Piercings of all kinds are growing in popularity as social stigmas against tattoos, piercings, and dyed hair are declining. While piercings can be a fun accessory or a way to express your identity and creativity, if you’re considering a tongue or lip piercing, you might be concerned about how it will affect the health of your mouth and teeth. 

 

Can a tongue piercing ruin my teeth?

Unfortunately, yes. A tongue piercing can cause damage to teeth. Piercings are usually hard metal, which inside the mouth can cause damage. Biting down onto the piercing or playing with it can result in scratching or chipping teeth, as well as increased tooth sensitivity.

 

Can a tongue piercing hurt my mouth in other ways?

Again, the answer is an unfortunate yes. Piercing the tongue can result in harm to your oral health in several different ways. First of which is the possibility of nerve damage. Piercing the tongue can affect the nerves in the tongue, causing numbness, altering the sense of taste, and even altering the way the mouth moves. This nerve damage can be temporary or permanent.

Additionally, a tongue piercing can easily become infected. There are many forms of bacteria present in the mouth, and a piercing is initially an open wound. It’s a recipe for infection, and an instance when infection poses especially serious risks. Infection of the tongue could lead to swelling that blocks the air passage, which is dangerous and could lead to death or brain damage.

The tongue is also at risk of dangerously swelling and blocking the airways from allergic reactions. Many people find that they have metal allergies and sensitivities to the metals used in piercing jewelry. Jewelry not made of surgical steel, gold, silver, or other high-quality, low-irritation metals can result in an allergic reaction.

 

What about lip piercings?

All oral piercings pose an inherent oral health risk. While there is not the same risk of nerve damage to the tongue, lip piercings can still cause oral health issues. The jewelry is still likely a hard metal ring or post, and it can knock against teeth or be accidentally bitten down on, causing damage. A lip piercing, given that on the inside is in the mouth, is also susceptible to infection from oral bacteria.

 

Whether you have a tongue or lip piercing or not, regular dental checkups are crucial for ensuring that your teeth and mouth stay healthy. Schedule an appointment with Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry.