Uvula piercings are rare, but not unheard of. It is done on the small protrusion you see when you open your mouth really wide. It is painful, but if done well, then it looks good.
The jewelry used for this piercing is a small-diameter captive bead ring. It is an enclosed ring with a bead. The size of the bead is bigger compared to the opening, allowing the ring to fit perfectly. Often, the hole is made through the bead for a proper fit. The ring is mostly made of stainless steel, titanium, or niobium, and is easily removable.
The procedure of uvula piercing is simple, though many professionals may refuse to perform it. One should be very careful as it is possible that the person may swallow the jewelry.
This piercing may sometimes not give the desired outcome and lead to bisection (division into two halves) of the uvula. Thus, it should be performed very carefully, else you might have to face a number of uvula problems due the piercing.
- Infection is a common side effect after getting this piercing, as the oral region consists of more bacteria. There might be an infection in the oral skin or tissues due to opening in skin, which increases due to the jewelry worn.
- The open wound at the pierced site may cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream which can affect people who have cardiac problems.
- Excessive bleeding can occur due to blood vessels damage.
- There can be transmission of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B or tuberculosis.
- The mucous membrane around the uvula gets swollen, causing it to expand 3 - 5 times the size of the uvula, causing this part to become sore and red, and also causes difficulty in breathing.
- There is also a possibility of nerve damage while piercing.
- There can be a gum injury or tooth damage due to the jewelry.
- You may also experience difficulty in speaking and swallowing.
- There might be a danger of jewelry ingestion leading to digestive problems.
- Change your jewelry only after 6 - 8 weeks of piercing. Use a small size jewelry which won't affect your gums and teeth. Wash your hands before changing the jewelry. It's better to go to the piercer to change the jewelry, as it is a very sensitive part and massaging the uvula may lead to vomiting.
- Avoid excessive smoking or alcohol consumption because it will prolong the healing time, causing side effects.
- Don't panic if there is a yellow secretion (containing lymph and dead cells), as it is a sign of healing.
- Avoid touching your new piercing as it may increase the infection.
- Use a alcohol-free mouthwash, as excessive use of a mouthwash with alcohol may kill the natural bacteria present turning the tongue surface white.
In case the condition worsens, uvula surgery may be necessary. This surgery can also help if there is a problem of snoring or sleep apnea.