Tongue web piercings are a great alternative to traditional tongue piercings, or a nice addition to your existing piercing. They pass through the tongue frenulum: the tissue that connects the underside of your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. The tongue web is a thin, stretchy piece of skin that varies in shape and size from person to person. If your tongue web is very small, you may not be able to get this piercing, but most people can. For the majority of people, this is a quick and relatively painless piercing. However while the tongue web is easy to pierce, care should be taken not to injure the saliva glands, which sit on either side of the web. For this reason, tongue web piercings should not be attempted at home and you should always go to an experienced professional piercer.
Tongue web piercings require the same care as traditional tongue piercings but heal faster – usually 4 to 6 weeks. Maintain good oral hygiene and rinse twice daily with mouthwash specifically designed for oral piercings. After meals you should rinse with mouthwash and check that no food is caught in the piercing. Avoid swimming, alcohol, smoking and sexual contact until your tongue web piercing has healed completely. This piercing should heal fairly easily, but consult your piercer immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms.
Will My Tongue Web Piercing Reject?
Tongue web piercings do have a tendency to reject, but the timeframe can vary greatly. How long your tongue piercing lasts depends not only on your personal anatomy but also on the placement of the piercing. The further forward your tongue web piercing, the sooner it will reject. This is not usually a permanent piercing, but some people do keep this piercing for a few years. The process is usually painless and has little lasting effect on your tongue web. You can slow down the rejection process by keeping your tongue web jewellery clean and choosing jewellery that does not catch on your teeth.
Popular but still shocking, tongue piercings are surprisingly easy to heal and take care of. Tongue piercings do carry an increased risk of infection due the high levels of bacteria in the mouth, but with proper care they are a relatively safe body piercing to get. It is also important for the piercing to be placed correctly: there are a number of larger veins on the underside of the tongue and the piercing must not hit any of these veins – for obvious reasons! A good piercer will check the underside of your tongue and ensure that the piercing is correctly placed.
How To Care For New Tongue Piercings
Tongue piercings are usually performed with an extra long barbell to allow for swelling. Your tongue will return to normal size over the next couple of days. Usually you can return to your piercer one week after being pierced and have the long barbell replaced with a shorter one. You should not try to change the jewellery yourself until the piercing has healed completely, which usually takes at least one month.
While your tongue piercing is healing, you should rinse your mouth with a mouthwash specifically designed for oral piercings. I do not recommend using normal mouthwash, as it may be too harsh and impede healing. Your piercer will be able to recommend a suitable mouthwash. Rinse after brushing your teeth, eating and drinking anything other than water. Refrain from swimming, sexual contact, smoking, alcohol and eating spicy foods until the piercing is healed. You should also maintain good oral hygiene and try not to put anything else in your mouth, as this can introduce bacterial to the wound.
Your tongue piercing should feel progressively better as time passes and it heals. If it becomes or remains painful, consult your piercer. They will be able to check the piercing and make sure that it is healing well.
How To Care For Healed Tongue Piercings
Healed tongue piercings require very little care beyond basic oral hygiene. It is common for a little plaque to form on the bottom of tongue piercing bars – you should remove this regularly.
There is always a risk of tongue jewellery leading to tooth or gum erosion. This occurs when your jewellery rubs against your teeth or gums and erodes them over time. Most damage can be prevented by wearing correctly-sized tongue jewellery. The damage is irreversible and can be serious if left unchecked. I recommend checking your teeth and gums regularly for signs of erosion. If you see any changes to your teeth and gums, consult your piercer or dentist immediately.
Taking good care of your tongue piercing will help it to heal well and keep it healthy in the future. Tongue piercings actually heal very quickly, thanks to the tongue’s high blood supply. Most tongue piercings take 4 to 6 weeks to heal completely, but the initial swelling should go down after a week. On the whole, caring for your tongue piercing is very straightforward. The most important things to remember are to keep the piercing clean with mouthwash and too avoid irritating foods. Once your tongue piercing has healed, it requires very little care. As long as you wear correctly fitting jewellery and maintain good oral health, you will most likely forget all about it – your tongue piercing will just become a part of who you are!
How To Care For New Tongue Piercing
- Rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash 4-5 times a day.
- Keep your mouth clean and brush your teeth after meals. This reduces the chance of food irritating your tongue piercing.
- Ibuprofen painkillers will reduce the swelling, as will cold drinks and ice cubes.
- Do not remove or change the jewellery until after the initial healing period. Most piercers will pierce the tongue with a long bar to allow room for swelling. Once the swelling has gone down (usually a week) they will change it for a shorter bar.
- If the bar feels too short or the balls start to sink into the surface of your tongue, consult your piercer immediately. You might need a longer bar.
- Avoid touching your tongue piercing – if you have to touch it, wash your hands before.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking, as these can slow down the healing process.
- Avoid chewing gum and foods likely to stick to your jewellery.
- Avoid acidic, spicy and salty foods – they may sting!
- Avoid oral sexual contact, swimming pools and sharing drinks. All of these will expose you to increased risk of infection.
How To Care For A Healed Tongue Piercing
- Do not leave your tongue jewellery out for extended periods. Tongue piercings can shrink in a surprisingly short time, so don’t leave your jewellery out for too long. If you want to hide your piercing at work or school, invest in a tongue piercing retainer.
- Ensure that your tongue piercing bar fits correctly. Your tongue bar should not pinch or dig into your tongue, even when you stick your tongue out. A too-short tongue bar can sink into the surface of your tongue and cause pain. If you think your bar is too short, replace it immediately.
- Check your jewellery regularly for plaque build-up. Plaque can build up on your tongue bar in the same way as your teeth. If you notice plaque any plaque, remove your jewellery and clean thoroughly.
- Maintain good oral health. A clean and healthy mouth means a clean and healthy tongue piercing.
- Keep an eye out for any changes. A healthy healed tongue piercing should not hurt, change colour or produce discharge. If you notice any worrying changes, consult a professional piercer immediately.