Having your tongue pierced should be relatively risk-free, and be almost completely pain-free. This type of body piercing is one of the least painful due to the fact that the nerve endings of the tongue are concentrated almost entirely on the tip and edges of the tongue. When piercing the center area of the tongue, there should be minimal pain felt, and with proper aftercare, infection should not be a factor.
The biggest factor in a safe tongue piercing is having it done by a professional certified body piercer who is experienced in tongue piercing. Another major factor that plays a large part in the outcome of a tongue piercing is following the aftercare regimen described by the piercer to the letter. Due to the area of the piercing (inside the mouth), tongues require a bit more attention at times to insure they are clean and properly healing. Rinsing the mouth out regularly with a sea-salt solution along with diluted mouthwash (never over-use mouthwash as it will kill helpful bacteria and leave a white ring around the piercing) will keep the tongue clean and on track to heal quickly. Also, it is believed by many piercers that initial body jewelry should be made of PTFE (also known as bioflex) to allow flexibility during healing without any chance of metal allergies. If you have any allergies or reactions to metals make sure you request that your body piercer use PTFE body jewelry for the piercing. After your tongue is all healed, you should be able to wear other materials without problems.