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Oral piercings such as on the tongue or lip may cause tooth loss. This is due to a large part of people with piercings never remove their them. The tongue is able to heal and close up if the space is not maintained. This is the most common reason for not removing a piercing. But, the constant pressure of the piercing against the back of one’s teeth can make them loosen and move. This creates gaps where none existed. This is diatesma, and it can develop with or without the influence of oral jewelry. Dental professionals don’t endorse oral piercings. Piercings like studs and barbells can cause a range of teeth problems.


The most popular tongue piercing is the stud. The stud is a versatile item that comes in a host of different colors and materials. It can also boast hearts, triangles, rectangles, squares and other creative shapes.

Simple barbell piercings positioned through the tongue to many piercings grouped into patterns.

There is also the the traditional metal sphere.

Tongue piercing rings are also common.


Jewelry bumps against your teeth when talking or eating. This habitual contact between teeth and piercing can cause the tooth enamel to chip away. This exposes the sensitive layers of dentin and pulp underneath. Biting down hard can even cause a crack in the enamel that extends into the nerves of the tooth. This can result in problems that may need a root canal to fix.


A common problem associated with piercings, particularly in the weeks following the procedure.

Secondary infections can result in the contraction and development of illnesses.

 Avoid Problems

By caring for oral piercing rings and studs, you can maintain good oral hygiene. To ensure you don’t fall victim to one of these avoidable conditions. You can reduce risk of damage from tongue piercings by choosing the right type of jewelry like;

  • Choose a style that works well with the location in your mouth where you plan to place the piercing.
  • “Gauge” the area. You may need longer items at first so the initial swelling doesn’t swallow the jewelry. But smaller items should replace them once the tongue adjusts to the item.
  • If you choose metal jewelry, make sure it conforms to surgical implant grade.
  • Use balls made of polymer on your tongue barbell to reduce the risk of tooth damage.
  • Select a smaller ball for the underside of your tongue. This will lower the risk of contact with this sublingual area.


If you have or are considering a piercing these steps will help prevent problems;

  1. Keep your mouth as clean as possible by brushing and flossing daily. Rinsing with mouthwash after every meal for the first three weeks will also help.
  2. Avoid “playing” with your jewelry in your mouth. This causes damage to your teeth and gums.
  3. Make sure the ends of your piercings don’t come loose and check them daily to keep them in place.

You’ll want to remove your tongue jewelry if you play sports. In the case you already have damage to your teeth from a piercing. Schedule an appointment with us today for an evaluation to fix the damage.

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