Posts for tag: oral piercing

Question: Is tongue piercing safe?

 

Answer: Oral piercing has become fashionable over the last decade. While oral piercing can involve the lips,cheek, uvula, the tongue remains to be the most commonly pierced. Tongue piercing involves placing a "barbell"-type stud through the tongue.

 

There are several common risks associated with tongue piercing.

Infection- This is possibly due to nonsterile techniques and/or improper care after the piercing. Treatment can include antiobiotic therapy, localized cleaning and oral hygiene instructions. Serious infections, involving the tongue, jaw and chin can require emergency medical treatment.

 

Chipped or Broken Teeth- Usually occurs through biting the barbell especially in new piercings with the initial longer barbell. To minimize the risk, a shorter barbell or made of acrylic/plastic should be worn.

 

Enamel Loss- Most commonly occurs at the back of the teeth through repeated rubbing against the jewelry. A shorter barbell or one made of non-metallic material can also be worn to prevent enamel loss.

 

Gum recession- Over time, repeated contact between the tongue ring and the gums can lead to receding gums especially with long stem barbells. Smaller tongue rings can reduce the risks of receding gums.

 

Future considerations for the tongue ring user:

 

1. Replacing metal barbell with a shorter, plastic based barbell.

2. Using antiseptic mouthrinse, such as Listerine on a daily basis and brushing the tongue regularly.

3. Exercise conscious control of the movement of tongue jewelry during chewing or speech.

 

Please contact Dr.Glasmeier if you have any questions re: tongue rings.