Tongue piercings has become one of the most popular fashion statements particularly among the young today and body accessories like a tongue ring have become pretty common. However, before undergoing a procedure to accommodate some form of jewelry in a sensitive body organ, it is advisable that a person who wants to undergo tongue piercing should first have a clear understanding of what is involved in the procedure.
Piercing of the tongue starts with marking the spot where the jewelry will be inserted upon which a clamp will be applied. The initial jewelry, such as a tongue retainer, to be used will be usually longer than the final item to be worn. This practice is done to allow for swelling commonly experienced after the piercing. Drinking cold beverages and chewing on ice could help reduce the swelling.
Tongue piercings can close quite fast because of the taste organ.s exceptional healing ability. In a matter of hours, even completely healed piercings can close up. Nonetheless, healing of the pierced tongue varies widely in every individual. Larger-gauged piercings (more than 4 ga) in some people can still fit jewelry, like a tongue ring, after months which could extend to years in exceptional cases. Generally, it is recommended though that piercing be avoided for young people whose bodies are still developing or for those who are incapable of taking care of the pierced tongue.
The traditional piercing of the tongue is along its midline at the center of the mouth. The hole is often approximately 1.9 cm (0.75 inches) or more back from the tip of the tongue. Piercing is done at a slight slant with the top entry point a little further back than the bottom. This will allow the top of the jewelry to lean back slightly away from the teeth and toward the higher portion of the upper palate where there is more space in the roof of the mouth.
One variation of tongue piercing is done through the frenulum under the tongue. Another procedure is called tongue web piercing wherein two holes may be placed side by side on the tongue. More painful to undergo, the placement of these two holes creates a tongue piercing called viperbites. One tongue piercing placed right in front of another is called an angel bite, a term that is also used for two facial piercings.
As indicated earlier, tongue piercings heal faster (from two to four weeks) than other body piercings provided appropriate care is taken to avoid infection. Dental fracture and wear are two of the most common long-term disadvantage of having tongue jewelry such as a tongue retainer. Swelling after piercing is the most common complication and jewelry in place should not be removed until after four weeks after piercing. The tongue has to heal itself first before a tongue ring or barbell is removed. This way, infection is prevented.
Choices for Tongue Jewelry
Straight barbell-style jewelry is the popular choice for tongue piercings. The choice of jewelry size is of utmost important as the frequent movement of the tongue with an inappropriate.sized retainer or ring could be quite uncomfortable. For example, if the barbells are too thin, jewelry movements in the tongue will likely cause irritation and discomfort.
Larger jewelry is possible in tongue piercings the hole or holes made could be stretched after the initial operation. Often, the initial piercing will be for 2 mm which may be stretched a few months later to 2.4 or 3 mm. Stretching further to diameters more than 10 mm is likewise possible.
Many decorative materials of choice are available for the beads at the end of the tongue retainer or barbell. Some are made of including plastic, although over time this material may not be ideal because the conditions inside the mouth can bring about cracking and discoloration in the jewelry. Better choices would me surgical grade metals like stainless steel and platinum. Transparent beads or flat beads matching the color of the tongue are also ideal to conceal the piercings in areas where they may be deemed in appropriate such as in school or workplace.