tongue jewelry is dangerous is because of the impact risk alone. When you are eating, your teeth come together with quite a bit of force. When you chomp down on something metal, you can guarantee that your teeth will break, causing a ton of pain and a trip to the dentist, sometimes even the ER if it is bad enough. Chipped teeth cause a great risk for two reasons:
 
1. The debris from the broken tooth is very sharp and jagged, and if it is swallowed, it can cut tissue in your esophagus, stomach lining, and further down.
 
2. The broken tooth itself that remains intact is also sharp enough to cut your tongue bad enough to cause large lacerations and quite a bit of bleeding. 
 
Your mouth has very strong muscles that give you an impressive bite force. But, your teeth are actually more brittle than you think, and they don't stand a chance against metal. 
 
People who have these piercings tend to never take them out, even when they are sleeping or eating, therefore they constantly push the jewelry up against the back of their teeth, which will cause what's called 'diastema', which is when teeth move and loosen, creating gaps where none existed before. 
 
The consistent rubbing of metal on enamel will also cause the enamel to thin, and if the jewelry isn't cleaned properly, it will contain quite a bit of bacteria, which will cause cavities.
 
While piercings are fun, and a way for people to individualize themselves, there can be dangers to them that people must consider before getting these types of things done to their body. The good thing is if a tongue piercing is causing someone harm, it can be removed easily, and the tongue heals faster than any other part of the body, so the hole will close up and everything can go back to normal. 
 
If you have any questions for your Houston, TX dentist, please give our office a call at (713) 523-6641.
 
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