If biting your tongue makes you squeamish, this might not be the article for you, because today we’re talking about tongue piercings! Throughout history, humans have pierced their tongues for diverse reasons. However, it wasn't until the 1980s, with the advent of stainless steel body jewelry, that tongue piercing gained modern popularity.
The Classic Midline Tongue Piercing
The most popular placement for a tongue piercing is along the midline. This involves using a straight barbell, pierced vertically through the center, right between the two muscles that make up the tongue.
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The Unique Double Piercing ("Venom")
A double piercing, often referred to as a “Venom” piercing, utilizes two straight barbells placed next to each other and pierced vertically through the tongue.
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The Subtle Frenulum Piercing
The frenulum piercing passes through the small web of skin under your tongue. While not easily visible, this piercing can be done if you lift up your tongue. Some piercers avoid this due to the skin's unsuitability for supporting a piercing.
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The Cautionary Tale of the Horizontal ("Snake Eyes") Piercing
We must discuss the horizontal - or ‘Snake Eyes’ - piercing, and why it’s not recommended. This piercing uses a straight barbell to pierce horizontally through the tongue, often towards the tip, with the balls resting on either side of the tongue. There are significant issues with this type of piercing:
- The balls rest against your teeth, risking frequent impact and dental damage.
- This piercing goes through both muscles of the tongue, restricting its movement and leading to potential muscle tearing, migration, and rejection.
The Right Jewelry for Tongue Piercings
Tongue piercings typically use a straight barbell. It's crucial that these barbells are threaded to minimize the risk of them being accidentally pulled out and swallowed when worn in your mouth.
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What To Expect When Getting Your Tongue Pierced
When you get pierced, your piercer will use a barbell longer than what you will need once healed, to accommodate swelling, as our tongues like to swell up even more than other parts of our body when injured. Sorry, you will sound a little funny for a while, until that swelling goes down.
Tongue Healing Time
Fortunately, our mouths like to heal quickly, meaning the healing time will be mercifully short compared to some other piercings, usually needing just a month or two.
Caring for Your Tongue Piercing
While you’re healing, it’s important to avoid irritating foods and beverages. That includes anything overly acidic, citrussy, or spicy. Similarly, it’s also important to avoid mouthwash with alcohol in it. Not only can alcohol-based mouthwash cause further irritation to your fresh piercing, but it’s not good for your jewelry either. Be cautious of potential tooth damage. While a properly placed barbell should keep the balls away from your teeth, using low profile ends or acrylic balls can minimize damage if accidental biting occurs.
Are you considering a tongue piercing or already have one? Let us know!
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