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Tongue Piercing Damage Repair

Tongue piercings are more popular than ever before. Some reasons wearers give for this are “to assert my individuality,” “because it looks cool,” and “because everyone else is doing it.” While this fad may look great on some people, a tongue piercing can do a great deal of damage to a person’s mouth without them even realizing it. Tongue piercings have been directly linked to a number of common orthodontic and periodontal problems such as chipping or cracking of tooth enamel, gum recession, and in many cases potentially life-threatening or even fatal infections. Additionally, tongue piercings can cause the tongue to swell, interfering with or even blocking the airway completely.

When you get a tongue piercing, you’re putting a metal or plastic rod through your tongue. While many people regard this as not much different than getting an ear piercing, the location, anatomy, structure, and biology of the mouth makes this a very different proposition. For starters, no matter how judicious or conscientious you are about your oral hygiene regimen, your mouth inevitably contains germs. Most of these germs are not harmful in a healthy mouth, and some of them are actually there to help keep your mouth clean or aid in digestion. Too much of anything can be bad, however, and when you injure your mouth, it creates all sorts of opportunities for infection. With a tongue piercing, adding another surface to your mouth where germs can collect permanently only adds to this risk. In many cases, this leads to toxic shock syndrome or infections which can cause stroke or death.

Tongue Sensitivity

Because of your tongue’s primary function of permitting you to taste food and sense heat and cold, it is one of the most sensitive and nerve-laden organs in your entire body. When you pierce your tongue, there is a very real risk of causing nerve damage both at the site of the piercing and through the entire tongue. This damage can result in food not tasting right, reduced ability to detect the temperature of food and drink, and speech impediments.

Many people click their piercings against their teeth when they are thinking hard or being playful. Over time, this can wear away the tooth enamel, resulting in chipping or cracking. They also run the piercing along their gums, which are very sensitive to pressure and temperature. This practice can cause the gums to recede, causing the teeth to appear longer and frequently leading to gingivitis or even more severe periodontal diseases, which can cause excruciating pain and tooth loss in the long term if left untreated.

If you currently wear a tongue piercing, the best option to maintain a healthy mouth is to remove the piercing immediately and consult Dr. Andrade to determine how much damage has been done and what is needed to correct it. Fads come and go, but your mouth will last you a lifetime with proper care. Unfortunately, a tongue piercing is not a part of a proactive oral health and hygiene regimen, and it could potentially kill you. Ask yourself if the probable risks, up to and including death, are worth being fashionable for.

More About Tongue Piercing Damage:

Constant contact with your piece of jewelry and the gums can have a detrimental long term effect.

Damage that can be cause by tongue piercing:

  • Infections
  • Impediments with your speech
  • Problems with natural breathing
  • Tooth Breakage or Chipping

Long Damage Important To Be Aware of:

  • Recession of the gums
  • Fracturing teeth
  • Inflammation at the site of piercing, possible infections
  • Periodontitis

People with a tongue piercing are susceptible of chipping and cracking in front of their teeth. This is because of the tongue movement and moreover many people tend play with their piercing by clicking it against the teeth which makes the teeth break over time. Our dentists say that repair and crows can be an option but keeping the piercing can severely harm the repairs. Most tongue piercings is of metal that is tough on the tooth enamel.

Gums and Gaps

Tongue piercing can enhance the risk of gum diseases. It can rub against the external portion of the gums. These piercings can rub against the gums and cause considerable damage. The harm caused will require surgery for the gum. Moreover, a study has shown that people with tongue piercings have a risk of developing gaps in between the front teeth. This is caused by pushing your tongue piercing jewelry against the flipside of the front teeth.

What about infection?

Infection can cause the tongue to swell, blocking or restricting the airway. In addition, bacteria under the tongue often spread quickly and can lead, in extreme cases, to the potentially fatal toxic shock syndrome or blood poisoning.

    Additional negative effects include:

  • Pain
  • Post-placement swelling
  • Prolonged bleeding
  • Gum injury
  • Permanent numbness
  • Loss of taste
  • Oral hygiene problems

On top of these issues disease can be transmitted through equipment used for the piercing itself. Please make sure you are only dealing with sterilized equipment and a reputable piercing company. Please do not attempt it yourself.

But, I’m young and healthy. It probably won’t last.

Damage to your gums can occur in as little as half a year. Some of the damage that can be done could occur even sooner.

So, what can I do to help myself if I’m already pierced?

A complete dental evaluation would be important. This will help evaluate issues that have possibly already occurred.

OK, what other problems should I watch out for?

Please ensure the stud that you place in your mouth is made from surgical steel, titanium or gold to ensure no infections or allergic reactions can occur.

OK, this all sounds like bad news?

Sorry, it basically is. Another point to ponder is the company that is actually piercing your body. They are making what would be considered a surgical cut in your body and have no medical background licensing or guarantee of real cleanliness. They are typically not throughly licensed or have any governing body watching over their performance or operations. So in short, be very cautious if you do decide to proceed.

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Sources: American Dental Association, Delta Dental, British Dental Association