Tongue Piercing - Healing Facts

 Tongue piercing is one of the most popular piercing in the past few years. Weird or not people choose tongue piercing as a fashion detail and self-expression. Aftercare is a simple procedure in the care of any body piercing from simple ear piercings to the extreme piercings, but you have to remember some common points with all aftercare instructions.

Many people out there, usually forgets half of what they are told in the studio after getting a piercing, partly due to the excitement of the piercing and partly from the rush of having just got what they wanted for a while. Regardless of the piercing you have received, using aftercare products wisely is the best route. Over using soaps, lotions and/or cleaners does nothing to aid the piercing to heal, in fact it just irritates the tissue and prolongs the healing process. This is not cool! Generally cleaning a new piercing once or twice a day is plenty, cleaning a piercing any more than this will lead to the tissue becoming irritated and causing secondary reactions to the cleaning products.

After getting your tongue pierced, hopefully by a professional, you need to exercise some precautionary steps for tongue piercing aftercare in order to aid the process of healing, reduce the discomfort and avoid infection.

Aftercare for tongue piercing is important because the tongue is likely to become swollen and tender a few hours after being pierced. The pain is generally more in the morning. The best course of action in this regard is to place crushed ice on the tongue and let it melt. Ice helps to reduce the swelling and pain.

Because of tongue’s exceptional healing ability, tongue piercing healing time is usually 4 to 6 weeks but it may vary from one individual to another, depending on a number of factors like the type of jewelry used, aftercare and health in general.

Tongue piercing aftercare guidelines recommend not to smoke for at least one week after the piercing to avoid further troubles. In addition, do not drink alcoholic beverages until the swelling goes away. Avoid kissing and do not indulge in oral sex during the healing period.

Plus, you will have to subsist on soft foods and liquid diet (like mashed potatoes, soups, broths etc) for about a week. Stay away from spicy and crunchy foods. Tongue piercing is also likely to affect your speech, especially during the first 2-3 days.

As for doubts regarding yellow tongue after piercing, it is normal to have a yellow film on the surface of the tongue 2-3 days after piercing. Some believe this happens because of overuse of mouthwash. The problem mostly resolves within a few days.

Though, yellow discharge from tongue accompanied by severe swelling is more often than not, a sign of infection due to negligence towards tongue piercing aftercare.

You will have to take antibiotics advised by a doctor to get rid of tongue piercing infection. A small amount of whitish discharge, however, is not a big issue as it is just a collection of dead blood cells that are unable to form scab on the wound because of saliva.

Hydrogen peroxide is often considered bad for tongue piercings because it tends to disrupt the natural process of healing. Under normal circumstances, it is better to rely on the “good bacteria” naturally present in the saliva to avoid infections.

As for the toothpaste, it is better to use a gentle toothpaste that does not burn after tongue piercing. In case you burn your tongue severely after piercing, you should consult the piercer as soon as possible.
To avoid burning sensation, avoid having extremely hot foods and beverages. The use of mouthwash containing alcohol may also cause some stinging or burning sensation.

Practice good oral hygiene, switch to a new toothbrush with soft bristles and rinse the mouth with a non alcohol antiseptic mouthwash (preferably, dilute it with water) several times in a day, especially after eating.
You can gradually reduce the frequency of mouthwash rinses after two weeks. Needless to add, monitor your piercing (but do not play with it!) to help detect complications as soon as possible. Follow the instructions of the piercer and adopt proper tongue piercing aftercare measures until the wound heals completely.

Clean your tongue piercing after everything other than water for the next 7 days, once in the morning and again at night check to ensure the balls are tight on the barbell. Be sure to wash your hands before touching your new piercing!

2) Swelling will be at it’s peak first thing the morning after the piercing was done. Before bed tonight, in the fridge be sure you have a pitcher of cold water, a tray of ice cubes, you will want these items in the morning. When you get up crush some ice in a plastic bag, then take some of the ice slivers and put them in your mouth and allow them to melt. Try not to suck on them, allowing them to melt is the best. After about five to ten minute you should notice the swelling subsiding. During the day try to have cold water with ice handy throughout the day to keep the swelling down and to aid in the healing.

3) Good oral hygiene is important to allow the tongue piercing to heal as quickly as possible. Purchase a good non-alcohol anti-bacterial mouth rinse if possible, (Oral-B), if you cant find this then Original Listerine will work fine but if you find it’s too harsh then cut it down 50% with water. You must rinse your mouth out after everything other than water for the first 7 days, this is very important! When brushing the teeth do not brush your tongue, this may irritate the piercing. The 2nd or 3rd day after the piercing has been done you may notice a yellow film on the top of your tongue, don’t worry this is the normal matter your tongue generates as it heals this will disappear in a few days. You may also see a whitish circle around the barbell under your tongue, this is the tongues version of a scab and it will also disappear in a few days.

4) Ensure your barbell balls are tightened every night before bed and after you have brushed your teeth and washed your hands. While holding the bottom ball under your tongue in your left hand grasp the top ball with your right hand and turn it clockwise to tighten it. (Right to Tighten / Left to Loosen) This must be done every day to ensure the balls do not loosen off. If you do happen to swallow a ball they will not hurt you, they will pass through your system in a day or so, contact your piercer to acquire another replacement ball.

After 2 Weeks
Re-Visit your piercer to have the barbell shortened, this is important to prevent dental damage from biting the barbell.

Things Not to Do with New Tongue Piercings

Do Not use Epsom Salts, Table Salt, Hydrogen Peroxide, Betadine, Tea Tree Oil, Polysporin, Neosporin, Bacitracin, Bactroban, Bactine or any other topical solution or ointment on your piercing what so ever. These products are not for use on Puncture Wounds! If it’s not listed on the above aftercare guide don’t use it on the piercing!

If you think you have trouble with your piercing contact your piercer and NEVER remove the jewellery from a suspected infected piercing.