All You Need To Know About Tongue Piercings and Jewelry

All You Need To Know About Tongue Piercings and Jewelry

In a body art world where the rise and fall of piercing trends have proven to be the only constant, it is almost surreal to see a piercing style retain its essence, relevance, and popularity through the years. Tongue piercings are best described as timeless, as far back as a thousand years ago they were the piercing favorite of the Mayan Elites. Even today in many regions of the world including but not limited to Australia, North America, and the Middle East; tongue piercings command a significant amount of followership. These fact combined with the elegant, intriguing and mystical look all accorded by tongue piercings make them one of the most sought after facial piercing styles especially among veteran body piercing enthusiasts.

Tongue piercings or in more general terms oral piercings are piercings carried out on any part of the tongue, be it the tip, at its midpoint, its sides, underneath or even at its root. Before deciding to get one, it is important to note that due to the delicate and highly functional nature of the tongue, there are risks involved with the procedure. The good news is that these are easily avoidable, provided the piercing is undertaken by a professional well vested in the art of body piercing.

Types of Tongue Piercings

Traditional Tongue Piercing


In most instances, a traditional tongue piercing passes vertically through the center of your tongue from top to bottom. This is typically performed with a 12g needle, and depending on the structure of your tongue (position of the frenulum, the presence of out-of-place blood vessels) the piercer might slightly angle the piercing needle as it goes through your tongue. Traditional tongue piercings are ideal for individuals who desire a rad yet matured look.

Web Piercing

Web Piercing

When a piercing passes through the frenulum of the tongue, it is known as a web piercing. Since the frenulum is oriented vertically, a web piercing is by default placed horizontally

Tip Piercing

Tip Piercing

A tip piercing is essentially a traditional tongue piercing located close to the tip of the tongue (instead of being at a more central location).

Horizontal Tongue Piercing

Horizontal tongue piercings are usually located at the tip of the tongue. The piercing bore extends from one side of tip horizontally to the other side, so that when the piercing jewelry is fitted, its decorative ends sort of mimics snake eyes (of which the tongue is the imaginary snake head) earning it its more popular name snake eye piercings. Unlike traditional tongue piercings which are a bit reserved, snake eye piercings make a more daring and bold fashion statement.

Tongue Ring

Tongue Piercing Jewelry

Your choice of jewelry is dependent on a number of factors prominent amongst which are; the type of tongue piercing, your budget and the look you desire to achieve.

For web Piercings, captive bead rings, straight and circular barbells are the go-to options. Tip piercings, on the other hand, require something softer and more malleable since they are near your teeth. For this, barbells with decorative ends made out of acrylic or any other softer but durable materials are recommended.

Regular 12 – 14g straight Barbells are suitable for both traditional tongue piercings, snake eye piercings, and even venom piercings. Venom piercings are also known to go well with captive bead rings. Whichever piercing you eventually go for, ensure it is made of the durable, sterile and most importantly hypoallergenic materials. Piercings materials that meet this spec are surgical grade steel and titanium, the latter being more expensive than the former.

Tongue Piercing Pain, Healing Time, and Aftercare

In the hands of a skilled piercer, a tongue piercing should induce minimal pain, most body enthusiasts who have undergone the procedure describe it as more a sting than a stab. Bleeding might occur but should halt soon after the procedure is complete, it takes about 4 – 6 weeks for the tongue piercings to completely heal if there are no complications. Expect slight pain and swelling during this period but do your best to avoid hard, spicy and hot foods as these will irritate the piercing. Alcoholic mouthwashes like Listerine are also not recommended, so is drinking alcohol, kissing, smoking, and taking drugs like aspirin which are known blood thinners.

Tongue piercings are different from conventional piercings in that the tongue itself is a delicate organ. Do not attempt to change your tongue piercing especially during the first weeks of healing without the help of your piercer, as this can (and usually does) result in complications. Finally, as with all piercings, routine aftercare is essential, ensure you practice it diligently.

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