Horizontal Tongue Piercing, Risks, Jewelry, Pain, Price, Healing Time

Are you intending to have a horizontal tongue piercing? What are the risks associated with this type of tongue piercing? This article contains insights on the risks, price, jewelry, pain and healing process of a horizontally pierced tongue. You will also learn the various aftercare tips to practice after the procedure.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing Risks

This is a piercing that is done across the tongue just as its name suggest. It is also known as snake eye piercing simply because the barbell balls on each side of the tongue mimics the eyes of a snake. Before booking for this type of tongue piercing, it is important to learn the various risks that may come after. They include the following:

  1. Excessive bleeding

Blood vessel can be punctured or damaged during tongue piercing procedure. This may lead to prolonged bleeding. Damaged nerve can also result to numbness or loss of sensation on the area where piercing was done.
Wrong piercing procedure causes the tongue to swell excessively and it may result to difficulties in breathing. Piercing procedure is therefore supposed to be done by a professional piercer who understands the structures of the tongue and has skill and experience to perform his or her duties.

  1. Infections, swelling and redness

Given that your mouth contains numerous bacteria and other pathogenic micro-organisms, creating a wound in it may cause an infection. There is also a risk of introducing new bacteria into your mouth through handling the jewelry especially with dirty hands.
Bacteria, fungi and other germs may find a way into the pierced site to cause various infections. Infections causes various complications at the pierced site like persistence swelling and redness, bleeding, excretion of smelly yellow or green discharge among others that may delay the healing process.

  1. Transmission of diseases

Any type of oral piercing including horizontal tongue piercing increases the risk of transmission of various diseases like herpes simplex virus, hepatitis B and C among other condition. This diseases can find a way to your body through having oral sex like kissing an infected person.
To avoid the risk of diseases, it is advisable to refrain from engaging in oral sex during the initial healing process of your piercing. It is also important to follow the aftercare instructions given by your piercer to avoid infections, diseases and other complications.

  1. Endocarditis condition

This is a condition that causes inflammation of the heart or its valves. It occurs when the bacteria passes into the bloodstream through the wound created in your mouth. This problem is common among individuals who are having other heart problems and can be fatal.

  1. Damage to your teeth

According to the study that was conducted dental journal, it shows that almost half of the people who are wearing the jewelry for so long or more than 4 years head at least one tooth that was cracked or damaged.
When the incisors or canine teeth or tooth come into contact with horizontal tongue piercing jewelry frequently, it can develop a crack. Other types of oral piercing like double tongue piercing or venom tongue piercing also had the risk of teeth damage.

  1. Swallowing the jewelry

The jewelry can unscrew and become loose in your mouth. This can lead to choking or it can lead to digestive track complications when the metal is swallowed. Other organs like lungs can also be affected. This can be prevented by regular checking and tightening lose barbell balls.

  1. Migration or rejection

The other risk that is associated with oral piercings is migration or rejection of the jewelry. When your body is allergic to metal of your jewelry, it causes a reaction called allergic contact dermatitis. The body considers the jewelry as a threat to your life. It will therefore react by pushing the metal away from the body or expel it completely.

  1. Gum diseases

When the jewelry becomes into contact with the gum frequently, it may cause an injury. This may allow bacteria and other micro-organisms to enter into the gum and hence causing an infection. People who wears the jewelry most of the time are likely to suffer from gum diseases.

  1. Difficulties in speaking and swallowing food

A pieced tongue can become excessively swollen and inflamed during the initial healing process. It may therefore be difficult to pronounce correctly and chewing and swallowing food. It may also be difficult to take hot or solid food.

  1. Excessive drooling

After the piercing procedure there is increased saliva production in your mouth. Some people are not cool with that.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing Jewelry

There are different jewelries made from various materials that you can choose from like stainless steel, titanium, niobium, acrylic, high carbon or plastics. However, most people prefer stainless steel or plastics as they cause less allergic reaction as compared to other metals.
Jewelry size and comfort are very important when it comes to oral piercings due to frequent movement of the tongue when speaking, chewing and swallowing food. When purchasing a jewelry, don’t go for those that are too small in size as they are prone to migration and rejections.
Initial piercing jewelry is supposed to long enough to accommodate the size of a swollen during the initial healing process. It is recommended to use a 14 gauge jewelry for the first few days after the piercing procedure.
After the initial healing process, it is recommended to choose a smaller barbell of 16 gauge or 18 gauge. Some people may even choose 8 gauge to prevent some of the risks associated with long barbell jewelry like damage to the teeth and gums.
The beads at the end of the barbells are made from decorative materials and colors. Therefore it is your decision to choose the color and design of your choice. However, when purchasing, changing or using the horizontal tongue piercing jewelry there are various thing to consider, they include:

