Aug. 4, 2010 at 12:43 PM ETLinda Carroll writes: Your teen has been begging for months to get a tongue piercing. All her friends have them and she can’t understand why you are such an old fuddy duddy, steadfastly refusing to let someone stick a stud through her tongue. OK, it’s icky, but you’re starting to lose ground with that argument. Researchers to the rescue. A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, shows that tongue studs cause a gap-toothed grins. Apparently, kids like to play with their tongue studs, often pushing the barbell shaped ornaments back and forth against their front teeth. In the case described in the new study, a young woman managed to create a significant space between her upper teeth -- called a diastema -- by periodically wedging the thin part of the barbell between them and wiggling it around over the course of seven years. “It is a basic tenet of orthodontia that force, over time, moves teeth," explains the study’s lead author, Dr. Sawsan Tabbaa, an assistant professor of orthodontics at the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. The new report comes as no surprise to Dr. Brian Martin, a chief of the division of pediatric dentistry at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Over the years, Martin has seen plenty of similar piercing related spaces develop in his hip young patients. But that’s not the worst scenario, he says. “I’ve seen patients fracture their teeth by repeatedly clacking the piercing against them,” says Martin, “Or sometimes a kid will break a tooth when she inadvertently gets the piercing between her teeth as she bites down on some food.” Ultimately, the 26-year-old woman in the study got her teeth fixed with braces. And there’s the rub -- and your new best argument. Is it worth being like all the other kids if you’re going to wind up with braces or a broken tooth? Ever been injured by your tongue piercing? Other hazards of being hip? Share in the comments. To read more Body Odd posts, click here. You can also find us on Twitter and on Facebook.