Tags Posts tagged with "Tongue Piercing"

Tongue Piercing

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Tongue Piercing with Needle
©Charles Knox/Shutterstock.com

I remember vividly a lecture that I had last year in one of my pediatric dentistry classes.  My professor told us a story about how she went down to one of the local piercing parlors and asked if she could take pictures of a tongue piercing.  They let her take some pictures and she showed them to our class.

She commented that if parents actually knew what happens when their kid gets their tongue pierced, there would be a lot less pierced tongues.

I debated about whether or not I should put an image of an actual tongue piercing in this article, but I think it may be too graphic for some people.  If you’d like to see what a tongue looks like as it’s getting pierced with a needle, you can see a photo with an explanation by clicking here.

Keep in mind that there are many risks with piercing your tongue, so I would advise against getting your tongue pierced.  In this article, I’ll simply focus on the process of getting your tongue pierced.

Tongue Piercing Procedure

The Tongue Piercing Procedure

First of all, the person piercing your tongue will use a marker to mark the spot on the taste-bud side of the tongue where the piercing will be.  If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see a dark blue mark where the ring enters the tongue.

Next, the piercer will hold onto your tongue with some sort of a clamp so that it doesn’t move when it is pierced.  If the tongue moves and the needle goes through the wrong part, it could hit a blood vessel or cause damage to a nerve.

As they are holding onto the tongue, the piercer will stick a thick needle through your tongue without using any anesthetic.  (See a picture of this here – not for the faint of heart!)  Some people say this hurts, others say that as long as you find the right person to pierce your tongue, it shouldn’t hurt.  Since piercers are not licensed medical professionals, they are not permitted to give you any anesthetic to numb your tongue and prevent you from feeling pain.

Then, the piercer will put a long barbell through the hole that was made in the tongue.  Usually the barbell is 18 millimeters (about ¾ inch) long.  The initial barbell needs to be long because your tongue will swell a lot after the piercing.  If a short barbell is used, the tongue could swell around it and trap the barbell inside the tongue.  If this occurs, surgery will be needed to remove the barbell from the tongue.

If your tongue piercing is done in a clean, sanitary environment and doesn’t become infected., the initial 18 mm barbell can be replaced with a shorter barbell.

Conclusion

After your tongue has been pierced, you must leave the barbell in place or the hole can close up.  It can be removed for very brief periods of time without this occurring but there is always a risk.  It’s a good idea to remove any tongue jewelry when you’re playing sports so that you don’t damage your teeth.

Do you have any stories or experiences with tongue piercing?  I’d love to hear about your stories, questions and comments in the comments section below!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Piercing.jpg

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Tongue Piercing Licking Lips
©Beccarra/Shutterstock.com

Oral piercing is a practice that seems to be gaining popularity in the United States.  The most common places to get a piercing in your mouth are the lips, tongue, cheek, and the uvula (the “hangy-ball” thing in the back of your throat.) Tongue Piercing Can Hurt Your Teeth!People want to get their tongue pierced for a variety of reasons.  One of the biggest reasons is to make them look trendy — people want to fit in, and if they can be seen as cool for getting their tongue pierced, then they’ll go for it. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the many risks associated with getting your tongue pierced.  I think if people understood the dangers of tongue piercing, fewer piercings would be performed. I’m planning on writing a couple of articles about the risks of tongue piercing.  This first article will focus on ten ways that tongue piercing hurts your mouth and teeth.  The next one will talk about the negative effects that oral piercings have on the rest of your body.

The Risks of Tongue Piercing: 10 Ways Tongue Piercing Hurts Your Mouth and Teeth

1 – Tongue piercing causes chips, cracks, and/or fractures in your teeth. Wearing tongue jewelry can not only damage your teeth, but it can damage expensive dental work that you may have already had done. The effect of tongue jewelry on teeth is especially important when participating in exercise and athletic activities.  When in doubt, take the barbell out!  It is important to note that if you leave out your tongue jewelry for more than a few hours, it may be next to impossible to get the jewelry back in.

Tongue piercings are just one of the many ways you can chip or crack your teeth.  To learn more,read 10 Easy Ways to Chip or Crack Your Teeth.

2 – Tongue piercing causes gum recession, also called localized periodontal disease. If you wear a barbell in your tongue, it can rub up against and irritate the gums on the tongue side of your teeth.  This has led to gum recession in many people who have their tongue pierced.  In older adults, periodontal disease (not cavities) is usually the most common cause of tooth loss. 3 – Tongue piercing can wear down your teeth. Out of habit, many tongue-ring wearers often rub their tongue ring up against their teeth. Over time, this can wear down the enamel. Over time, you could expose dentin or experience increased sensitivity or cavities. If you insist on having a tongue piercing, trying out a shorter barbell may reduce the damage that it inflicts on your mouth — although it would be best to get rid of the tongue jewelry altogether!

Concerned about wearing down your teeth? Learn more about the four ways we wear down our teeth.

