To Pierce that Tongue or Not!

Stay Away from Tongue Piercing if You Care for Your Teeth


You dream of being that dark romantic ¨Wierdo” with a great new tongue piercing. You can just see yourself attracting all the attention.–But before you get too far with that thought you need to know this.  The dental team at Imako Dental say that they see a lot of dental damage caused by these tongue piercings. 

Tongue piercing is not  just hard on your parents’ eyes but it could have some serious consequences for your teeth and gums. Studies now show that extended wear of barbell-type tongue jewelry causes significant receding gums, infection and can also cause chipped teeth. 

Imako Dental is aware that teens and young adults see tongue piercing as a fun activity, even a way to get back at their parents. But it does them more harm than good. It is a shame that this activity has even become a social gathering activity. But did you know that there has also been increasing number of dental and mouth issues, which are associated to the practice. Recent research shows that tong piercing may have significant oral health issues. The following study  published in the March issue of Journal of Periodontology underlines the negative impact of this procedure.

What Is Tongue Piercing

The Imako Team tells us that most people select a barbell as the type of jewelry they want for their tongue. This is a thin bar plugged at both ends with a round piece of metal. It is the thin bar that pierces the tongue, and this is held in place by two screw caps on each end. Sounds beautiful doesn’t it. But unfortunately, this can damage teeth because most people who wear them tend to play with it in their mouth by moving it around. This movement can easily cause the upper cap to hit your teeth and cause cracks or a chipped tooth. Worse the type of damage depends on the length of the barbell you use. It is the short barbells that do most of the damage. You can chip or damage teeth faster by using these barbells than the ones that are longer. Imako agrees that if you have to have one, you should go with the bigger piercing. 

Receding gums can be another problem when you have a tongue piercing. Studies now show that people who have tongue piercings have a 30% higher chance of having receding gums than those who don’t use this type of jewelry. This is due to the barbells hitting up against the gum line. 

So  talk to your dentist and review the potential risks before you go and buy a new tongue piercing. If you do get your tongue pierced be careful and pay attention to your oral hygiene. Consider using the jewelry less frequently. Remember, the long term goal is to preserve your teeth for as long as you can. 


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