The Painful Truth About Tongue Piercing

As fashion trends come and go, some are stylish (riding boots); some are embarrassing (bell bottoms); and some are just plain dangerous. Having your tongue pierced falls into the latter. What you may think is only making a statement with a piece of jewelry is actually something that makes us periodontists cringe.

tongue piercing damage repair
Tongue piercings damage teeth
  • Nerve Damage: A tongue piercing requires to literally cut a hole in your tongue. To do this successfully, the person must have a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the tongue. If the piercing is not performed in the proper location, nerve damage that leads to permanent numbness can occur.
  • Excessive Drooling: In some patients, a tongue piercing can stimulate saliva production to the point that they drool constantly. Although bathing your teeth in extra saliva is a good thing, it could be embarrassing in social settings.
  • Tooth Damage: A piece of jewelry in your mouth is bound to come in contact with your teeth. Tongue barbells can click against your teeth causing them to chip, crack or fracture.
  • Gum Disease: Tongue barbells continuously rubbing against your gums can cause irritation that turns into gum disease. Gum disease will not only make your gums recede, it can also cost you your teeth.
  • Speech Impediments: The ability to properly pronounce words relies heavily on movements from your tongue. A tongue barbell can hinder your tongue’s ability to move properly and making correct pronunciation difficult.
  • Bad Breath: Adding a tongue barbell to your mouth provides another surface for foul-smelling bacteria to grow and thrive on.


There are many great ways to set yourself apart from the crowd but tongue piercing is definitely not one of them. Besides,  a beautiful, healthy smile is always in style! Patients with tongue barbells need to be extra diligent about maintaining regular visits to our office and we also specialize in tongue piercing damage repair. If it has been a while since you have seen us, schedule your next appointment right away.