Tongue Piercing Pain Level, Relief & How Long It Lasts


Is tongue piercing painful, does it hurt or how painful is the process? Does it hurt more than nose, lip or belly button, cartilage or ear piercings? 

These are some of the questions, everyone, considering it would like to know, especially to those who have a low tolerance for pain.

Does it hurt or how bad? 

Does it hurt to get your tongue pierced? Yes, it does. How bad then? Not much. In fact, they are the least painful compared to others i.e. “tongue piercing is considered (by most who have had it done) to be the least painful” []. It is a much less painful as opposed to tongue biting.

When compared to other piercings, it hurts much less than ear cartilage, nose, lip, genital, n1pple, navel, or even tragus.

Pain is very subjective and different people will give you a different account of how intense or little it is. Furthermore, different people have different pain tolerance level or threshold.

The process

Once you have rinsed your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash. Your tongue is clamped to hold it in position. The piercer will then use a needle to pierce through the point of your choice and inserting your jewelry. Surgical steel barbells are the most often used.

During the process, you expect some pain as the needle goes through your tongue as well as some mild bleeding. After the process is done, you will again rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce chances of getting an infection before you can begin on your aftercare routine.

Doing it for the second time will hurt more or less as much as the for the first time. The pain will depend on the type of piercing you are considering.

It is worthwhile noting the fact that there are types such as snake eyes, web, zippers, frenulum linguae, horizontal, side, midline, split, quadruple, etc. and each might have slightly different pain levels depending on a number of holes pierced and their dimensions.

For instance, tongue web piercing pain level might differ from ordinary one. It, therefore, depends on the specific type you going for.

Factors such as general mood, state of mind, piercer as well as ones tolerance level might actually determine the experience one has during the process.

Pain level or scale

To help give you an impression of how much it will hurt, it is worthwhile to know that the “pain of a tongue piercing quite low ” []. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not painful and 10 very painful, will have values ranging from 2 to 5 for about two seconds.

To some, the anticipation feeling during the process is much more than the actual pain itself while other people claim that it hurts most during the healing process is more compared to the one experienced during the actual process.

Do web piercings on tongue hurt

Frenulum linguae or tongue web piercing is one that is located on your tongue frenulum (the web-like structure that connects your under tongue to the floor of your mouth) or “is a small fold of mucous membrane extending from the floor of the mouth to the midline of the underside of the tongue” [].

It hurts minimally since the web is thin, with very few blood vessels. This also means that you expect minimal bleeding.  You will definitely feel the clamp pressure which causes a slight discomfort. The pain is mild and if the correct jewelry size is used, there is no likelihood of any rejection or infection risks which might cause pain.

How long does it hurt?

Is there any pain afterward, and how long does it after tongue piercing last?

Of course, there is some sort of after pain and discomfort which you might have for the first few days but this will not affect eating or speaking that much.

You should expect some swelling, tenderness, bruising, aching as well as secretion of a clear colored fluid. The bruising, tenderness and the secretion of a clear fluid might last for up to five days.

However, if you have a yellowing green discharge after a few days, it is a sign of infection.

If the swelling is too much that it makes breathing and eating difficult, seek medical attention. If you have an infection, seek medical attention too. If it is mild, or try the various home remedies or ways of treating an infected piercing.

Pain relief

As we have already mentioned, there is some pain associated with this procedure both during and afterward. To help relieve or reduce it, you should suck ice cubes, apply saline or salt water (avoid iodized salt since iodine will slow healing) or take “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium” []. Chewing small amounts of food and eating soft foods will also help reduce any discomfort.

On the other hand, avoid aspirin since it will promote bleeding, avoid hot, sticky or spicy foods, do not take alcoholic beverages (they may burn your tongue). Furthermore, do not plat with your jewelry or feel it with your teeth or lips, chew gums (or things), participate in oral sex or smoke. ,

How to heal it faster?

To heal faster, the Association of Professional Piercers advises people to ensure they consume vitamin B and C while women are advised to take zinc by Center for Young Women's Health. “Rinse your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds with an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash after every meal and before bed” [].

Finally, ensure you also follow the aftercare guidelines provided by your piercer since they will too promote faster healing as well as reduce any chances of infections.

Pain after healing

In case you have pain after years or months after healing completely, the reasons could be an infection or injury in the pierced area.

Sources and references

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