Recently there has been some debate regarding the potential damage a tongue piercing (specifically the barbells worn in a tongue) can do to your teeth and gums. Several studies have been conducted by various universities and published by blogs that are sponsored by dentists. According to some of these sources, it has been found that wearing long tongue barbells with large steel (or other metallic) balls can cause tooth-chipping and/or gum irritation if the wearer habitually chews or ‘clicks’ the tongue barbell inside the mouth.
It is not actually having your tongue pierced that creates this damage, but the type (or size) of the barbell you wear in your tongue that determines the chance of tooth damage occuring. Many people with tongue piercings have a habit of ‘clicking’ their barbells inside their mouth, which can directly cause irritation of the gums, and easily create chips in the enamel surface of the teeth. A common sense answer to this problem is to either shorten the length of the barbell and size of the balls (so they do not make contact with the teeth easily), or to wear body jewelry that is made of softer materials, such as plastic, or PTFE.