Here’s What the ADA Says About Piercings

Body piercing is a popular form of self-expression. Oral piercings may look cool, but they can harm your health. Richview Family Dentistry wants you to know some of the possible problems.


Infection, Pain & Swelling

  • Your mouth is a moist environment, home to huge amounts of bacteria, and an ideal place for infections.
  • Piercing the tongue can also cause your tongue to swell, potentially blocking your airway.


Damage to Gums, Teeth, and Fillings

  • A common habit of biting or playing with the piercing can injure your gums and lead to cracked, scratched, or sensitive teeth. They can also damage fillings.


Hypersensitivity to Metals

  • Allergic reactions at the pierced site are also possible.


Nerve Damage

  • After piercing, you may experience a numb tongue caused by nerve damage that is usually temporary but can sometimes be permanent.
  • The injured nerve may affect your sense of taste or how you move your mouth.
  • Damage to your tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.


Excessive Drooling

  • Your tongue piercing can increase saliva production.


Dental Appointment Difficulties

  • The jewelry can get in the way of dental care by blocking X-rays.



  • Contact your dentist immediately if you have any signs of infection, swelling, pain, fever, chills, or a red-streaked appearance around the piercing site.
  • Keep the piercing site clean by using a mouth rinse after every meal.
  • When participating in sports, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth with a mouth guard.
  • See your dentist regularly, and remember to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.

If it has been a while since your last check-up or if you’re new to the area and looking for a family dentist, give us a call today at (931) 647-2243. We love new patients at Richview Family Dentistry!