In a case study at the University of Buffalo school of Dental Medicine involving a 26 year old with tongue piercing with the barbell shaped device in her mouth it was discovered that the reason she had spaces between her teeth was a result of this device. Dentists have always known that having these ornaments in the mouth and constantly playing with them can cause numerous problems. One of them is spacing of the teeth. Also, chipping of the teeth and gum recessions are quite common as well.
In another study that was done in 2002 and published in March of 2002 in Journal of Periodontology they reported on 52 young adults that had their tongues pierced and had this barbell shaped devices in them. It was shown that 35% had gum recessions.
When teeth are exposed to constant forces that are not functional, eventually these forces will move the teeth. Among these damaging forces are pencil chewing, nail biting and ice chewing. It may be cool to have one but it is at a price. Tongue piercing was a ritual tradition of Mayan and Aztec peoples and now it is also a tradition among people who like to have gaps and chipping of their teeth that will cost thousands of dollars to correct.