If you’ve decided to get a tongue piercing, it might be simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking. On the one hand, you’re exploring a new world of body modification and its associated impact on your aesthetic and self-image. On the other hand lie the real risks associated with the surgery and the long recovery time and diligent aftercare required during the healing process. If you’re looking for advice on the subject, this post is for you.

We’ll be looking at how the tongue heals from a piercing and how to perform the best aftercare as your tongue heals day by day.

How Long Does A Tongue Piercing Take To Heal?

A tongue piercing is commonly performed in the center of the tongue, with straight “barbell” style jewelry. The piercer inspects the tongue for blood vessels and marks a safe spot for piercing. They then clamp the tongue and pierce it with a needle.

While the initial piercing might not hurt significantly, the tongue will swell considerably over the next few days. This is natural, as there is now essentially a hole inside the muscular organ. Pain increases after the procedure, and since your tongue doesn’t get any time off, speaking, eating, and drinking can become difficult.

This means that caring for the tongue is important as the swelling subsides and the tissue accommodates the piercing. Fortunately, because the tongue is rich with blood vessels, it heals very quickly.

  • Initial swelling peaks within a week, healing within ten days. Infection risk is high during this period.
  • Healing completes within 30 days. The tissue then begins to scar, and sensitivity or irritation can occur during this period.
  • Scarring is complete within 4-6 weeks. The risk of infection greatly decreases during this time.

Tongue Piercing Aftercare

Aftercare is essential, as a tongue piercing creates a wound in one of the most bacterially active regions in the body. You want to prevent infection as the piercing heals. Here are some tips to ensure the best aftercare:

  • Wash your mouth regularly with a warm salt water rinse or a non-alcoholic mouthwash. Do this three times a day.
  • Only eat soft foods that do not involve chewing. Your tongue will be sore, and you want to keep it relaxed as you heal.
  • Don’t eat hot, salty, spicy, or sour foods.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol during the healing process. Smoking can cause more swelling and irritate the healing tissue.
  • Don’t use a straw during the healing process. The forces of sucking can disrupt the healing tissue.
  • Do not engage in kissing or oral sex, as this can introduce foreign bacteria into the piercing.
  • Maintain rigorous oral hygiene. Brush your teeth and floss regularly, as this decreases the number of bacteria in your mouth that can contaminate the piercing.


With the proper care and diligence, tongue piercings can be safe and carry little risk. However, if you experience any complications, such as swelling that doesn’t subside or more than minor bleeding, contact a qualified professional specializing in oral care.

Vintage Oral Surgery prides itself on providing excellent surgical care with a compassionate approach. We understand that oral surgery can be intimidating, so we use our vast experience and advanced 3D imaging techniques, ensuring every patient is comfortable and confident with the success of their surgery. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or have any questions, give us a call at (281) 800-8852.

We look forward to helping you.

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