There has been an upsurge in the amount of teenagers getting tongue piercings. Teenagers often view these piercings as a harmless expression of their growing individuality. Oftentimes, parents allow teens to pierce their tongues because the metal bar is impermanent. In addition, tongue bars are not as visually apparent as a tattoo or eyebrow piercing might be.
Unfortunately, tongue piercings can have a serious (even deadly) impact on health. Dentists routinely advise adolescents to avoid intraoral or perioral piercings for a number of good reasons.
Are there long-term problems associated with tongue piercing?
Long-term problems with tongue piercings are very common. The screw-on balls constantly scrape against tooth enamel, making teeth susceptible to decay and gums susceptible to periodontal disease. Soft tissue can also become infected in specific areas, as the tongue bar continues to rub against it.
If the tongue bar is inappropriately long, it can get tangled around the tongue or teeth. In a similar way to an earring getting ripped out of the ear, a tongue bar can be ripped out of the tongue. This is extremely painful, as well as difficult to repair.
If you are a concerned parent, or would like the dentist to speak with your teen about tongue piercing, please contact our office.