The tongue piercing is one of the most popular body piercings performed today. This piercing is done generally on the center area of the tongue, avoiding any visible blood vessels on the underside of the tongue, exiting before the lingual frenulum (thin band of tissue attaching the bottom of the tongue to the mouth floor). Placement of the tongue piercing can be straight or angled slightly, with consideration to the length of the tongue and proximity to teeth and gums. The initial barbell inserted during initial piercing should be long enough (depending upon the anatomical dimensions of the tongue, between 9/16 to 7/8 of an inch in length) to allow for any swelling that may occur, then changed out after healing. Initial jewelry should be 12 or 14 gauge in thickness and made of surgical stainless steel, titanium or PTFE material to promote fast and problem-free healing.
Contrary to a common myth, the tongue piercing is actually one of the least painful body piercings, due to the lack of nerves in the center of the tongue. Most people that receive tongue piercings report feeling more discomfort from the pressure of the forceps used than the actual needle. With proper aftercare procedures, this body piercing will usually heal completely in 4 to 8 weeks time. A tongue piercing is one of the easiest body piercings to hide (by using a clear retainer) and can close up immediately upon jewelry removal, even years after the piercing was initially performed.