Tongue Piercings And Your Oral Health: What You Need To Know

Over the years, the popularity of oral piercings has increased significantly. For various reasons, body modifications like tongue piercings have become quite appealing to a large number of people. While most people look at it as a fad or style trend, the ramifications of these oral piercings can be long lasting. This piercing can have a significant influence on the health of your mouth, teeth and gums.

Chipped Teeth

According to research, 47 percent of people who wear metal tongue rings for four or more years have an issue with chipped teeth. Whenever you talk or chew, the metal ring will move around inside your mouth, banging up against your teeth. Each time the ring hits your teeth it causes a tiny fracture on the tooth's surface. If the ring is constantly hitting in the same spot, the tiny fractures can eventually cause a piece of the tooth to chip and break away.

The only way to fix this problem is to have a cosmetic dental treatment performed, such as dental bonding or a dental cap. However, chipped teeth aren't just a cosmetic issue. If the chip is severe enough, the nerve endings in the tooth may be exposed. This can cause significant pain and also increase your chance of infection. Once exposed, something as minor as a piece of food getting stuck inside the tooth can cause an infection.

Gum Recession

Tongue piercings can also increase your risk of developing gum recession. Gum recession is a condition where the soft tissue around your gum gets worn away. As it does with a chipped tooth, through every day practices your tongue ring will come in contact with various surfaces in your mouth, including your gums. The metal part of the ring slowly erodes the gum tissue, making it thinner. This process continues until the tissue is completely worn away.

Gum recession can cause your tooth's roots to become exposed, causing you to have problems with hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity makes consuming cold or warm beverages and foods extremely painful. This condition also places you at a greater risk for gum disease. The exposed area is highly susceptible to plaque collection. As the plaque builds up it can make its way into your gums, causing an infection that can eventually lead to gum disease.

Before getting your tongue pierced, it's a good idea to consider your oral health. Make certain that you are making a decision to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy. For more information, talk to a local dentist, like P. Jeffrey Lowe, DMD, PA.