Believe it or not, tongue piercings continue to grow in popularity! So are visits to our office because of them. Seemingly harmless, tongue piercing can have serious consequences for your dental heath. Before adorning your tongue with jewelry, consider the risk to your teeth and tongue.
Tongue piercing involves stabbing the tongue with a medical needle encased in a plastic sheath. Once pierced, the sheath remains in place by a stainless steel barbell.
Soon after the piercing, many of our patients report excessive salivation, pain, impaired speech, and difficulty swallowing. Infections surrounding the piercing could occur, requiring immediate treatment. If left alone, infections can lead to permanent loss of taste and tongue mobility.
Tongue piercing can also cause permanent damage to your teeth. Constant contact with the metal jewelry can cause fractures in the tooth’s surface. As time passes, the fractures multiply and connect. The connecting fractures weaken the tooth and result in chips, or the entire tooth falling out.
Treatment for patients who have a tongue piercing is usually multi-leveled. First, any infection to the tongue is treated. Next, we examine and x-ray to determine if any cracks or fissures exist. Treatment depends on the extent of the damage. If you are thinking of getting a tongue piercing, let us know at your next appointment.