If you are considering getting a piercing in your lip, cheek or tongue, or you already have one, then you should educate yourself on the potential damage the piercing can do to your teeth. The more you learn about the potential dental dangers, the more of an educated decision you can make as to whether or not a piercing is worth the risk to you.


When you first get an oral piercing, you will be at high risk for developing an infection. The mouth harbors a lot of bacteria and the piercing hole can easily be infected. Even with proper care and cleaning of the area, infection is quite common with oral piercings.

Receding gums

Oral piercings can cause problems with your gums. This is caused by the jewelry constantly rubbing against the tops of the gum lines. This constant rubbing will eventually cause the gum tissue to experience excessive wear and tear, forcing the gum to recede lower than it should be.

Bad taste in mouth/bad breath

The piercing in your mouth will trap particles of food. After a short period of time, these particles will cause you to get a bad taste in your mouth and you may experience bad breath.

Chipped teeth

While most mouth piercings can cause chipped teeth, the tongue piercings have the most risk. The piece of jewelry that goes in the tongue piercing is called a barbell and it is a long post with a metal ball on each end. The length of the posts and the ball on the end make for a dangerous combination for your teeth. The ball will hit against the back of your teeth which can cause them to chip. Also, it is possible to accidentally bite down on the barbell which can chip or even severely break your teeth.

Nerve damage

Your tongue has a lot of nerves, and a piercing may damage one or more of them. This can lead to an array of problems, including numbness, varying degrees of loss of tongue movement and even the loss of taste buds.

If you have a piercing and you have any concerns over possible dental problems it may be causing, the first thing you want to do is to remove the piercing immediately. Then, call a dentist such as Dr. James A. Dempsey and get in for an appointment as soon as you can. You want to make sure you get prompt treatment for any problems the piercing has caused.