Tobacco use and tongue piercings are two factors that can significantly impact your child’s oral health. Understanding the risks associated with these behaviors can help you guide your child towards healthier choices.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use can lead to a wide range of problems, many of which are life-threatening and have a significant impact on your child’s overall quality of life. Some of the problems caused by tobacco usage include:

  • Oral cancer
  • Increased risk of gum disease
  • Diminished ability to smell and taste
  • Compromised ability to heal following oral surgery
  • Stained and discolored teeth

Fortunately, while smoking and chewing tobacco are leading causes of death, they are also among the most preventable problems that you can encounter. Our dentist and team recommend that you encourage children and teenagers to avoid using any kind of tobacco products, including “smokeless” tobacco and vaping. While many people consider smokeless tobacco products to be safer, they are in fact more addictive and dangerous than regular tobacco products and deliver a greater concentration of harmful agents into the body.

There are a few different ways in which you can help your child or teen avoid using tobacco products. These include:

  • Speaking with them about the dangers of tobacco use
  • Monitoring your child closely
  • Asking our dentist to speak with your child about tobacco and their oral health
  • Leading by example and avoiding tobacco products yourself

Tongue Piercing

While tongue piercings may be seen by many as just a harmless accessory, the truth is that tongue piercings can have a very serious effect on your child’s health. They can be incredibly dangerous and, in some cases, even life-threatening. Our dentist, as well as the American Dental Association® (ADA), strongly advise against any type of oral piercing.

One of the first dangers associated with piercings is the many unlicensed piercing parlors. Visiting an unlicensed piercing parlor increases the risk of tetanus, tuberculosis and hepatitis. Other complications that may occur as a result of getting an oral piercing include:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Blood clots
  • Blood poisoning
  • Brain abscesses
  • Chronic pain
  • Damaged nerves
  • Fractures or cracked teeth
  • Heart infections
  • Hypersensitivity (due to the metal bar)
  • Gum disease
  • Gum recession
  • Scarring
  • Difficulty in speaking normally and enunciating
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • The possibility of the piercing tangling around the tongue or teeth and ripping out of the tongue

If you have questions or concerns about tongue piercing, or if you or your child are considering getting one, we strongly encourage you to contact our office and schedule an appointment with our dentist. We are committed to your oral and overall health as well as your smile.

To learn more about tobacco usage, tongue piercings and their impact on oral health, please call State Street Dental at 208-939-1700 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Davis, our experienced dentist in Boise, Idaho. We are here to support your family’s journey to better oral health.