Tongue Piercing

  1. I have been wanting to get my tongue pierced for years now, but I have lacked the courage to do so. Well, my birthday is coming up in December and I'm going to be 30. I decided now is the time to act. I am seeking input from anyone that has ever had their tongue pierced. Here are my questions...and feel free to add any additional comments you have.

    1. How bad can I expect the swelling to be?
    2. How long will the swelling last?
    3. How long does the tongue typically take to heal?
    4. Does a tongue piercing get infected a lot?
    5. What did you do to help the healing process?
    6. Is there any real risk of nerve damage? (I hear lots of rumors on this topic.)

    Those are all the questions I have for the moment, but I am sure I will come up with more at a later time. Any input or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    All I can say is Groth! (That is gross in tongue-piercing speak)

    One warning, if you ever need surgery, and need general anesthesia, the anesthesiologist will probably make you remove it, and not sure if they "close up" easier. Also heard of lots of chipped teeth with these. Check on the RN Magazine web site, not sure what the addy is, there was an article about body piercings, risks, etc...

    Whatever floats your boat.
  4. by   Rileycat
    LOL! You crack me up, hoolahan! I take it that you are not into tongue piercings. I will try to find that article you suggested. I want to find out what I'm in for before I go ahead and do it. Thanks for your input.
  5. by   CATHYW
    Way uncool, I think. We used to see infected tongue piercings fairly often in the ER. Not sure of the etiology, because I don't know how you are supposed to keep them clean.
    Was sitting in Wendy's last weekend, saw a guy in his car straining to see something in his rear-view mirror. Looked closer, he had a pair of pliers, and was adjusting the object his tongue was pierced with. When he and his companion came into the restaurant, saw that he had multiple piercings of his ears, eyebrows, nares, lips-God only knows what else! Yuck!

    P. eth. Hoolihan-you sthpeak pierthing pretty well!
  6. by   nilepoc
    1. How bad can I expect the swelling to be?
    2. How long will the swelling last?
    3. How long does the tongue typically take to heal?
    4. Does a tongue piercing get infected a lot?
    5. What did you do to help the healing process?
    6. Is there any real risk of nerve damage? (I hear lots of rumors on this topic.)
    The swelling lasts two to three days, and is uncomfortable but no debilitating for about a week. I had to eat soups and soft foods for about a day and a half.

    About two weeks, and that fresh hole in your head is patent. After several months, you can take the bar out for a day. I have had mine since 1995 and recently took out the jewelry for four onths and put t back without a hitch.

    Mine has never been infected, I am very fastidious about oral care, I gargled with listerine a great deal in the begining, and now run the barbell through a sanitization process every week or two. I highly recommend stretching up from the 14G starter barbell, it will assist in chipped tooth prevention, also shorten the length of the barbell once the swelling is down.

    On a side note, I have personally taken care of one person who probably had endocarditits from a badly done tongue peircing. He did it himself. this patient died. So go to a reputable establishment.

    To help the healing, eat soft foods and use that listerine.

    I have never heard any legitamate concerns regarding nerve damage, and the lisp that hoolahan speas of has never effected myself.

    Go for it, just be wise about it.

    BTW I remove mine every time I eat, I did chip a tooth once.

  7. by   debbyed
    You got way more "Kupitz" than I do. Just could never hold my tongue still for than long. Kinda like way back in Biology, never could hold my finger still long enough to poke it.

    Had my Son live with a bottle of listerine when he had his done and he had no problems.
  8. by   kids
    I've had mine since before it was 'trendy' (1990) and 2 of my 3 kids have theirs done- the odd child has his eyebrow done.

    My response to your questions(sorry its long but if you look at the who's pierced and where thread here in off topic you will find we have a lot of expierence at our house ):

    1) Your tongue feels pretty good the first day, when you wake up the morning of day 2 it is kind of sore and puffy, you will be more inclined to bite it. Soft foods are good as are cool drinks, a little bit of ice is ok but don't over do it, the cold transmits through the barbell.

    2)If you are kind to it the swelling will be gone by about day 4, but your tongue will continue to feel funny (hey, there is a hunk of metal in it)

    3) I downsized to a shorter barbell at 2 weeks, it was tender but went in easily. I was able to leave it out all day after about 6 months. My daughter had hers done in '99 and just recently went 4 months with hers out with no problem putting it back in.

    4) I have never seen one infected, I suspect really bad oral hygiene is the cause. Rinse with 1/2 strength listerine 4-6 times a day for the first week then you can cut down to after meals (my dentist says to never use full strength listerine more than QOday-for any reason, causes cellular changes). Once it has healed enough to not be tender slide it up and down and brush it top and bottom a day when you brush your teeth-it can build tartar just like your teeth.

    5) BE KIND TO IT

    6) I have never know of anybody having nerve damage tho I believe it is possible. No dental damage at our house so far. Our dentist told us the majority of the damage she's seen was caused by biting down on it-which I am most inclined to do if I am chasing food between my cheek and gums.

    I would also suggest getting a barbell that is internally threaded ASAP, it has a threaded post on the ball and threads into the bar(rather than the type with the threads on the end of the bar and goes into the ball), they dont strip out or cross thread as easily.

    Good luck, I love mine. I plan to do my belly button when I hit 135 # (20 down, 20 to go and no, the piercing has nothing to do with the weight loss).

  9. by   thisnurse
  10. by   kids
    Originally posted by thisnurse
    why? the belly button or why? the tongue?
  11. by   delirium
    Finally something I know about !
    I've had my tongue pierced for a *long* time. First, its important that you not do this with an at home do it yourself kit... go to a reputable tattoo/piercing shop, ask questions if you need to, make sure their equipment is sterile.
    Everyone's experience is different, but I had no tongue swelling at all. My tongue was sore for about 2 days and I ate soft food. I had kind of a lisp for those first couple of days, also. I never had any problem with infection. The piercer told me to swish with half strength listerine every time I ate or drank anything, and I carried my little bottle around with me for the first 2 weeks, and after that I just carry on oral hygiene as normal.
    I have a 16 gauge barbell in my tongue now, its acrylic. I leave mine in all the time, even when I eat. I have had no chipped teeth, although my dentist wishes otherwise.
    One thing did happen, though. While vacationing in Rehoboth Beach, I swallowed one of the balls. I was eating breakfast and I guess it had come loose (which happens if you're one of those people who plays with your piercing) and I swallowed the ball with my french toast. I knew immediately because, of course, the bottom half of the piercing and the bar part of it fell out. So I had to buy another one on the boardwalk and pop it in. Other than that, no biggie. I highly recommend the piercing experience.
    Take care!
  12. by   thisnurse
    why tongue?
    im not being judgemental, i just dont understand why because your tongue is inside your body and although it is seen its not as visible as the ears, or nose for that matter.
  13. by   kids
    Originally posted by thisnurse
    why tongue?
    I pierced my tongue long before it was cool. I guess for me it was more of a private adornment than a public one.
    No judgementalism (is that a word?) perceived