Tongue Piercing Damage


Although many people decide to have their tongue pierced for aesthetic or personal reasons, it is important to be aware of the risks involved in having a tongue piercing. Some of the more common harmful effects that can occur due to tongue piercings include receding gums and cracks or factures to the structures of teeth. Additional complications that can occur include tongue swelling (which can result in obstruction of your airway), choking or swallowing loose jewelry, broken teeth, damaged gums, and in more severe cases, tetanus infections. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, or are concerned that you are experiencing tongue piercing damage, contact us today. At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, we offer conservative treatment of gum disease and a comprehensive list of procedures, ranging from periodontal maintenance, diagnosis and treatment of oral pathology, dental implants, and/or cosmetic procedures to improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile. Our number one goal is to provide optimal care in a comfortable and relaxed environment. If you would like to learn more about treating or preventing tongue piercing damage, please refer to the overview provided below.

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Risks Associated with Tongue Piercings

If you properly care for your tongue piercing and follow the guidelines put forth by the Association of Professional Piercers, you will significantly decrease your risk of experiencing tongue piercing damage; however, even if you follow proper care and recommended guidelines, having a tongue piercing still puts you at an increased risk of the following issues:

  • Cracking or Chipping: Tongue piercings increase your risk of cracking or chipping your front teeth, due to a common tendency to click the piercing against the teeth, causing them to wear down and break over time.
  • Increased risk of gum disease: Piercings tend to rub along the gums, causing damage that makes you more susceptible to developing gum disease, although this can typically be addressed and controlled with regular periodontal maintenance
  • Infection: Individuals with tongue piercing are at an increased risk of developing oral infections, which can cause the tongue to swell, which restricts the airways and allows the infection to spread throughout the body.
  • Loosened teeth: To avoid having the hole of the piercing close, many people never or seldom remove the piercing. As a result, the constant pressure between the back of the teeth and the piercing can result in teeth loosening.

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Proper Care for Your Piercing

If you decide to have your tongue pierced (or already have a tongue piercing), it is important to follow these guidelines to minimize your risk of experiencing tongue piercing damage:

  • Limit/Avoid Playing with Jewelry: Although this can be difficult to avoid, playing with your tongue piercing causes damage to your gums and teeth.
  • Inspect Piercing Daily: To reduce your risk of tongue piercing damage, make it a habit to check that the ends of your piercing are in place and properly attached.
  • Remove Piercing During Physical Activity: If you are involved in sports or other types of physical activities, it is important to remove your piercing to reduce your risk of experiencing tongue piercing damage.
  • Choose the Right Jewelry Type: The Association of Professional Piercers has a list of recommended guidelines to reduce your risk of experiencing tongue piercing damage, including: use a smaller ball if the piercing is placed in the underside of your tongue; tongue barbells should be made of polymer; and, if the jewelry is metal, make sure it meets surgical implant grade.

In addition to following these guidelines, one of the most effective methods for preventing tongue piercing damage as well as preventing additional periodontal issues from developing in the future is to consistently take good care of your oral health. Make it a habit to brush your teeth twice daily (at a minimum) for at least two minutes each time. Also, remember to brush your tongue and cheeks, as well as behind the lower and upper front teeth. It is also important to floss at least once a day and be mindful of the type of foods and beverages you consume, doing your best to limit or avoid starchy foods or foods or beverages that are sugary.

Finally, continue scheduling regular checkups every six months (or more if necessary) is the most important step you can take to maintain your oral health and identify and correct issues before they develop into something more significant. By following these best practices, you will significantly reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease and enjoy good oral health for many years to come!

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metro for over 20 years.

what is a periodontist?

we specialize in gum disease
tissue growth, and dental implantology

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we specialize in gum disease
tissue growth, and dental implantology

Cost of Treating Gum Piercing Damage

The cost of treating gum piercing damage is contingent on a variety of factors, including the severity of your case, though not required, we do offer a discount for patients who pay their bill in full (cash, check, or credit) prior to treatment.

Before scheduling your appointment, we will provide an estimated total cost and answer any questions you have concerning payment plan options, such as Care Credit which offer interest-free payment plans for six-to-twelve-month periods and/or a payment arrangement made in advance with our office.

For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

Schedule Your Appointment

At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, your oral health is our number one goal. We are committed to providing you with the comprehensive periodontal support you need to continue enjoying a bright, healthy smile. To learn more about treating and/or preventing tongue piercing damage, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at (702) 270-4600. We look forward to providing you with quality care tailored to your unique needs!