Interested in getting your tongue pierced?
Know the oral health issues associated with piercings before you make a decision!
We know that tattooing and piercings are hugely popular, but unfortunately we are not able to endorse tongue piercing rings, studs and barbells because they can cause a range of teeth problems. We can’t stop you getting piercings but we can help to make sure that you are making an informed decision so here are just a few common issues with piercings and also some tips on maintaining your oral health if you do decide to go ahead.
Many people with tongue piercings never remove their piercing. This is partly because the tongue can heal and close up fairly quickly if the space is not maintained. Even so, the constant pressure of the piercing against the back of one's teeth can make them loosen and move, creating gaps where none previously existed.
It's easy to bump tongue jewellery against your teeth when talking or eating – especially at first. This habitual contact between teeth and piercing can cause the tooth enamel to chip away, exposing the sensitive layers of dentin and pulp underneath.
Bacterial infection is another common problem associated with tongue piercings, particularly in the weeks following the procedure.
How to Avoid Problems
Don't panic; it's not all doom and gloom if you've already gotten one. By choosing (and caring for) tongue piercing rings and studs carefully, you can maintain good oral hygiene to ensure you don't fall victim to one of these avoidable conditions. You can significantly reduce your risk of damage from tongue piercings rings by choosing the right type of jewellery.
Choose a style that works well with the location in your mouth where you plan to place the piercing.
"Gauge" the area accordingly. You may need longer items at first so the initial swelling doesn't swallow the jewellery, but smaller items should replace them once the tongue adjusts to the item.
If you choose metal jewellery, make sure it conforms to surgical implant grade.
Use balls made of polymer on your tongue barbell to reduce the risk of tooth damage.
Select a smaller ball for the underside of your tongue, to lower the risk of contact with this area.
Top Tips of Tongue Piercings
If you are considering a tongue piercing, or already have one, these three steps will help you prevent problems from developing.
· Keep your mouth as clean as possible by brushing and flossing daily, and rinsing with mouthwash after every meal for the first three weeks.
· Avoid "playing" with your jewellery in your mouth.
· Make sure the ends of your piercing are properly attached and check them daily to keep them in place.