More Smiles Dental Spa Dentistry Blog | James A. Moreau, Jr., D.D.S.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tongue Piercing Causes Patient to Lose Tooth

It's been reported on websites and in journals that tongue piercings can damage teeth, cause gum recession and even cause bone loss. In our practice today we have seen a tooth lost (unfortunately a front tooth) because of deterioration of the bone surrounding the tooth, caused by the repetitive banging of the metal ball against the back of the tooth.

The tooth had previously undergone root canal therapy prior to the tongue piercing. The patient came in a few days ago complaining of pain. An x-ray showed what appeared to be a large rounded shadow halo-ing the root tip of the tooth. A consult with our endodontist (root canal specialist) confirmed that the shadow indicated bone loss. She astutely recalled seeing similar cases in dental journals and recognized the damage as being that caused by a piercing. Further microscopic examination revealed that the tooth also had a fracture and could not be saved.

While the practice of piercing tongues can be traced back to early Egyptian times, its modern use has become prevalent only in recent years. We urge our patients to carefully consider the possible consequences of piercings and tatoos inside the mouth. Unfortunately for this patient, she will now be faced with considering the possible options for tooth replacement.

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posted by MoreSmiles at 5:21 PM


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