Tongue Piercings: the Healing Process and Pictures
Tongue piercings are probably one of the more popular piercings — they're easy to heal and simple to conceal.
In general, getting the piercing is relatively pain-free, but depending on your tolerance, the actual pain will vary per person.
- Swelling. You tongue will swell for about 8 to 10 days after the initial piercing; the amount of swelling will actually depend on how far back the piercing is placed (the further back the piercing, the more swelling).
- Eating and speaking. For the first few days after the initial piercing, you won't be able to eat solid foods or talk properly.
- Jewelry. The initial jewelry used will be longer to accommodate the swelling. However once the swelling goes down, a smaller barbell will be switched out. You can tongue barbells in surgical steel, gold plated steel, and acrylic. After the piercing has healed, you can consider using a labret stud or a tongue retainer when you need to hide your piercing.
Standard Tongue RingClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Healing Process
After you get your tongue pierced, it generally takes about 10 to 14 days to fully heal. These are one of the fastest healing piercings, as the enzymes in your saliva help fight infection and kill bacteria.
You'll need to use a good mouthwash to help clean your mouth, but you can easily over clean your mouth with the mouthwash, which can cause your tongue to turn green or brown. If this happens, just reduce the amount of mouthwash you use and how often you use it.
- Day 1. After the first day, you'll experience swelling; the worst of it will be during the first 5 days. During this time, your speech will be hindered and you'll have to alter your diet to mashed potatoes, noodles, and very soft foods.
- Day 3-5. The swelling will start to reduce starting three to five days later. .
- Day 7-10. A week or so (around ten days) later, you'll need to have the barbell replaced with a shorter one. The actual time frame for when you can replace the long barbell for a shorter one will depend on the amount of swelling that you experience.
Normal Side Effects
While you're healing your tongue ring, you may experience the following problems, but don't worry as they will stop once the piercing is fully healed.
- You'll have an excess amount of saliva, which will cause you to swallow more.
- The taste buds on the end of your tongue may be tender, and you may experience tingling or burning.
- You may experience tenderness on the top of your tongue where the ball makes makes a depression, and on the lower inside gum area.
- You may notice white fluids excreted by the wound, where the piercing is healing, as the dead white blood cells are just leaving your body. Normally the dead blood cells would form a scab, but the saliva in your mouth won't allow a scab to form.