Tongue piercing is one of the most popular piercing sites in the western world today. It has a long history in religious practices. Mesoamericans like the Aztecs practiced this as a part of offerings to their deities. It is not gender specific -- not created specifically for only a man or only for a woman.
Tongue piercing includes tongue rings; although rarely are rings worn in tongue piercing.
Tongue piercing is often done with straight barbell style of jewelry. Comfort is important due to movements of the tongue. The environment of the tongue can cause discoloration over a period of time. There is also marked swelling after it is done. Sucking ice and consuming cold drinks is recommended to reduce swelling.
Proper placement of the barbell is necessary. It is generally placed along the midline of the tongue, in the centre of the mouth, about three quarters of an inch or so back from the tip of the tongue.
The tongue heals very fast, so a piercing can close fast. Even healed holes can close in days or perhaps even hours. The amount of healing time varies from person to person. Oral piercing heals in 2 – 4 weeks as against piercing in any other part of the body.
Complications could arise -- dental fracture or gum recession. Sometimes, the stability and durability of the teeth are compromised. If performed by an inexperienced person, the piercing could result in severe bleeding or nerve damage. The tongue could swell so much to close the airway. The jewelry could become loose and become dislodged into the mouth. It could also interfere with speech.
As aftercare, proper cleansing is vital. Brush your teeth after every meal or consuming a beverage. Rinse your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Brush your tongue twice a day. Rinse thoroughly. Avoid dairy products as they cause yeasts in your new piercing which could lead to infection.
Shedding of tongue cells occurs everyday and it is these cells that are partially to be blamed for bad breath. If you do not clean the tongue rings, the cells will get deposit around the piercing leading to bad breath. That is why it is necessary to ensure that you maintain good oral hygiene so that you avoid bad breath and subsequent embarrassment.
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