I’ve been thinking about getting a tongue ring, but a friend of mine says she’s had some trouble with chipping her teeth because of it. Her tongue ring is rather large, so I wonder if it’s possible that that’s a major part of her problem. If I get a very small one, can I avoid the problems she’s having? Is it the size of the ring that counts and not the actual act of having a tongue piercing?
Beth, from Ohio
In my opinion, size does not matter—when it comes to tongue rings. Having a tongue ring in your mouth is pretty much like playing Russian roulette with your teeth. Each time the piercing knocks into your tooth, you have no idea if that hit is going to be the hit that does that tooth in.
You may say to yourself that chipping a tooth here and there is a fairly mild problem to contend with if I get to wear a tongue ring! But let me tell you, chipped teeth can be a pretty big problem. True, things like chipped teeth can be repaired easily with bonding. But what you may not know is a broken tooth can be serious enough to send you to the emergency dentist.
Broken teeth can cause pain, swelling and blisters, which takes things from being a cosmetic problem to a serious problem.
Tongue piercings can also lead to major dental problems beyond broken teeth. Problems include infections, sores, gum disease and/or recession. And piercings can cause you to have chronic bad breath!
So if you’re thinking about a tongue piercing as a temporary thing, and you can be really good about taking it out and cleaning it, maybe it’s worth a try. Maybe. And only for a little while. But if it’s something that you plan to do long-term, I would suggest that you don’t. Even if you fixed your “cosmetic” problem once, chances are continuing to wear the piercing would just cause damage again. So is it worth the cost to your wallet? Is it worth your health?
Hope this helps.
This blog is sponsored by Buffalo dentist Warren M. Krutchick, DDS.