Dental Problems Caused by Tongue Piercing and Tongue Rings. Greenbelt Dental Assistant Advises Against Tongue Rings. After wearing a tongue ring, Molly developed a very deep pocket on the side of one of her teeth. She did not know this was happening. There was no pain associated with the gum injury that was getting worse without her knowledge. Luckily, she found out in time and will not loose her tooth because of complications from the tongue piercing and tongue ring.
Tongue piercings and tongue rings often lead to gum inflammation or gingivitis, gum disease, gum defects, periodontal pockets and periodontitis. A periodontal pocket is a space between the gum and the teeth.
Tongue rings can wear away the gum tissue, causing gum recession or a gum defect resulting in loss of bone support of the tooth. When gum tissue does not cover the entire root of the tooth, the underlying bone is often missing as well. This combination of lost gum and bone can lead to tooth loss. Even after removing the jewelry from the piercing, the gum may continue to recede.
When there is a deep pocket around the tooth, dental plaque can grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate and cause inflammation the gums. These toxins from the bacteria stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected.
As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Some people experience tooth sensitivity and pain, many do not. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
People with tongue rings often get gum defects and end up losing one or more teeth. In this case, thankfully our dental assistant will not lose her tooth, but she will need periodontal surgery and a gingival graft. The goal of this periodontal surgery is to cover the area of exposed tooth root surface with grafted oral tissue.
Lip, cheek and tongue jewelry can also cause trauma to teeth and infection. The oral jewelry can damage tooth enamel and cause chipped and cracked teeth. Because it takes up to two months for tongue, lip and cheek piercings to heal, it is also possible to have an infection around the piercing.
Oral piercings and oral jewelry sometimes causes difficulty chewing and swallowing food. Speaking clearly is often difficult because the jewelry stimulates excess saliva production. Oral piercings can also alter your sense of taste. Allergic reactions to the metal in the jewelry are common. Nerve damage is also a potential consequence of oral piercing.
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