Tongue Piercing Aftercare Tips

After getting your tongue pierced, hopefully by a professional, you need to exercise some precautionary steps for tongue piercing aftercare in order to aid the process of healing, reduce the discomfort and avoid infection.

Aftercare for tongue piercing is important because the tongue is likely to become swollen and tender a few hours after being pierced. The pain is generally more in the morning. The best course of action in this regard is to place crushed ice on the tongue and let it melt. Ice helps to reduce the swelling and pain.

Because of tongue’s exceptional healing ability, tongue piercing healing time is usually 4 to 6 weeks but it may vary from one individual to another, depending on a number of factors like the type of jewelry used, aftercare and health in general.

Resolving Doubts Related To Aftercare for Tongue Piercing

Youngsters going for tongue piercing often have queries like “how long should I wait to smoke after a tongue piercing”, “should I use a special toothpaste now that my tongue is pierced”, “What if you burn your tongue and its pierced”, “is hydrogen peroxide bad for tongue piercings” and numerous other doubts .

Tongue piercing aftercare guidelines recommend not to smoke for at least one week after the piercing to avoid further troubles. In addition, do not drink alcoholic beverages until the swelling goes away. Avoid kissing and do not indulge in oral sex during the healing period.

Plus, you will have to subsist on soft foods and liquid diet (like mashed potatoes, soups, broths etc) for about a week. Stay away from spicy and crunchy foods. Tongue piercing is also likely to affect your speech, especially during the first 2-3 days.


As for doubts regarding yellow tongue after piercing, it is normal to have a yellow film on the surface of the tongue 2-3 days after piercing. Some believe this happens because of overuse of mouthwash. The problem mostly resolves within a few days.

Though, yellow discharge from tongue accompanied by severe swelling is more often than not, a sign of infection due to negligence towards tongue piercing aftercare.

You will have to take antibiotics advised by a doctor to get rid of tongue piercing infection. A small amount of whitish discharge, however, is not a big issue as it is just a collection of dead blood cells that are unable to form scab on the wound because of saliva.

Hydrogen peroxide is often considered bad for tongue piercings because it tends to disrupt the natural process of healing. Under normal circumstances, it is better to rely on the “good bacteria” naturally present in the saliva to avoid infections.

As for the toothpaste, it is better to use a gentle toothpaste that does not burn after tongue piercing. In case you burn your tongue severely after piercing, you should consult the piercer as soon as possible.

To avoid burning sensation, avoid having extremely hot foods and beverages. The use of mouthwash containing alcohol may also cause some stinging or burning sensation.

Practice good oral hygiene, switch to a new toothbrush with soft bristles and rinse the mouth with a non alcohol antiseptic mouthwash (preferably, dilute it with water) several times in a day, especially after eating.

You can gradually reduce the frequency of mouthwash rinses after two weeks. Needless to add, monitor your piercing (but do not play with it!) to help detect complications as soon as possible. Follow the instructions of the piercer and adopt proper tongue piercing aftercare measures until the wound heals completely.


  1. I just went and got my tongue done for the second time and so far very little swelling and am able to eat fine. The first time I got it done it swelled really bad but I ate ice whenever I could and it brought the swelling down some but the day after was thanksgiving and I ate then and it didnt really hurt that bad so I think that its just according to the person and piercing and also the piercier. But rinse after every meal or little snack and even after drinking something.

  2. Hi there I want to know how do u look after it and wat must I use eg eat drink clean wat can I use plz asap

  3. hi there i need help on my tongue piercing wat must i use eat drink and clean help ?????????????? asap

  4. I got mine done just yesterday morning (Friday) and I’ve been sipping the liquid portion of warm chicken noodle soup and eating popsicles slowly. My tongue is what my piercer said was a ‘thin’ tongue so he put a normal barbell in right after and it hasn’t swollen to the point I can’t talk or anything.. Just a HUGE speech impediment. :p

    It barely hurts, haven’t taken anything for it yet, but I recommend using something cold on it no matter what. It does wonders for the swelling. 🙂

  5. So i got my tongue pierced today it doesnt really hurt super bad just feels like ate bsoup that was to hot and burned it. The swelling should be gone in six days, its bruised but that’s ok, i got milkshake to keep the pain away but i gave up cause i couldn’t suck in the straw, but anyway got luck to me and all of u

    • I am shocked to see how much people hear are having dairy products. did your piercer not tell you to avoid them? dairy and yeast is the huge NO NO after a fresh piercing, you could get bad infection! stick to ice, ice water, slush or ice pops

  6. I got my tongue pierced yesterday. A lot of people told me that it didn’t hurt, iv got a lot of piercings and a lot of tattoos already. Getting my tongue done has to be the worst one! My tongue feels like its been burnt on the the tip of it today. When I woke up there was a little blood around the bar but not much! The swelling isn’t to bad. But I have the worst lisp possible!!! My only real problem is, I can’t eat at all! I was advised a liquid diet, like soups and icecream. I’m managing icecream. But soups I just can’t mange to have! I’m absolutely starving!! I’m staring to regret getting it done in away because of how hungry I’m feeling and because of the hunger I feel sick! Still early days though!

    • LOL! i think the lisp is the thing i hate the worst, i feel like such a moron trying to talk so i give up. you are SO lucky to have not much swelling! mine is annoying, i had to go get a new longer bar put in today due to the swelling.
      DONT EAT ICECREAM! your piercer should of told you that! dairy is a big NO NO or anything with yeast! go get some ice pops or slerpies, slush or whatever you call it, or suck on ice. my friend was put into the hospital due to a bad infection with her tongue piercing because she kept eating icecream and dairy right after
      i am starving as well, though i can eat solid foods better then soft ones, try the hamster method, shove it into your cheek and chew VERY slowly and carefully. i also am feeling the burnt tongue feeling, though getting it pierced i didnt feel anything

  7. Need help asap. My brother pierced his tongue today. It’s been bleeding regularly all day and a couple of minutes ago before going to sleep he showed me his tongue and it’s a little black. Btw the piercing is horizontal. Plz help his only 16 I’m worried.

