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Tongue Piercing:

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The tongue piercing is one of the most common, popular, and easy-to-heal. They are generally done centrally and vertically through the body of the tongue. Off-center piercings are also a valid option, as is the much rarer horizontal tongue piercing. Other rare placements include tongue orbitals and other tongue surface piercings. Related piercings include the tongue web piercing. Elayne Angel is largely responsible for the popularity of tongue piercing today; she is credited with being the first person with a tongue tip and multiple tongue piercings.

 

Initial jewellery is generally a straight barbell 14g-10g. If there is a risk of allergy to surgical steel or titanium, the piercee may be pierced with a material called bioplast or PTFE. In larger gauges, people may choose to wear hollow barbells with smartie beads to reduce the weight and stress on the surrounding tissue. People can choose to stretch to these sizes by inserting a larger gauge barbell each time the tongue has healed.

 

During the first 24 to 48 hours the tongue usually swells to almost twice its normal size. The barbell may be shortened after the swelling immediately around the piercing has gone down, usually after 2 to 4 weeks. Shortening the barbell usually corrects a speech impediment, if any. Once healed, the options for tongue jewellery are quite vast; ranging from surgical steel, titanium, acrylic and even vibrating jewellery.
Possible complications can include inflammation, infection, gum recession, chipped teeth, swallowing/aspiration and migration/rejection. Shorter posts and acrylic balls help prevent chipped teeth. Oral jewellery will collect plaque, especially the crevice between ball and bar. Daily use of anti-plaque rinse is suggested to prevent plaque build up. Oral piercings benefit from the presence of ‘friendly’ bacteria, which live in the mouth and protect it from external infection.

 

Possible complications can include inflammation, infection, gum recession, chipped teeth, swallowing/aspiration and migration/rejection. Shorter posts and acrylic balls help prevent chipped teeth. Oral jewellery will collect plaque, especially the crevice between ball and bar. Daily use of anti-plaque rinse is suggested to prevent plaque build up. Oral piercings benefit from the presence of ‘friendly’ bacteria, which live in the mouth and protect it from external infection.