Oral piercings may once have been the height of cool, but they also come with risks. This includes the risk of receding gums. But are all oral piercings equally bad? Not according to new research, which shows that tongue piercings are much worse than other piercings for your teeth and gums.

Some dentists have recommended removing these piercings as soon as possible, but what can you do if it’s too late and you’ve already experienced receding gums? In that case, we offer a treatment that can restore your gums to a youthful, healthy state.

Tongue Piercings Worse for Teeth and Gums

The Effects of Tongue Piercings on Oral Health

The most recent study comes from Switzerland. Researchers looked at 14 patients with tongue piercings and compared them to 7 patients with lip piercings. They found that the people with tongue piercings experienced significant oral health problems like bleeding gums, inflamed gums, and receding gums. Not only that, but the impact on the teeth was worse the closer the teeth were to the piercing.

However, people with lip piercings didn’t have significantly worse periodontal health than the average. There was no effect either at the site of the piercing or at other places in the mouth.

Another recent study also provides insight on the risks of tongue piercings. This was a case study of two young women, ages 27 and 32, who got tongue piercings. Over the next 8-10 years, these women experienced severe periodontal problems. They had bleeding gums, serious infections leading to abscesses, loose teeth, and abnormal tooth movement.

These patients had to have numerous, expensive treatments, including antibiotics, surgery, and tissue regeneration. However, even after treatment, these young women’s gums didn’t return to their previous healthy position.

How Tongue Piercings Impact Your Oral Health

What makes tongue piercings so much worse for your oral health? There are many factors, including:

  • Accidental contact between piercing and teeth
  • Pushing piercing against teeth and gums
  • Accumulate bacteria

The contact between the piercing and teeth can damage the teeth, making them more susceptible to cracks and decay.

Pushing the piercing against teeth and gums can damage the gums and move teeth out of position.

But perhaps the worst impact of tongue piercings is that they can harbor damaging bacteria. The mouth is already a haven for numerous bacteria, but a tongue piercing can give them a protected place to gather.

Reducing and Repairing Gum Damage from Tongue Piercings

Probably the best way to avoid damage from a tongue piercing is to not get one in the first place, or remove it immediately.

But if you want to keep your tongue piercing, there are some things you can do to reduce the damage. Avoid playing with your tongue piercing, and don’t push it against your teeth and gums. You can also experiment with different jewelry to find some that are less likely to provide hard contact with teeth and gums. Make sure you’re cleaning the jewelry and your tongue properly. Remove the jewelry every day to clean it. And make sure you’re making regular visits to your dentist.

But what if you have already seen damage to your teeth and gums because of your tongue jewelry? Again, strongly consider taking out the jewelry and letting the piercing heal. Then consider gum rejuvenation.

If you are looking for gum rejuvenation in Orange County, please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.