Are you considering getting a tongue piercing or already have one? Did you know they can be very detrimental to the health of your teeth and gums? Tongue piercings are certainly fashionable, and they aren't uncommon. Most people who get them don't consider the oral health implications of them before going to the piercing parlor, however. In fact, it is likely that people with tongue piercings, perhaps you included, never knew they could cause damage in the mouth. Before you decide to get or keep a tongue piercing, consider these three ways they can ruin your teeth and gums and possibly cause you to need dentures before your time.
1. Chipped Teeth
There's nothing like having a hard metal ball or bar clack against your teeth every day to make them prone to getting chipped or even broken. That is exactly what a tongue piercing does. Every time you speak, your tongue moves. Part of making words with your mouth is putting your tongue in different positions, many of which bring it into contact with your teeth, usually the front ones.
This means that all day long as you talk, your tongue piercing is tapping against your teeth like a little hammer. It is only a matter of time before that hammer takes some pieces of your teeth off, or breaks one or more of them entirely. You'll need a bridge or tooth implants to fix the damage and have a nice smile again if this happens. That's a lot of money you'll eventually have to spend, just to get a kick out of wearing a tongue piercing for a few years.
2. Receding Gums
Your tongue piercing will also bang against your gums as you talk. This will cause the area that is constantly getting hit to become red and inflamed and eventually swollen. This is just what gums with gum disease are like.
Eventually, this constant state of inflammation in your gums will cause them to start to recede, just like gum disease would. When gums recede, teeth become loose. It is much easier to lose teeth when your gums have receded than with normal gums.
Receding gums also expose the roots of your teeth, making them susceptible to painful cavities that will usually require extraction or a root canal to fix. In this way, the tongue piercing causes your gums to act as if they have gum disease, even if they are actually healthy.
3. Nerve Damage
According to MouthHealthy.org, tongue piercings can cause nerve damage to the tongue. The damage may be temporary, just after you get your piercing. However, it can also be permanent in some cases. If you get permanent nerve damage from your tongue piercing, it can affect your sense of taste.
You would get much less pleasure from the taste of your favorite foods than before the piercing. Nerve damage can also cause you to drool, which is embarrassing. Even the most skilled piercing artist can damage a nerve when piercing a tongue. It's a risk you take when you get the procedure.
Tongue piercings are viewed as an attractive part of self-expression by many. A tongue piercing brings extra potential dangers with it because of its close proximity to other body parts and the sensitive area where it is located.
If you are considering getting a tongue piercing, talk to your dentist, like one at Schererville Family Dentistry, PC, about types of tongue jewelry you can wear that will be less likely to cause tooth and gum damage.
Also discuss an appropriate schedule for regular dental care with your tongue piercing, as your dentist may want to see you more often to keep any potential problems at bay before they begin. Talk to your dentist today, before you get the piercing, and then make your decision.