Tongue piercing can be lumped under broad category known as “Body Art”. It has become fashionable among some individuals in the western world. The piercing of oral tissues can create problems for both the individual and the dentist.
It is common for the placement of intraoral “jewelry” to create challenges for wearers. After initial placement, excessive salivation, impaired speech and difficulty in swallowing may occur. Even after the initial placement, there is risk involved to the back teeth in the form of potential fractures during chewing.
In addition, one must establish a fairly rigorous routine of maintenance to assure that infection doesn’t occur. Ideally, you should remove the ball and shank unit from your mouth and thoroughly clean it after every meal. Cleansing the mouth with an antiseptic, like peridex, should help control the influence of mouth bacteria on the pierced area of the tongue.
Besides possible damage to natural teeth, these pieces pose a significant danger to fixed prostheses containing porcelain. Additionally, galvanic currents caused by stainless steel contacting other metals could cause pulpal sensitivity.
Through my dental eyes, I see more minuses than pluses when I see a pierced tongue.