Many believe that tongue piercing is a rather new fad; however the practice of adoring ones’ tongue with jewelry actually goes back centuries. Ancient Mayans pierced their tongues to please the Gods. In modern times, this is steadily becoming a popular type of piercing. At first shocking, this is now being more readily accepted. Due to the sensitive location of the piercing it is important to have this done properly and to take the proper steps of care after the procedure. Let’s take a look at what is involved with the actual piercing itself and the aftercare techniques to make sure that all heals correctly.
Many wonder if the piercing is painful and the answer is yes and no. At the very moment the tongue is pierced, many state that it did not cause discomfort; it is the swelling afterwards that concerns most. Swelling usually comes on quickly and can moderate to severe. For this reason, the first type of jewelry inserted will be a large barbell to allow room for the inflammation. Once the inflammation goes down, this can be replaced with the jewelry of choice. In most cases this will take eight to ten days.
If you are thinking of having this done, it is best to prepare ahead of time. Swelling will not allow for solids foods to be eaten and talking may prove difficult. One should stock up on at least one week of soft foods such as soups and soft pastas. In addition, if working, you may want to let your superiors know that your vocal abilities will be very limited for that first week or so. Without understanding that these temporary limitations will happen, one can be quite shocked and have a difficult time dealing with the healing process. If planned, you will know what to expect and this should make that first week much easier.
Swelling will begin on the first day and progress during the following days, with day five usually being the most severe. After that point, it should slowly decrease. Paying careful attention to the piercing and allowing for proper healing will be vital. Unlike other external piercing, infection is very rare because the human mouth has certain enzymes which kill bacteria. One should keep in mind that using too much mouthwash can destroy these naturally occurring enzymes; therefore use should be limited until your piercing has healed.
There are some other elements to be aware of so that you will know what to expect. It will be normal for your body to overproduce saliva and this may cause you to need to swallow quite often. Your taste buds may become temporarily affects, causing a mild tingling feeling. Lastly, you may notice a white colored fluid around the piercing; there is no need to worry as this is the boy’s way of reacting to what it perceives as an injury.
Some things that you can do to feel better during the healing process is to use throat lozenges, rinse your mouth with disinfectant mouthwash, but do not overdo it and be sure to brush the barbell very gently when brushing your teeth. After at least ten days have passed, you should be able to switch over to a smaller piece of jewelry, moss of the inflammation will be gone and you can begin showing off your new piercing.