November 2, 2010

Tongue Piercings - Nothing to Smile About

"Playing" with a pierced tongue stud could lead to a gap between the front teeth, according to a new study conducted at the University at Buffalo in New York.  The study suggests that tongue piercings could be a major cause of unnecessary orthodontic issues.

The report claims that those with tongue piercings were likely to push the metal stud up against their teeth and consequently cause gaps and other problems. Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr. Nigel Carter, said the study highlighted the risks that tongue piercings have on oral health. In addition to causing an apparent gap, oral piercings can also lead to chipped teeth. Over time, constant pressure can move teeth, resulting from people playing with their studs, crops up in a very high percent of the cases studied. Tooth damage was common in both past and present case studies.

The study concluded that tongue piercings could result in serious injuries, not just to teeth, but to other parts of the body, as well. It has been known to be associated with hemorrhages (bleeding), infections, trauma to the gums, and, in worst cases, brain abscesses.  The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics.

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