Will piercing my tongue really ruin my teeth?

I just graduated from high school and really want to get my tongue pierced, but my mom swears I will ruin my teeth if I do. She paid for my braces and doesn’t want me to mess up what we’ve had done. I keep trying to tell her that it will only affect my tongue, not my teeth, but she is positive it will. Who is right?

K.C.

Dear K.C.,

Unfortunately we have to side with your mom on this one. Yes, you initially are only affecting your tongue when you pierce it. There are other things that start to happen, though, when you add a different element that is not native to your mouth.

Cracked and chipped teeth

One problem many people face with tongue piercings is that they chip their teeth.  Tongue piercings are metal so they last a long time. At the same time, metal banging against your teeth when you play with the piercing or biting down on metal when you misjudge where the piercing is at while eating can lead to chipped and cracked teeth. Unfortunately, if that happens, some dentists are hesitant to fix chipped or cracked front teeth caused from a piercing unless the piercings are removed because they know it likely will happen again. Any porcelain veneers or bondings could easily be ruined again.

Shifting teeth

gap in the teeth

Tongue piercings can also cause your teeth to shift. When things change in the mouth, whether it be a sharp spot on a tooth, a canker, or even something as simple as food stuck between the teeth, we have a tendency to mess with it. We run our tongues on it, feel it, work at it.  A tongue piercing is no different. Often people with tongue piercings will suck on that metal and mess with it without even thinking about it. When that is done over and over, your tongue pushes on your teeth. That pushing can cause your teeth to shift. Especially where you said you have had braces, you may create spaces in your teeth that you didn’t even have before braces.

Oral hygiene

The last struggle people have with tongue piercings is keeping their mouths clean. Oral hygiene is important and isn’t always easy when you have extra parts in your mouth. If you aren’t extra diligent in brushing and flossing, with regular dentist visits, you may develop tooth decay or gum disease.

Hopefully this will help you make a good decision. Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Dr. Ryan Perry in Baton Rouge, LA.

 

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