  8. I’m 17 and I’ve been contemplating getting my tongue pierced for some months tho. The only thing that’s stopping me is fear of pain and I heard the after care is the most annoying part of it! And also wat if u work? Does the flesh coloured tongue ring really makes it difficult for someone 2 see the piercing? I really need some encouragement ppl thanks 🙂

    • the pain for me was a 1-10, and that wasnt even the piercing part, it was threading the bar through the needle.
      the most PAINFUL part was i had to go in 3 days later to get a longer bar, and that was a pinch, nothing breathing and relaxing wont help. IF you get the piercing, ask to lay back a little, i do this with every piercing. breath calmly and relax, that is key!
      i never thought about hiding a tongue piercing, but i think something clear or the color of your tongue would be easy to hide, just stay away from acrylic, its a sponge for bacteria, i suggest bioplast!

  9. i just got my tongue pierced friday and my tongue is sooo swollen i cant even swallow soda or anything. its sore too and it hurts to talk. what should i do to speed up the pricess of the healing so i could feel comfortable again?

  10. I got my tongue pierced 3 days ago, due to the bar being small i needed to get another one put in today, so i am treating it like a new piercing all over again. though i notived some whitish yellow discharge around the wound, is this normal? i am also expirencing..
    sore throat
    kind of cotton/dry mouth? ONLY around the wound, that just started a few hours ago.
    as much ice and cold stuff i am sucking on, swelling isnt seeming to go away, i tried midon, didn’t work. ibeprofin helps a tiny bit.
    i brush my teeth and mouthwash when i wake up and go to bed, i mouthwash 5 times a day, after everything that isnt water or ice. i also brush my tongue, around the piercing VERY gently, but my friend got me freaking out about infection.
    what do i do to make sure infection does NOT happen other then the mouthwashing and brushing my teeth morning and night. anything i can take? certain vitamins? i ordered H2ocean mouth wash online but i know that takes about 3 weeks…
    i also noticed my bar sits slanted like \ the ball rests back on my tongue, not straight like | (lol) is this because my tongue is so swollen? or is it pierced crooked? i have a good amount of swelling i think is due to eating solid foods and talking, i honestly can eat solid foods better then liquid as odd as it is, the liquid makes my tongue feel sticky and slimy and REALLY bothers me.
    anything is very welcome! i do not spoke, and i wont be drinking, though id love to on Xmas day with my family i think ill keep away from alcohol for a good month along with spicy and really salty foods, just cuz im paranoid. XD i ADORE this piercing, i want it to get healed fast!

  11. Okay so my bestfriend and I got our tounges pierced Saturday and its now Monday, but that night we got it OMG the pain was horrible ! I got the snake bites while she just got the regular one. Our other friend has both and she said the snake bites hurt wayyy more. We couldnt eat anything but mashed potatoes that night and not im able to eat eggs , baked potatoes and chips but she cant eat anything, it no longer hurts it just very swollen

  12. So I got mine done about 4 days ago wasn’t bad until the third night. My tounge hurts I felt it and its hard.. Normal ? N the bottom of my ball looks like its going through my tounge .. I don’t know what to do and I really don’t want to take it out… Everyone is telling me ill be fine but I don’t want the bottom getting stuck inside my tounge bc of swelling. I have eat ice n shackes.. I smoke like 3 cigarettes a day so I mean don’t make it swell that much. Plz someone let me know if I need to go back to my piercer n have him take it out or get a bigger bar or how to help it … Freaking out bad!

  13. I got mine today. The bottom hurts a little bit. I ate a motzerella stick and it took like five minutes cause it hurt an I didn’t wanna bite down on the bar. Coughing hurts a lot.

  14. I Got My Surface Tongue Pierced On The 28Th Martch 2013 And I’m Loving It . I’m Not Having Any Problems , I Just Can’t Wait For My Tongue To Fully Heal . I Got Told That I Can Change My Bar After A Week But I’m Not Going To Not Untill At Least Month Or Two // Anyone Planning On Getting Their Tongue Pierced Go Ahead , It Doesn’t Hurt But That Will Vary With Different People. Just Remember To Buy New Tooth Brushes , Alcohol FREE Mouth Wash And If Needed SaltWater x x

  15. I got my tongue did last nite n I got listerine n I dilute it wit water I can talk it just I can’t eat anything but it swollen n I’m hungry as hell ugh

  16. Hi! I got my tongue piercing done yesterday and it wasnt painful at all..I ate all day including mcdonalds, then I brush my teeth before bed and use some oral b mouth wash as it it alcohol free, i also took some ibuprofen tablets and put ice on my tongue before sleep when i woke up this morning it was just a bit swollen. I then had some noodles then take my tablets again, and put ice and about 5 pm the swollen was completely gone.. i know every one is different i advise anyone who is planing to get it done to follow the procedure stated Above… cant wait for two week to give my hubby a BJ… nb please use mouth wash after every meal..

  17. I got my tongue pierced on saturday, the piercing itself was not painful one bit least painful i have had actually! however, my toungue has swelled up so had that any sort of swallowing hurts, im starving as i cannot eat and have just spent the last 2 days sucking on ice cubes. I have been taking plenty on ibroprothen but nothing seems to help the swelling. Cannot speak either as have a massive lisp, had to work doing waitressing yesturday and i swear the customers thought i was Deaf or something.

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