By Dr. Iman Sadri
September 13, 2018
Tongue rings were a fad in the 1990s and for some reason have still remained popular to this day. It is a larger trend among teenage girls, compared to any other demographic. Men wear them too as do adult women, however, the median age of people a wearing tongue ring is 16 – according to Zumiez.
Despite the allure of the jewelry appeal that tongue rings present, they pose many more problems than benefits. Here are five reasons NOT to wear a tongue ring :
1) Dry Mouth : Tongue rings placed squarely in the middle of the tongue lead to a decrease in saliva. Despite the tongue not containing any salivary glands, a metal rod placed squarely in the middle of it, limits the ability of the tongue to move saliva around the mouth. Thus leading to dry mouth.
2) Bad Breath : Decreased salivary movement in the mouth leads to dry mouth. Saliva contains enzymes which help break down bad plaque and calculus that leads to gingivitis and periodontitis, which in turn leads to bad breath. Sulfur compounds arise from the decrease in salivary flow which in turn leads to bad breath and halitosis.
3) Chipped Teeth : Tongue rings can lead to chipped teeth. The trauma from an accidental force from the ball of the ring can chip the incisal edge of the front dentition or even the molars.
4) Metal Allergy : Metal tongue rings can lead to metallic allergies. Metal allergies can lead to hospitalization and even death, if severe enough.
5) Cavities : Yes, cavities can form from wearing tongue rings for too prolonged of a period. Dry mouth could lead to a decrease in saliva which have enzymes that help fight cavities.
As much as it may be a fad to wear tongue rings, a healthy mouth is always in style.
Dr Iman Sadri is the founder of @LASmileMag and @ThePersianObserver