A tongue piercing create a wound in one of the many bacteria-filled components of the body: the mouth. It is challenging to keep a tongue piercing clean, which more increases the risk of infection, especially throughout the heal process.

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There have been couple of studies right into how common tongue piercing epidemic are, however the warm, moist site of the piercing renders it a prime spot because that bacteria to grow. Call with food may additional increase this risk.

One tiny survey revealed the 3 in 51 people with tongue piercings developed infections. Ideal care can assist the wound heal, to reduce the threat of infection and also helping save the piercing in place.

Read on to learn more about the stage-by-stage healing procedure of a tongue piercing, and also some associated risks and also treatment options.


Stages the the heal process

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Share on PinterestA tongue piercing typically finishes healing in ~ 4–6 weeks.
When a tongue piercing heals correctly, the human body treats the wound favor a scar.

People’s bodies space all different, so the healing procedure varies from human being to person. People with weak immune systems due to diabetes, cancer, HIV, and also some medications might need longer to heal and also can likewise be much more vulnerable come infection.

In general, a person deserve to expect to endure the complying with stages together their tongue piercing heals:

After the piercing: days 1–3

Immediately after ~ the piercing, the wound may feel very sore and irritated. A person could have trouble talking and adapting come the new sensation in the mouth. However, they have to avoid emotional the piercing or knocking the piercing v the teeth, as this can increase irritation.

At first, it might be crucial to placed food directly on the this in order to chew. Some people likewise choose to consume smoothies or other liquid foods items for the first few days, till they change to eating through the jewel in place.

In these at an early stage days, the is an essential to rinse the mouth v a saline solution numerous times each day. Many piercers recommend utilizing a 4 minutes 1 teaspoon of iodine-free salt mixed in 8 ounces of warm water. Execute not use stronger options or antibiotic creams uneven a doctor recommends it. Follow all instructions the piercer gives.

Also, use a brand-new toothbrush after getting a brand-new tongue piercing. This reduce the threat of coincidentally introducing added bacteria to the site.

Swelling and also inflammation: job 4–10

The swelling has tendency to increase for numerous days after the piercing, and it might last for a main or slightly longer. The wound may additionally bleed or ooze. A little amount of bleeding is normal, but consistent bleeding may signal a problem. After a few days, the wound may also ooze a whitish or clear fluid.

When the ede decreases, replace the jewelry with a shorter piece of jewelry. Leaving much longer jewelry in place increases irritation and also may damages the teeth. It is safest to have actually a piercer perform this.

Before touching the piercing, constantly wash the hand thoroughly and also only use sterile, new jewelry intended for the tongue.

The threat of epidemic is very high during this stage. Some symptoms of infection include:

intense swellingworsening pain

Early healing: job 10­­–30

Piercings heal from the external in, which means that the outermost tissue of the tongue heals first. This means that while the piercing might look much less irritated, it is actually still healing because that a month or longer.

By this phase in the healing process, it have to have become less painful and also will start to feel reasonably normal. However, a person may still need time to it is adapted to the piercing.

Tongues heal quickly, which way that the piercing might close if a person removes the jewelry, also for a short duration of time.

Scarring and complete healing: main 4–6

A piercing is basically a scar, and it bring away time for this scar come form.

If there room no complications, finish healing commonly takes around 4–6 weeks. If there is still ede after a month, or if the piercing i do not care painful or swollen after ~ a period of seeming fine, this might signal an epidemic or other problem.


After a few months, the body treats the piercing together a scar, and also the piercing is less likely come close there is no jewelry in it. The threat of infection likewise greatly decreases. However, people with negative oral hygiene, weak immune systems, and mouth injuries may still be fragile to infection.

Tongue piercings can likewise increase the risk of oral health and wellness problems, consisting of infected gums and also teeth. A tongue bar, particularly a large or heavy one, might knock into the teeth. This might lead to broken teeth, epidemic in the gums or teeth, and comparable oral health problems.


Tongue piercings are reasonably safe.

The most far-reaching risk linked with a tongue piercing is that the wound will end up being infected soon after the piercing. Many infections space mild, however, and also a physician can quickly treat castle with dental antibiotics.

In rarely cases, a human being might develop a an ext serious infection, such together an abscess. This would require them to stay in the hospital or obtain intravenous antibiotics.

Some other risks of a tongue piercing include:

receding gums on the within of the mouthLudwig’s angina, i m sorry is a rare form of skin infection that occurs under the tongueaccidentally swallowing the jewelry, i m sorry may reason choking or injury to the throatan infection that diffusion to the blood or other organs, though this is very rare

In part cases, the human body can reject a piercing, which deserve to lead to additional complications. Learn more about piercing refuse here.


Most tongue piercings perform not call for special therapies or medications. Rinsing with a saline solution a couple of times every day is usually enough to keep the piercing clean. Some various other strategies that deserve to speed healing include:

brushing the teeth frequently to save the mouth cleanrinsing the piercing after every mealnot smokingminimizing talking throughout the first couple of daysnot playing through or touching the piercingavoiding contact with various other people’s bodily fluids — consisting of via kissing and also oral sex — throughout early healingnot share plates, straws, toothbrushes, or noþeles else that comes into contact with another person’s mouth

Do not shot to law an infected piercing at home. An infection is possibly serious. It can reason severe scarring and also may even spread come other areas of the body. If a person suspects one infection, it is best to make an appointment v a doctor.


See a physician if:

there are signs of infection, such together a fever, intense pain, brand-new swelling, or swollen glands in the neckan infected piercing go not boost within a couple of days the treatmentthe piercing starts consistently bleedingthere is green or yellow pus or a poor smell coming from the piercingthe gums puffy or the this hurtthere is ede or inexplicable tissue growth in other places in the mouthIn enhancement to see a doctor, a human may wish to follow up with the piercer because that painful or unusual symptoms.

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Many piercers can aid with residence remedies that ease discomfort and speed healing. However, the advice that a piercer is no a substitute because that a consultation with a doctor.