  • Choose the correct jewelry for your piercing. It should be made from high quality material. If you have a history of metal allergies, avoid metals that causes sensitivity.
  • Change the jewelry once the swelling subsides. The original jewelry is usually longer, you are therefore required to change it to a shorter after the initial healing process.
  • Check the jewelry regularly and tighten loose barbell balls. It helps to prevent the risk of chocking or swallowing the metal.
  • Avoid playing with the jewelry or running it across your teeth or gum cavities. It can cause damage to your teeth or gums.
  • Choose the correct size of jewelry. Wearing long jewelries after the initial healing process may cause various complications.
  • Consider using barbell balls made from plastics rather than metals. This helps to avoid the risk of teeth and gum cavities damage.
  • Always have a spare ball in case of breakage or loss.

However, if you notice symptoms of an infection, do not remove the jewelry. Conduct your piercer for further direction. In case you no longer want the piercing, remove the jewelry and allow the piercing to close on its own. Continue performing the aftercare practices until the hole heals completely.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing Pictures

How does a horizontal piercing look like? When intending to have this type of tongue piercing, you would like to go through various pictures before booking for a piercing appointment. This is the main reason as to why we have included various pictures in this article.
The pictures provides a visual understanding on the location on the tongue that provides an attractive look of your horizontal piercing. This type of tongue piercing can be placed on anywhere on the tongue from the tip to the back of the tongue.
As you can see from the pictures, you should opt for horizontal tongue tip piercing. However, it should not be placed too close to the tip on the part that bends when speaking. Placing it too close to the tip can also lead to migration or rejection.
Apart from the pictures we have provided here, you can also use your computer or phone to get more pictures from online. They will provide you with enough information before going for the procedure.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing Pain

Does tongue piercing hurt or painful? This is the common question that you will be asking when intending to go for a horizontal piercing. Tongue piercing is less painful as compared to other type of body piercing especially when done by a professional piercer.
The pain level varies from one person to the other depending on the piercer, state of your mind, tolerance level of pain and the overall mood. Some people will say that it is not painful whiles others will experience mild pains.
Although everybody has a different experience about the pain level, most of the people will say that it hurt less than tongue biting. During the healing process is when your tongue hurts more. In the initial healing process, your tongue may swell double its size.
Swelling is normally accompanied with some pain, irritations or a burning sensation. There is a number of things you can do to alleviate pain during the initial healing process. They include the following:

  • Take ice cold drinks or place some ice chips on the tongue and allow it to melt on its own. Do not such as it may cause some irritation. It helps to relive pain as well as the swelling. Use this remedy 2-3 times daily.
  • Avoid taking hot, spicy and salty foods and beverages during the initial healing process of your horizontal tongue piercing. Go for softer foods like soup, mashed potatoes and mashed ripe bananas among others.
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium or acetaminophen to relieve the pain. Avoid blood thinning medicines like aspirin. You are also supposed to take the medicines as directed by the manufactures instructions.
  • Avoid unnecessary movement of the tongue or the jewelry.
  • Have enough rest and sleep while your head is elevated during the initial healing process.
  • Avoid smoking tobacco, taking alcohol or chewing gum until it heals completely to prevent it from hurting.
  • Be gentle when performing the aftercare practices to avoid movement of the jewelry that can cause an irritation.

Infections can also cause persistence pain and swelling. It is important to make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you notice some signs of an infection. Healing process resumes faster when the infection is treated on time.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing Price

Snake eye tongue piercing price varies from one studio to the other depending on various factors. To start with your location, those piercing studios that are located in towns or cities will tend to charge less as compared to those in rural areas. This is due to competition of many piercers who have studios in cities.
Secondly, the level of skills and experience of the piercer also determines the price. Highly trained and experienced piercer who have a license from the relevant authority may charge higher as compared to those who are still new in that field. An experienced piercer is likely to perform a successful piercing as compared to those that are still gaining experience.
Thirdly is the type of the piercing studio. Some of the studios will charge a flat rate price that consist the piercing procedure and jewelry while others do charge the procedure and jewelry separately. In some studios, you can get free aftercare services while others will charge some fee.
Some piercing studios may offer some discounts to the total piercing price. You may be given a discount when performing more than two piercing at the same time. Frequent customers are also given some special discounts.
Therefore most of the oral piercing including snake eye piercing, vertical tongue piercing and other types of tongue piercing has a price range of $30 to $90. According to our research, there are studios that charge $30 to $50 range when the jewelry is not included. Therefore, you are required to buy a jewelry that may cost $26.
Price should not be the only factor to consider when intending to have a snake eye piercing. It is important also to consider the hygiene of the studio. It is supposed to operate in a clean environment and have a certificate from the health department. All piercing instruments should sterilized before the procedure.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing Healing Process

