Are you thinking of getting your tongue pierced? It is one the most flamboyant way of self-expression. But you should also be concerned about the adverse effects of infected tongue piercing and the fact that tongue piercing damages teeth. A study published in a periodontology journal revealed that 35% to 50% of their total participants reported damaged and chipped teeth due to tongue piercing.
The study found that the longer duration and larger sized piercing increases the damage. In this article, we will describe the harmful impacts of tongue piercing and how to prevent tooth damage with tongue piercing.
Why is Tongue Piercing Bad for Teeth?
Tongue piercing damages teeth in the following ways:
- Teeth Degeneration
Your tongue jewelry is not safe for your teeth as it keeps bumping against your teeth. This constant contact may lead to cracking and chipping of teeth. Also, your tongue ring or piercing accumulates plaque. It generates cavities and bacteria, which causes tooth decay. Consult your dentist about these possibilities before getting the piercing.
- Permanent Nerve Damage
We made it quite clear by now that tongue piercing might ruin teeth. But nerve damage is also a dangerous probability. Temporary numbness after getting your tongue pierced is normal. But in some cases, piercing can permanently damage your nerves. You can lose the sense of touch and taste forever.
- Bacterial Infections
If you got an infected tongue piercing, it could get worse in your mouth. Moisture is a breeding ground of bacteria, and it is present in abundance in your mouth. Thus bacteria of your infected piercing can grow further. This bacterial infection can even cause your tongue to swell and block your breathing airway.
- Is There Any Tongue Jewelry Which is Safe for Teeth?
The good news is you can always count on an acrylic tongue ring! Acrylic is a much softer material for a tongue ring in comparison to metal. Thus it does not hurt your teeth and gums like a metal ring or stud. They are also safer for hospital visits and x-rays.
How to Prevent Tooth Damage With a Tongue Piercing?
If you already have your tongue pierced or you are willing to take this risk, following preventive tips will be helpful.
- Keep cleaning your jewelry and its surrounding area.
- Check regularly for signs of infection like discharge, swelling, or tenderness. And contact your dentist immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
- Check your jewelry daily with clean hands for tightness. A lose or broken piece can choke you.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to brush twice a day.
- Use alcohol-free mouthwashes when you are healing from a latest piercing.
- Remove your jewelry and wear a mouthguard when participating in contact sports.
- Floss or use an interdental cleaning device daily.
To Sum Up!
The American Dental Association clearly states that tongue piercing damages teeth severely. Still, if you want to go ahead with it, consult your dentist first.
Contact Joshua Hong DDS, if you want suggestions regarding tongue piercing or other dental health issues.