Slip of the Tongue: 5 Signs of a Tongue Piercing Infection

Just like any other type of body piercing, tongue piercing should also heal quickly and without any problems. However, the tongue being one of the most sensitive parts of your body, you should absolutely be aware of certain risks that this procedure may cause.


Knowing the signs and symptoms of potential infections will help you detect them in time and treat them before they develop into more serious health complications.

Described below are some of the most important tongue piercing infection signs that you ought to be mindful of:

Signs of Tongue Piercing Infection:

The tongue should be fully healed within 6-8 weeks after the piercing has been done. In most cases, it is quite normal to experience some swelling and irritation during the first 2 weeks, but if these signs don’t disappear and other symptoms show up, it will be necessary to immediately consult your doctor and receive adequate medical treatments and antibiotic therapies.

Tongue piercing infections are mostly caused by different types of bacteria that live in the human mouth, which have the capacity to rapidly multiply and spread, giving raise to infections. If left untreated, these infections can lead to serious health problems.

But let’s take a look at some of the most common tongue piercing infection signs.

1. Swelling

As we have just mentioned above, it is normal to experience some swelling around the tongue area, immediately after you get your tongue pierced. However, if swelling persists, becomes worse, or is accompanied by difficulty swallowing and speaking, it is one of the first signs that you have an infection. This requires immediate medical attention and treatment.

2. Redness

Slight redness around the tongue area may also be normal during the healing period, but if it continues and is accompanied by swelling and pain, it is a sure sign of inflammation and infection.

3. Red streaks

If you notice red streaks radiating out of the piercing hole and running down the sides and the front your tongue, this indicates the presence of an advanced infection going on, which requires an immediate antibiotic treatment.

Red strikes come along with painful tenderness of the tongue and are sometimes accompanied by fever.

4. Bleeding

Although some bleeding may normally occur immediately after the piercing is done, bleeding that occurs after the initial healing process has completed is instead another sign that indicates an ongoing infection.

5. Discoloration and discharge

Any extreme discoloration of the tongue (green, yellow, purple or black) should be taken very seriously, as it indicates the advanced stage of an infection. In this case it is necessary to seek immediate medical attention.

Discoloration may also be accompanied by yellow or green discharge, which is the pus that comes out of the infected area. This also requires prompt and adequate antibiotic treatment.

Tongue Piercing Infection – Prevention and Treatment

pierced tongue

It is possible to prevent tongue piercing infections, as well as to treat them at home in case symptoms and signs have been noticed in time.

Prevention and treatment tips

1. To avoid any infection, it is fundamental to find a reputed and professional piercer, and inform yourself well about the piercing procedure.

The piercer you choose should have a license to practice, as well as adequate training and experience. He should also exercise all the necessary sanitary precautions during the entire process of piercing, such as using sterilized needles, instruments and tools, and wearing sterile gloves and face masks.

2. After the piercing is done, it is important to carefully follow all the aftercare instructions, as advised by the piercer.

3. When getting your tongue pierced, you should always opt for plastic (polytetrafluorethylene or polypropylene) studs, since they gather less bacteria than stainless steel or titanium studs.

4. During the healing period you should avoid coffee, alcohol and cigarettes, and eat foods that are not spicy or irritating, such as mashed potatoes, bananas, cold soups, and other similar.

5. Another good way to prevent infections is to rinse your mouth after each meal. Salt and water is a very effective rinse to accelerate the healing process and treat infections in their initial stages.

6. If you develop an infection or suspect that you may have one, don’t ever take out the bar yourself. You will only worsen the situation.

Hopefully this post has helped you realize the importance of adequate sanitary precautions during the tongue piercing process, as well as of the appropriate aftercare steps, in order to prevent infections. If you have ever experienced any tongue piecing infection, please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s