Tongue piercings, sometimes called tongue rings, are metal jewelry that is inserted into the mouth. People choose to have a tongue piercing for aesthetic purposes, as jewelry worn in the mouth adds a unique look. These piercings may also be culturally or religiously motivated.
ADA doesn't support getting tongue piercings, as they have several potential adverse effects on oral health, such as:
Tongue rings and tongue piercings introduce a number of dangerous bacteria to the mouth. When a ring or piercing is placed along the tongue, it allows for bacteria to accumulate. This can lead to a number of oral health concerns, including dental caries, receding gums, and the buildup of plaque on the teeth.
Tongue piercings can cause a number of problems that can damage the soft tissues in your mouth. The tongue has a delicate lining, and piercing it can break and damage the tissue. Because the piercing is so close to the teeth, the jewelry can cause all kinds of problems with your teeth and gums.
The jewelry can chip and crack your teeth. It can also get stuck in between your teeth and gums, causing your gums to recede and exposing the roots of your teeth. If your piercing causes you to bite your lip or cheek, it can tear the skin and cause serious damage.
Tongue rings and tongue piercings can lead to many oral problems. The jewelry can rub against the gums, cheeks, and lips to cause irritation and infection. The metal can also cause teeth to shift.
Tongue rings and tongue piercings may seem harmless, but they can lead to significant pain for many patients. The constant rubbing and scratching of the jewelry against the tongue cause ulcers and sores that can become infected.
Tongue rings and tongue piercings are also thought to cause oral issues in some patients. Much like braces, tongue rings and tongue piercings require constant cleaning. However, these dental accessories can make it more difficult for patients to properly or regularly clean their teeth, which could lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Tongue rings and tongue piercings come with their own set of risks in addition to those that come from tobacco use. The jewelry worn on and around the tongue creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
While a rare cause of oral cancer, tongue rings and piercings have been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer due to the bacteria that can collect. The bacteria that cause the halitosis associated with tobacco use may also contribute to oral cancer.
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