Tongue Piercing & Its Dental Effects

Body piercing is popular among adolescents and young adults. Included in this phenomenon is piercing of the tongue and placement of a metal bar or ring through the tongue. This ornament rests in the mouth at all times and unavoidably moves as the person eats or talks.

If you have a metal bar or ring in your tongue, you should be very careful to avoid having the metal hit your teeth as you move your tongue. Gently touching the teeth with the metal is not a problem. However, letting the metal object move as the tongue makes its normal eating and speaking movements causes cracks in teeth and even breaks off pieces of enamel.

Microcracks are created in teeth by hitting them with the metal. The result of the microcracks will be future fractures of tooth enamel, necessitating extensive and expensive dental crowns.

Tongue piercing may cause mild to severe infection upon placement or throughout the life of the piercing. Consult your dentist as soon as any soreness or draining occurs. The best tongue piercing is none at all, but if you must have it done, be very gentle with the movements of your tongue or dental damage is inevitable.