How Long Does It Take A Tongue Piercing To Heal?

A tongue piercing is a subtle yet bold body modification that brings a unique addition to your style. Like any other body piercing, a tongue piercing is a hole that is pierced through cartilage or skin — in this case, the tongue. The resurgence of the tongue piercing shouldn't be surprising, though. Today, many things from the '90s and early 2000s are coming back on trend, with this piercing being just one example. These piercings are also great because of how easy they are to keep hidden when needed, as you can simply not show someone your tongue.


While it may look super cool, it's also a risky piercing to have. Medical News Today notes that a tongue piercing is located in one of the most bacteria-filled parts of the body, adding extra work to keep it clean and allowing it to properly heal. It's important to be careful and patient during this process to reduce any risk of infection or closing of the piercing hole. But exactly how long does it take tongue piercings to heal?

Healing time for tongue piercings

Since a tongue piercing is technically an open wound, it can take up to six weeks to fully heal. Following intervals of time might help make the process less overwhelming and easier to keep up with. The first few days after you receive your tongue piercing will be some of the most important as that is when it will be swollen, irritated, and sore (via Healthline). During this time, avoid touching or bumping the piercing inside your mouth to reduce any more irritation. Be extra careful when eating or opt for something easier to consume like a smoothie or soft foods. The most critical thing to do during this time is to rinse your mouth with a saline solution or salt water multiple times a day. After the first week or two, eating more solids will become easier, and swelling or pain may also begin to dwindle.


The following next few weeks, or days 10 through 41, things will begin to feel and seem normal, but your wound is not fully healed at this point. Be careful with irritants, such as spices, or too much movement. Continue to do salt rinses and brush your teeth regularly. In the final stretch, or days 42 to about 56, the chances that you'll experience complications should start going down. During this time, the wound will start to scar. When it does, you need to give it time to properly form (via Medical News Today).

After your piercing is healed

Once you have successfully gone through the healing period, it is still important to take good care of your tongue piercing. For starters, you want to make sure the hole doesn't close. This will require a change of the jewelry once you are sure that it has healed enough. "Once the swelling has gone down, the barbell will need to be changed to a regular-sized bar so as not to cause additional trauma to the healing wound by the constant tugging and snagging that a longer bar will cause," piercer Samantha Josephine tells Byrdie. Additionally, leaving it bigger can also cause issues with your teeth, gums, or dangers with swallowing. While changing out the jewelry can be done at home, professionals recommend seeing your piercer to do it for you.


After its full healing and the scar of the hole has formed, you don't have to keep doing saline or salt rinses anymore. However, it is important to keep up with good oral hygiene care. If at any point during the healing process you experience symptoms — such as discharge, bad smells, rash, fever, or excess bleeding, swelling, and redness — see a doctor as you may be at risk of infection (via WebMD).