In a previous article, we discussed the problems related to lips and tongue piercing. But these are not the only form of oral decoration; there’s also tooth jewelry. 

What do we mean by tooth jewelry? Generally, there are two main types: the rhinestone, which takes the form of a crystal or a small object that is placed directly on the tooth (the shape and composition varies and is generally small and very thin); and a grill, popularized by athletes and singers, which is a metal cover that sits over the teeth (the lower set, the top set, or just a few teeth). 

Wearing and installing of rhinestones may include some risk: 

  • The rhinestone can cause irritation and even bleeding of some soft tissue around or in contact with the jewelry; 
  • The wearer can develop an allergic reaction to the metal used in the jewelry. 

Grills are riskier for the health of your mouth since they cover a larger area of your teeth, are bigger and require a perfect fit. Generally, grills are made of metal (gold, silver or metal adorned with jewelry). Here are some of the dangers associated with this kind of jewelry: 

  • Food and plaque like grills and can easily get stuck between them and the teeth they cover causing gingival irritation, gingivitis and cavities; 
  • Grills can cause abrasions or cracks on adjacent teeth, causing a gum receding or tooth discoloration; 
  • As with rhinestones, the wearer may develop an allergic reaction to the metal; 
  • Caring for teeth becomes even more important and removing your grill when consuming food is highly recommended; 
  • As the grills are designed to go over the teeth, precise molding and fitting are required to avoid the problems associated with friction between the grills and teeth. 

Although some dentistry professionals offer to install these kinds of jewelry, it is important to note that the “Ordre des dentists du Québec” does not recommend installing them. However, if you want to go ahead, it is important to consult with your dentist to get good advice, know the risks, and get a good dental cleaning to ensure that the jewelry will not be installed on a surface containing bacteria. Also, it is important to have the installation of these adornments checked to avoid problems associated with poor adjustment. So, if you or your children want tooth jewelry –  be sure to consult with your dentist before taking the plunge.