4 – Tongue piercing can cause speech impediments. Tongue piercing can make it more difficult to talk.  You use your tongue for making a lot of sounds when you talk.  If you get a tongue ring, it makes it a lot harder to speak correctly. 5 – Tongue piercing can cause nerve damage. An inexperienced piercing parlor worker may inadvertently cause permanent damage to the nerves in your tongue or other areas of the mouth depending on how the tongue is pierced.  The person doing the piercing needs to have a sound knowledge of the anatomy of your tongue.  If you do get your tongue pierced, it’s important to find a reputable, high-quality piercing parlor to cut a hole in your tongue. You probably wouldn’t enjoy having parts of your tongue permanently numb.  Many people hate having their tongue numb for a couple of hours after getting a filling — just imagine how hard it would be to not fully enjoy the taste of your food or constantly have your tongue give you that numb, tingling sensation. 6 – Tongue piercing can cause bad breath. Tongue jewelry is a good place for the plaque in your mouth to live.  It’s harder to brush if you have tongue jewelry.  Also, if you don’t regularly clean your tongue jewelry, it can accumulate bacteria that make your breath smell pretty disgusting! Tongue Piercing Damages Your Mouth! 7 – Tongue piercing can cause a space between your two upper front teeth, also known as a diastema. Although this isn’t very common, it does happen as evidenced by this case report written by orthodontists. 8 – Tongue piercing can cause excessive drooling. Tongue piercing can cause an increase in the amount of saliva you make.  Although saliva is good for the teeth, too much can be a problem.  You probably won’t look too cool with a tongue ring if you leave a puddle of spit everywhere you go! 9 – The metal tongue jewelry can cause a metal hypersensitivity reaction. You could end up being allergic to the metal in your tongue jewelry. If you were excited about having metal tongue jewelry and then end up having to wear a plastic barbell, you may be disappointed. 10 – Tongue piercing can cause pain and infection. The tongue piercing itself could cause pain and other complications.  Many people who have had their tongue pierced say that it was quite painful.  Here’s one story about how much tongue piercing hurts from Yahoo! Answers. You might get an infection depending on how sanitary the piercing parlor is. Most people have some degree of swelling after their tongue piercing. If you have a low tolerance for pain, you may want to reconsider.

More Reading on the Negative Effects of Tongue Piercing

I read a LOT of great articles while researching for this post.  Here are a couple you might be interested in:

Conclusion

Keep in mind that of all of the negative effects listed above, the most common are damaging a tooth and causing gum recession. If you’re thinking about getting your tongue pierced, please re-think your decision.  You may look cool around some of your friends, but the damage that tongue piercing does to your mouth isn’t worth it. Although I didn’t mention this above, because it’s not a huge consequence of tongue piercing, think about how much you love tasting your food —  especially with Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Do you really want to damage some of your valuable taste buds by getting your tongue pierced? For all of the Americans reading this, have a great Thanksgiving day tomorrow!  If you have any questions or comments about tongue piercing and oral health, please leave them in the comments section below.

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Easy Ways to Crack or Chip Your Teeth
©Guysal/Shutterstock.com

Many people end up cracking or chipping their teeth at some point in their lives. A majority of cracked and chipped teeth injuries are preventable.

Tongue Rings Can Crack Your TeethTo illustrate that point, I’ve come up with 10 easy ways that you can crack and chip your teeth.  A lot of the ways don’t even involve doing anything.

Here’s a tip: If you want to keep your teeth crack and chip free, don’t do anything on the list below!

10 Easy Ways to Crack or Chip Your Teeth

1 – Get your tongue pierced and wear a hard metal object in it.  The hard metal will constantly bump up against your teeth and can chip and/or cause cracks.  A major cause of chips in front teeth is from tongue barbells.

2 – Don’t wear a protective athletic mouth guard when playing sports.  This one’s pretty easy, since it involves doing nothing.  Just don’t go to your dentist and get a custom mouthguard made, and you’ll be at a much higher risk for getting a cracked or chipped tooth.

That’s not all mouth guards do!  Here’s six reasons to wear an athletic mouthguard.

3 – Chew on ice or any other hard object.  To read more about the damage that chewing on ice does to your teeth, read How Chewing on Ice Affects Your Teeth.

Another common culprit of cracked teeth is popcorn kernels.  For some reason, people like to finish the whole bag of popcorn, and if some kernels didn’t pop like they were supposed to, they feel like they need to get eaten too.  If your popcorn bowl looks like the one below when you’re done, then congratulations!

Cracked Teeth Can Occur from Chewing Unpopped Popcorn Kernels

4 – Use your teeth as tools – to open things, use them as scissors to cut tape or cut tags off of new clothes.  Pretty much any way you use your teeth as tools, you will be putting excessive wear on them that could cause small cracks.

5 – Grind your teeth and don’t do anything about it.  If you grind your teeth, you could end up cracking them or even wearing your teeth down to almost nothing.  If you think that you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep, it’s best to talk to your dentist about it.  Most dentists will make an appliance you can wear to help stop teeth grinding.

6 – Don’t brush, make sure you get a big cavity, then go to your dentist and have a really big filling put in your tooth.  By losing so much tooth structure to tooth decay, it will be a lot easier to get your tooth to crack.

7 – Don’t get braces.  By not having the teeth in proper alignment, it is easier to put stresses on them when you bite, which could lead to worn down teeth, or cracking in more extreme circumstances.

8 – Clench your teeth often.  A lot of people clench their teeth when they’re stressed out.  Well, clenching can also stress out your teeth!  That’s alright if you want to crack or chip your teeth, but if you want to keep your teeth nice and healthy for a lifetime, try to stop clenching.

9 – Keep on getting older.  After a lifetime of wear, teeth can get pretty worn down and cracked.  Some experts believe that as you get older, your teeth become more brittle, which makes them more prone to cracking.

10 – Eat rocks or bones.  It does happen.  A lot of people find rocks in a can of re-fried beans or don’t sort out rocks from dried beans.  Another culprit is finding a bone in a fast food hamburger or chicken sandwich.  When you unexpectedly bite into something hard with a lot of force, it can easily crack or chip a tooth.

Conclusion

Ideally, you should try to not do anything on the above list.  Alright…  Unless you can live forever like the Tuck family in Tuck Everlasting(4th grade reading assignment), you probably can’t avoid #9.  #10 is also pretty hard to avoid, but the rest of the list involves choices that we make that can wear down our teeth over time.

Do you have any questions or comments about cracked or chipped teeth?  Leave them in the comments section below!  Thanks for reading!