Ok, so you (or your child) are thinking about getting your tongue pierced. Working in the dental field for a Phoenix orthodontist, it’s not a new concept. So in the interest of our followers, I decided to do a little research on the subject. As you can guess, the dental community doesn’t have much good to say about it.
Both the ADA (American Dental Society) and the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry) have published articles saying they don’t recommend oral piercing. First, we’ll talk about the “tooth” and or orthodontic related concerns. First of all, many people who have their tongue pierced play or fiddle with their “oral jewelry.” By doing this they can chip their teeth and/or any tooth restorations they may have (fillings, crowns,etc.). They also risk getting gaps between their front teeth from playing with the stud. (Which will take some type of braces or orthodontics to correct.) Just like an orthodontist uses a small amount of constant pressure over time with braces to move your teeth, a tongue stud or metal bar pushed against the teeth will move them too. (Hence, the gaps appear over time.) Then there is the fact that continual contact with the stud can cause your gums to recede and expose the root area. This recession will result in an increased sensitivity to hot and cold, as well as causing decay and other more serious problems.
That was just the “tooth issues,” then there are the obvious health/infection issues from not keeping the pierced site clean enough (especially when the new piercing is healing) and bacteria in your mouth is allowed to get into the bloodstream. This is especially true if you have periodontal disease (infected gums), so excessively good oral hygiene is a must! (Cases of tetnus and hepititus have also been reported.) There is also the risk of the piercing damaging blood vessels which can cause some serious bleeding. Then there’s alway the possibily of hitting a nerve when they do the piercing which can be both very painful and could leave you with a “numb” area. Not to mention that there’s always the possibility of an overgrowth of scar tissue at the site.
Whew, after learning all that, you won’t find me piercing my tongue! (And needless to say, Phoenix braces professionals won’t be recommending it either.)