After piercing, it is advisable to practice good aftercare practices to initiate a faster healing process. It is recommended to use a high quality mouth wash or saline solution when cleaning the pierced site. However, you are not supposed to over-clean the area as it may delay the healing process. Healing process goes through various stages that includes:

  1. First two days. After piercing, your tongue will swell for the first few days. The swelling may also be accompanied with other normal pains, white discharge and redness. It may cause some difficulties in speaking, chewing and swallowing food. This is the time you are supposed to take soft and cold foods and drinks.
  2. Third to fifth day. The swelling starts to subside, the tongue starts to resume to its normal size. Mild pains may still be present during this stage.
  3. Sixth to tenth day. After a week, the tongue will have resumed its normal size. It is therefore important to change the jewelry. Replace the long barbell jewelry with a shorter one to prevent risks like gum and teeth damage or choking.

The initial healing process will have completed in the first 10 to 14 days. However, there are various normal problems you are likely to encounter during initial healing process. They include the following:

  • Swelling, tenderness, irritation or a burning sensation of the taste buds at the tip of the tongue and the areas around the piercing.
  • Excessive production of saliva by the salivary glands that are located under the tongue.
  • Excretion of white discharge from the wound. It is normal for a new wound to excrete the dead white blood cells from your body.
  • Difficulties in speech, swallowing and chewing food for few days after horizontal tongue piercing procedure.

During the healing time, it is important to take exercise some precautions of the tongue to avoid injuries to the tongue that can delay the healing process. You also have to follow the provided aftercare instructions to prevent infections.
In case of an infection, visit your healthcare provider right away for diagnosis and treatment. You may be given some antibiotics that will help to treat the infection. Infections can cause some complications when they find a way to your bloodstream.

How to Care for a Horizontal Tongue Piercing

It is important to take care of your tongue properly after piercing. Improper care can lead to infection that delays the healing process. There are various simple aftercare practices that you can use to ensure that your piercing heals faster without infections or other complications. They include the following:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly using ant-bacterial soap and running water before touching the piercing or the jewelry. It helps to prevent transferring bacteria and other germs to the pierced site.
  • Clean the piercing 2-3 times a day by dabbing on it with a cotton ball soaked in sea salt solution. Prepare the saline solution by mixing ¼ teaspoon of sea salt with a warm glass of water.
  • It is normal to experience swelling during the initial healing process. It is therefore advisable to consume ice cold drinks to alleviate the swelling and other discomforts. Alternatively, you can place some ice chips on your tongue and allow it to melt on its own, avoid sucking.
  • Avoid taking hot, spicy and salty foods and beverages during the initial healing process. They can cause inflammation or a burning sensation to the pieced site.
  • Rinse your mouth 2-3 times daily after taking meal using saline solution. It helps to kill bacteria in your mouth as well as removing food particles from your teeth. Alternatively, you can use a good quality alcohol free mouthwash.
  • Consume soft foods like mashed potatoes, ripe bananas, juice, ice cream and milk shakes. They help to relive swelling as well as providing your body with the necessary energy.
  • Take supplements or food rich in vitamin C and Zinc. They help in boosting the healing process.
  • Breathing difficulties is common in oral piercings like horizontal tongue piercing and others. It is therefore advisable to visit your healthcare provide when experiencing such complications.
  • Avoid the potential activities that can cause irritation like smoking tobacco, taking alcohol and chewing gum during the initial healing process.
  • Refrain from engaging in oral sex activities like kissing. It may cause transfer of bacteria, viruses and fungi in case your partner is infected.
  • Few days after the piercing procedure, it is normal to experience some pain, swelling, irritations or a burning sensation. You can alleviate the discomfort by taking painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Avoid blood thinning medicines like aspirin.
  • Check the jewelry regularly. Check for loose barbell ball and tighten them. It helps to prevent risks like swallowing the metals.
  • Change the jewelry after the initial healing process completes. However, this should be done by a professional piercer. The long jewelry is replaced by a shorter one.
  • Choose the correct jewelry material. Some materials causes an allergic reaction that leads to migration or rejections that delays the healing process.
  • During the first week after piecing, avoid a lot of chewing. Go for softer foods and drinks.

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you suspect some of the symptoms of an infection like persistence pain, bleeding, presence of yellow or green discharge or redness. It is also important to check other areas of your mouth like teeth or mouth for signs of an infection.

More sources:

  1. Dental health and oral piercing: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/oral-piercing
  2. Tongue piercing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongue_piercing