In common with all other piercings, tongue piercings will heal more quickly on some people than others. The physiology of the tongue itself, the persons general health, diet and lifestyle choices will all have some affect to a greater or lesser extent on the healing period.
Over the next few days/weeks some localized swelling is to be expected and should be seen as a natural part of the healing process.
The barbell fitted, should be long enough to accommodate this swelling but if you feel that your piercing has swollen more than expected, leaving little or no room on the barbell please feel free to pop back into the shop where one of us will be happy to fit a slightly longer one. This is both a rare and unusual problem but has happened on a handful of occasions over the last two decades.
With any fresh oral piercing, the mouth should be rinsed out thoroughly morning and night with an anti-bacterial mouthwash such as “Listerine” for a minimum of two months. Good dental hygiene is also necessary, as both tooth and/or gum infections will expose the fresh piercing to a much higher amount of bacteria and the related problems that this may cause.
Both smoking and drinking alcohol should be cut to an absolute minimum in the weeks following the piercing as this will minimise the chance of problems and will also have the added benefit of speeding up the healing process. In addition to the use of a mouthwash, the mouth should also be rinsed out using a mild salt water solution after any food or drink has been consumed. This is also suggested after both kissing or smoking. The salt water rinse should be made up every morning using half a pint of boiling water mixed with no more than quarter of a level teaspoon of “sea salt” before being cooled to a safe temperature then decanted into a small clean bottle that can be carried about to be used throughout the day.
Sadly we’re unable to tell you how long your tongue may stay swollen for, but from experience the normal period seems to be somewhere between 7 and 14 days, with the tongue being at it’s most swollen 3-4 days after the initial piercing was performed. Keeping the tongue and mouth cool with chilled drinks during this period will help to ease swelling and make life a little more comfortable.
During this period it is also a good idea to avoid certain foods; curries and spicy foods (possible irritation), shellfish (possible allergic reactions) and drinks that are simply too hot. When you feel that the swelling around your piercing has subsided, and you feel comfortable to get your barbell shortened, please feel free to come back into the shop where we’ll remove it and replace it with a bar more suited to the length of your piercing.
Please note that there is no charge for this and you will be given your initial bar to take away with you. We suggest that you store this barbell carefully as it will provide you with a spare ball if one is lost. If you have any queries concerning either your piercing or jewellery please feel to either call into the shop or give us a phone and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.