What are the risks of tongue studs in the mouth?

Tongue Piercing is not only a dangerous procedure, the associated studs can chip surrounding teeth and wear away gum tissue. In addition, the hole in the tongue can become infected if not kept clean. I tell my patients to steer clear of any type of oral piercings!

Sanda M. Moldovan, DDS
There are two most common complications I've seen in my patients with tongue studs. One is cracked teeth, where the teeth had to be removed and implants placed. The second problem was damage to the backside of the gum of the lower front teeth, causing recession, which needed to be repaired with surgery, using a gingival graft.
A tongue stud is a type of oral piercing. It’s very possible to puncture a nerve during a tongue piercing. If this happens, you may experience a numb tongue or nerve damage that is sometimes temporary, but can be permanent. The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste, or how you move your mouth, and in some cases, damage to the tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.

An oral piercing can also interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing. It may also cause infection, pain and swelling; chipped or cracked teeth; injuries to the gums; damage to fillings and many other dental problems. Oral piercings can also carry the potential risk of endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart valves or tissues. In addition, piercing jewelry can sometimes cause allergic responses to the pierced site. The jewelry can even get in the way of dental care by blocking x-rays.  

Think seriously before deciding to pierce anything in or on your mouth and talk to your dentist for more information.

Tongue studs and any other kind of piercings  in or around the mouth or lips can cause a number of problems. Since it is a foreign object, the body responds to it. Many people with tongue studs experience excessive flow of saliva because of the foreign object in their mouth. Infections are common and cause swelling, bleeding, pus, and pain. If an infection occurs, remove the stud immediately and seek help from your dentist or doctor. You might also experience inflammation of the oral mucosa, known as a contact dermatitis, or a form of allergic reaction.

Continue Learning about Mouth-Body Connection

What are the health risks of gum disease?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
There are a number of health problems associated with gum disease, an infection of the tissues that ...
More Answers
When do routine dental visits become crucial?
Dr. Supriya VermaDr. Supriya Verma
If you want to prevent problems from arising then it is crucial to have a routine dental visit and m...
More Answers
How does oral health affect aging?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Oral health correlates with overall health. For example, periodontal disease is inflammation of the ...
More Answers
Can Gum Disease Lead to Cancer?
Can Gum Disease Lead to Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.