Artistic expression comes in many forms. From clothing and tattoos, to hair colours and body modifications such as piercings, there’s no end to the list. However, while society grows ever more accepting of these norms, your dentist may have something to say about some of them: namely tongue piercings and other oral piercings. Tongue piercings in particular are known to cause a couple different problems such as tooth movement and chipping teeth.
Normally, this issue occurs when the tongue piercing is placed incorrectly and is too far forward on the tongue. Therefore, when your mouth is relaxed, the piercing could be putting constant pressure on the back of the top front teeth. Overtime, this will cause the teeth to loosen and shift from their original positions, overlapping over teeth and causing gaps between them.
A tongue piercing is considered to be a foreign object, and therefore your body will not be used to it right away. It may take several days in order to accommodate the new tongue piercing and grow used to it, but in that time, cracking and chipping can occur by accident when the piercing is banged against the teeth. Although this can happen when the piercing is fully healed, it’s much more likely to happen in the first few days. The chips may not be noticeable at first, but overtime enough enamel will be chipped away to create a layer thin enough for the piercing to full break and even crack.
Although the recommended practice by dentists would be to avoid oral piercings completely, for those who already have the piercing, you don’t have to take it out. Being mindful and cautious of the position of the piercing can help reduce the damage. There are jewelry options as well that can lessen the damage or eliminate it completely depending on what material is used, but that will be something to discuss with your piercer.
For more information on safe oral practices, give us a call at (818) 380-9057.