Ask a Dentist

I was thinking of getting my tongue pierced but heard it can have a bad affect on my oral health, is this true?

As dentists we do generally advise against an oral piercings, including the tongue, lips or cheeks. However, if you’re diligent in your cleaning practices you can enjoy the piercing while avoiding infections or other complications.

For the first two months, while the piercing is healing, it’s important to brush your tongue and clean the hole with antiseptic after every time you eat, chew gum or smoke. After that period we recommend the following guidelines:

• Brush your tongue and clean the hole with antiseptic daily

• Keep the jewellery clean (with non-toxic cleaners)

• Rinse your mouth daily with an antibacterial mouthwash

• Remove your jewellery for any dental exams and x-rays

An additional consideration is the risk of recession of the gums near lip piercings. The weight from a piercing can cause the gums to recede around the front teeth. If the recession becomes severe, gum surgery could be needed in the future to correct the damage.

Finally, piercings can result in chipping and breaking of the teeth around them. Fillings or crowns could be necessary if the damage is great enough.

Schedule an appointment at either of our Winnipeg dentist offices (St. Vital or Garden City) if you have any more questions!