Tongue Piercing Can Cause Costly Gap in Front
THURSDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Tongue piercing can lead to
a damaging habit that causes a gap to appear between the upper
front teeth, which could cost thousands of dollars to fix, a case
The patient was a 26-year-old woman who came to the University
at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine's orthodontic clinic because a
large space had developed between her upper front teeth. She also
had a tongue piercing that held a barbell-shaped stud.
The woman did not have a gap in her teeth before she had her
tongue pierced seven years before. But she developed a habit in
which she repeatedly pushed the stud against her upper front teeth,
which created the gap, the study authors noted.
"The barbell is never removed because the tongue is so vascular that leaving the stud out can result in healing of the opening in the tongue, so it makes perfect sense that constant pushing of the stud against the teeth -- every day with no break -- will move them or drive them apart," study author Sawsan Tabbaa, an assistant professor of orthodontics, said in a university news release.
The woman was treated with braces to close the gap between her
front teeth, according to the case study published in the July
issue of the
Journal of Clinical Orthodontics.
Tabbaa noted that tongue piercing can also cause chipped and
fractured teeth, gum trauma, infection, hemorrhage and even brain
"The best way to protect your health, your teeth and your money is to avoid tongue piercing," Tabbaa said.
The Academy of General Dentistry has more about
Copyright © 2010
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.