The custom of tongue piercing can be traced back to the ancient Central American civilizations who carried it out as a part of one of their traditional rituals. Today, it has been popularized by celebrities like Mel B of the Spice Girls, Janet Jackson, Keith Flint, and many others.
It is an intriguing and a different type of piercing for showing off. If you are over 18 years and are looking to get some exciting body mutilating art, then this is for you. This article will cover some information to help you make up your mind before going ahead with it.
Does It Hurt?
This question haunts most, if not all people who come across this custom. You might be pleased to know that it is one of the least painful body piercings, provided you get it done from a professional who will take all necessary precautions to ensure it is safe and sterile.
He may use tongue tongs to keep your tongue steady and in place, and then pierce its center with a barbell. Barbells, incidentally, are the most common choice for first-timers. After it is done, the tongue tends to swell, to which the barbells quickly adapt.
Some people opt for the tongue-web kind of piercing which is done beneath the tongue. However, it may not be easy to clean and may lead to infections, which is why it is avoided by many.
One of the most daring and extreme kinds of piercing is the of the uvula. The small, dangling thing like a pendulum at the back of your mouth is the uvula. This is rather rare, and needs a good gag reflex to keep the mouth open during the process. The uvula is an active tissue and if the body rejects the jewelry, it may even result in it being swallowed which is needless to say, very dangerous.
The healing takes about four to six weeks, as this art leads to a swelling of your tongue which will almost fill up your mouth and last for about 3-4 days. You will have trouble speaking properly for about a week, and difficulty in eating food for over 2-3 weeks.
One needs to follow strict aftercare instructions to avoid infections. You need to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash several times a day. Make sure you rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal or snack.
Tylenol is very helpful in pain relief. Ice and cold beverages will help reduce the swelling. Eat soft foods that can be easily swallowed. Do not smoke until the tongue has healed completely. Make sure you understand and follow all the aftercare advice given by a professional.
One of the biggest risks involved is getting the vein cut, although the chances of such a disaster are remote if you get it done from a professional. Your tongue may bleed heavily, and you may require medical help.
If you have a large-sized gauge, it may lead to gum erosion. Larger tongue jewelry may cause chipping of the teeth. Make sure the person doing your piercing uses sterile needles, and the place is in a hygienic condition.
The tongue holder or tongs must be clean, washed, and sterile. Avoid going to cheap shops in back alleys if you want to avoid getting infected with Hepatitis C, or even worse, HIV/AIDS.
Mind you, it is the only piercing that you are aware of 24/7. It is also great for professionals as it remains hidden.
Follow your intuition and if you don't feel it's right; do not opt for it. Read and understand all the instructions that you may find before you actually go through with it. Tongue piercing will look great along with a nose piercing. Your body is your property; make sure you take a decision that you won't regret later.