Wearing metal tongue studs could cause infections as well as a need for emergency dentistry, a new study has found.
According to scientists at the Innsbruck Medical University in Austria, steel piercings harbour more bacteria than plastic ones, which could cause serious illnesses.
In the study, to be published in the Journal of Adolescent Medicine, 67 of the 80 species of bacteria that caused disease were found on metal studs worn by participants.
A quarter of the subjects with piercings also had receding gum tissues behind their teeth where the stud had come into contact with them, while a number had chipped teeth.
Professor Stephen Porter, institute director at UCL Eastman Dental Institute, recently said piercings could crack off fillings and parts of the upper teeth, causing a need for emergency dentistry.
"I don't think it's the most sensible thing to do," he commented, adding that there is also a threat of blocked airways.