What Is the Purpose of A Tongue Piercing?

What Is the Purpose of A Tongue Ring?

A tongue piercing is a body piercing typically done through the center of the tongue. Tongue piercings are second only to ear piercing in American teenagers and young adults, according to dentist Dr. Stephen J. Deneka. While tongue piercing can lead to a variety of health and cosmetic problems, it remains a common and popular cultural practice with a rich history.


According to the website The History Of, piercing was a popular practice for the ancient Romans, signifying virility and strength. Julius Caesar had both nipples pierced to demonstrate his bravery to his army. The ancient Egyptians also practiced body piercing as part of their elaborate cultural adornments. The American Indians used tongue piercing as an act of ritual.

American Culture

Nose piercings first became popular in the United States in the 1960s and ushered in a new era of body piercing in America as a form of self-expression and rebellion. The 1980s saw body piercing evolving as part of the punk movement. Celebrities helped popularize the trend in fashion magazines and movies, according to the website Painful Pleasures.

Tongue Piercing
Tongue Piercing


A tongue piercing is often touted as a sexually stimulating accessory, according to The History Of. Many people claim that it enhances oral sex. Many varieties of tongue rings are available with attachments intended for sexual purposes.

Health Risks

In addition to dental damage, there are many potential health risks associated with tongue piercing including infection, scarring, cancer, HIV infection risk, and hepatitis infection risk, according to the dental website Many of these risks can be minimized with proper sanitation of the newly pierced tongue.

Dental Damage

Researchers from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry conducted a study of 52 young adults with tongue piercings. The results showed that 35 percent of the subjects had receding gums, as opposed to only 5 percent of their non-tongue-ring-wearing peers. According to the website Tweens and Teens News, chipped teeth are also a concern for those with tongue rings.

Do Tongue Rings Feel Good for Guys?

A reader asks: “Will piercings really help to enhance the sexual experience?”

I cannot tell you from first-hand experience if piercings will help to enhance your sex life because I personally don’t have anybody piercings. (While I have considered getting some, I have never gotten around to it, and it’s likely that I never will.) However, I have many friends who have various parts of their bodies pierced — and most of them have great things to say about their piercings.

The most common part pierced for sexual pleasures is the tongue. I am told it does not really hurt to have the tongue pierced, and the benefits are somewhat obvious. When used for oral sex, the small metal ball or tongue ring that is on the tip of the ring will add pressure, tease, and bring a new sensation to the experience for your lover. People that use them seem to get off on the fact that their partner enjoys oral sex so much.

Meanwhile, the one on the receiving end usually also loves the power of the tongue ring. For some extra fun, you can drink something warm or suck on some ice prior to performing oral. This will change the temperature of both your mouth and the tongue ring for added effect.

When it comes to other parts, I can tell you that a piercing will make that particular part of your body part more sensitive. For example, people who have their nipples pierced find it highly arousing to have their nipples toyed during sex (or anytime, really). The same can be said for men brave enough to have a penis piercing and women that go with labia or clitoral hood piercings.

Tongue Piercing
Tongue Piercing

An interesting side story that just might answer your question comes courtesy of a friend of mine who once worked in a piercing parlor. When you are pierced, someone washes or cleans your body part prior to the piercing — and that was my friend’s job. One day he needed to clean up a girl who was getting a vaginal piercing (I don’t recall what specific area). The girl already had several piercings in that area and had decided to add one more.

My friend became increasingly frustrated with his job because he was having a tough time cleaning the area. However, the girl was so sensitive to the number of piercings she already had, that the motion of cleaning her brought her to orgasm repeatedly.

So, yes, it’s safe to say that piercings can help enhance your sexual pleasure in one specific manner. Just make sure if you are going to get a new hole in your body, you go with a person licensed in piercing. Request to see the piercing tools they use ahead of time, and ask how the overall process will occur.

Also, make sure that you are going to commit to keeping your piercing clean and well taken care of, in order to avoid any problems or possible infections. Things of that nature would, of course, seriously reduce pleasure.

Why Do Guys Wear Tongue Rings?

to begin with, let’s find out what is the meaning of men piercing tongues?

Tongue Piercing
Tongue Piercing

Piercing the tongue has ancient antecedents, but it wasn’t until the 1990s and the rise of a body-modification culture that tongue piercing became widespread. Piercer Elayne Angel is often credited with popularizing this particular piercing among both men and women. Why a person gets a particular body part pierced is often a personal, idiosyncratic decision, but there are some common reasons and misconceptions that can be addressed.

