If you're interested in body piercings and tattoos, as an individual, you will be judged different. It's the norm or should I say, a habit among general mass. As we have seen the new surge of body piercings and tattoos among teenagers and the 20-somethings, it isn't a wonder that you might be interested in getting something pierced or a part of you inked. However, many get intimidated or fear the actual procedure of getting themselves pierced as the pain level can sometimes be scary. One of the sensitive parts of our body, for piercing, is the tongue. Ironically, during the actual process, the pain level is not that high. It's relatively minimal, but can definitely become a major factor behind the decision of getting a piercing in the first place.
Apart from the pain, it is also important to know how long does it take for your piercing to heal. And as far as tongue piercings go, the healing process can be around 6 - 8 weeks, and the initial weeks can be the ones that may bring the most amount of pain. Now let me just say this - tongue piercings, or any kind of body piercings is not for the fainthearted. Which is why, you need to be absolutely sure that you'll do this and can handle the physical and emotional feelings that come with it. After couple of weeks have gone by, the pain reduces, leaving behind a mild discomfort only. Although, in order to understand the actual pain scale, we need to go over what happens before, during, and after the piercing. This will give you a proper understanding of what you're getting yourselves into, are there are risks, and then perhaps make a more guided, rational decision.
Before the Piercing
If you've never gotten a piercing before or don't have enough information on piercings, let me just make certain things clear. Personally, I feel that getting your body pierced is altogether an invigorating experience. One person's pain through the piercing is like another person's pleasure. Also, with each new body piercing, the pain level will differ and so will the experience. Your overall mood, tolerance level, state of mind, and the piercer, all these elements collectively matter when it comes to understanding the kind of pain you'll be getting. Well, the reason why I'm 'OK' with piercings is because in my culture (Indian), it is a very common practice. In fact, when girls (at times boys as well) are not even few months or years old, they get their ears pierced. So the entire process is quite casual for me. However, it may not be the same for most of you or your family. Which is why, you need to cover all grounds.
And since we are talking about the level of pain while getting your tongue pierced, I'm not going to lie to you; it's not pretty. Of course, the piercing isn't like a simple walk in the park. You will be puncturing a part of your body with a sharp needle and that definitely brings certain amount of pain and discomfort. Please don't be disheartened by what I just shared with you here. The procedure doesn't use anesthesia, so when the piercer inserts the needle through the tongue (top to bottom), it will hurt, sting perhaps, and might bleed slightly; the reactions or aftereffects will vary from person to person. The jewelry used at the time of piercing will be longer in order to adjust itself to the swelling that occurs afterwards. Be advised - there will be a little amount of swelling. Later on, you need to get the jewelry changed (only by the same piercer). It goes without saying that you should select a trustworthy piercer and he/she has a hygienic atmosphere to carry out the procedure. Apart from these points, the next step will be the actual procedure. Let's see what happens at the time so you know what to expect.
During the Piercing
Now comes the toughest part of them all, the D-day. Your piercer will wipe your tongue, making sure there is no saliva on it (make sure it's a sterile gauze). Then, he/she will pull on your tongue to inspect the proper placement of the jewelry. Also, the underside of the tongue needs to be checked as well; the anatomy if you will. A sterile marker is used to mark the exact location and with the forceps, he/she will pull on your tongue. Here, you feel slight discomfort as the forceps close over the tongue. You will be asked to open your mouth as wide as you possibly can; you will involuntarily start to drool and go through muscle spasm. There's no need to worry as it is a very common reaction. Do not feel scared or become stiff. Breathe normally, as your friend to hold your hand, and close your eyes, if you wish.
Next comes the true test of your tolerance level as the piercer inserts the needle through the tongue. Tell him/her whenever you are ready, which I doubt anyone ever is truly, and then proceed. The initial pain begins with a slight pinch as the needle is being inserted. But when the jewelry gets placed, it doesn't hurt at all. But that all depends whether your piercer has chosen to use internal or external jewelry threading. With internal threading, the pain is next to nothing, however with external piercing, there is some amount of distress. Talk to your piercer to find out which type of threading you will be more comfortable with.
After the Piercing
Of course, your job doesn't end here. In fact, it has just begun. In order to really take advantage or enjoy your piercing, you need to be very careful about it after the jewelry is placed. Proper aftercare is required, if you wish to keep your tongue bacteria and infection free. And as we discussed earlier that you will feel some amount of pain after the jewelry is in, you need to learn about the proper hygienic steps that have to be adopted. In order to decrease pain and keep your piercing uninfected, follow these instructions:
- Do ... use ice cubes (suck on them or drink cold water)
- Do ... avoid rubbing alcohol, Listerine, and iodine (increases the pain)
- Do ... apply salt water (reduces pain)
- Don't ... eat spicy, hard, and sticky foods
- Don't ... play with the jewelry
- Don't ... feel the jewelry with your teeth
- Don't ... use aspirin (it promotes bleeding)
- Don't ... feel the jewelry with your lips