Things Ugly for Teeth

There are some activities and habits that aren’t just bad for your teeth they’re downright ugly.

There are some activities and habits that aren’t just bad for your teeth they’re downright ugly. Not only do they risk causing damage or disease, they can result in ugly, broken and even missing teeth.

Mouth Piercings

Fashionable and hip, tongue piercings involve inserting metal bar through the tongue, sealed with studs at either end. However, the metal stud can cause damage inside the mouth as the tongue moves about, and can even crack a tooth. It is tempting to play with your piercing by rolling it around and biting it, but this can also lead to soft-tissue irritation or cracked, scratched teeth. Tongue studs have been shown to cause receding gums in almost 100% of cases as the stud is rolled around the tooth or teeth and onto the gum

Lip and cheek piercings similarly cause damage to the teeth behind, by constantly scraping or knocking against the enamel. With all mouth piercings, the metal can also rub against the gums, causing irritation, which can lead to infection and eventually tooth loss.

Mouth or oral piercings also increase the risk of infection from bacteria, particularly before the surrounding tissue has healed the wound. An infected tongue piercing could cause swelling, which will lead to restricted breathing or even blocked airways, so great care must be taken.

Even after the piercing has healed, the metal studs and rings provide extra crevices for food particles to become trapped and harbour harmful bacteria.

Unfortunately, mouth piercings can also prevent the dentist from taking necessary dental X-rays. If you are unable to take the piercing out (for example, when it is still new and healing) this may get in the way of other necessary dental treatments.

If you do wish to have a tongue or lip piercing, consult your dentist about how to reduce the risks and care for your oral health.

Opening Packages with Your Teeth

It might be a party trick to open a bottle or rip open a packet with your teeth, but each time you do, you are damaging your teeth. Using your teeth for anything other than eating or smiling is likely to chip or crack the enamel, or scratch and damage the gums. Once opened, your beer won’t taste so good with blood in your mouth.


There are already plenty of reasons why smoking tobacco is bad for your health, but gum disease is definitely one of them. There is also the increased risk of cancer of the mouth, lips and tongue. Plus, it might seem minor in comparison, but smoking will also stain teeth, for a particularly unattractive appearance.

Chewing on Pencils

Chewing on anything that isn’t food is not a good idea, and a pencil is no different. Many people may idly chew on pens and pencils while thinking out of habit, but your teeth were not designed to chew on such hard objects and can crack or chip. Instead, chew on sugarless gum. Instead of damaging your teeth and making your smile ugly, chewing gum will actually make your teeth stronger while protecting your teeth from enamel-eating acids by stimulating the flow of saliva.


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