Enhanced Sexual PleasureThere’s a widespread misconception that the only reason to get a tongue piercing is to improve your ability to give blow jobs, and that therefore any man who gets a tongue piercing must be gay. What’s true is that men both gay and straight sometimes get a tongue piercing with enhanced oral stimulation in mind—and many women report that they enjoy the feeling of a man’s tongue piercing during cunnilingus very much indeed.
AestheticsSome men simply enjoy the way a tongue piercing looks and feels in their mouth. Or they may enjoy having a semi-private, semi-public piercing—one that can only be glimpsed in everyday conversation but is easy to show off to the right audience.
Spiritual and Ritual SignificanceCertain ancient and tribal cultures pierced their tongue for ritual purposes. Aztec and Mayan art depicts this practice, and a central Australian tribe called the Aranda still performs these piercings to mark the initiation of a shaman. Piercing the tongue or any other part of the body may be done as a way to face the fear of pain, to mark a transition in life, or to claim and customize your body as your own.
PermanenceBody piercings should never be considered temporary—they are permanent body modifications that often leave scars, marks, or other alterations to the body. That said, tongue piercings are among the easiest piercings to “retire.” Once the jewelry is removed, the hole will close up quickly. A mark may or may not be left behind.

How Long Does It Take a Tongue Piercing to Heal?

A tongue piercing officially takes between six and eight weeks to completely heal. However, your individual healing process depends entirely on how you care for your new piercing.

Read on to find out what symptoms are typical during this time, how your aftercare may vary from week to week when you can safely change your jewelry, and more.

Typical symptoms and piercing aftercare by day

Proper aftercare techniques are crucial to the outcome of your tongue piercing. Much of this depends on where your tongue piercing is placed, as well as how many new piercings you have.

Although the bulk of your aftercare takes place within the first couple of weeks, you’ll need to stay on top of daily cleanings until the piercing has completely healed. You should still clean your piercing once it’s healed, but you’ll have more flexibility in how often you do so.

Days 1 through 4

A little bit of swelling is normal — after all, your tongue now has a hole in it. Still, the amount of swelling shouldn’t keep you from drinking water or talking.

You’ll need to be careful with the types of foods that you eat, as these can get stuck around the jewelry and make you uncomfortable. Soft, bland foods — like applesauce and yogurt — are preferred.

French kissing and oral sex are off-limits during this time.

You can do a salt rinse to help minimize any pain and swelling. Ready-made rinses may be available for purchase from your piercer, or you can make your own at home. Use it several times per day at first to encourage the healing process.

Days 5 and 6

Pain and swelling should start to subside by the end of the first week. You may find it easier to eat, but you should still stick with soft foods at this point

Keep up with your salt rinses, and avoid extensive physical contact with others.

Tongue Piercing Rings
Tongue Piercing Rings

Days 7 through 9

Overall pain and swelling should be done by this point. You may start eating harder, crunchier foods, but do so with care. If any discomfort develops, stick with soft foods for a bit longer.

Avoid hot beverages, as these can encourage further swelling.

If possible, rinse your mouth out with salt water after eating and drinking. This can help prevent food and other irritants from getting stuck around the jewelry.

Days 10 through 41

By day 10, your piercing may look like it’s good to go — but appearances aren’t everything. The hole won’t be completely healed for several more weeks.

You can eat almost anything you’d like at this point. But take care with spices, as these can irritate the wound.

You can cut down to twice-daily salt rinses — preferably morning and night — after you brush your teeth.

Days 42 through 56

This is considered the final stretch in your tongue-piercing healing process. Continue with your salt rinses, and make sure you’re brushing and flossing.

You shouldn’t have any pain or swelling at this stage, but you might find that certain foods irritate your tongue. Any symptoms beyond this may be a sign of infection or a poor piercing job.

Once your piercer gives you the OK, you can resume your normal habits. This includes eating what you want, getting intimate, and switching out your jewelry.

You’ll still need to take precautions after the eight-week healing period, though. This ensures the health of your piercing over the long term.

When is it safe to change the jewelry?

While the initial piece of jewelry used for your piercing may not be your favorite, it’s important to make sure it stays put over the next eight weeks.

Removing the stud too soon can increase your risk of tears and infections. The hole may also close up if you remove the jewelry too soon.

Once the time comes to remove the jewelry used for the piercing, it’s best to see your piercer. They can ensure a safe removal process and show you how to correctly put new jewelry in.

General do’s and don’ts during the healing process

For your tongue piercing to properly heal, it’s imperative that you follow some basic guidelines.

Make sure that you do

  • brush your teeth twice per day
  • floss daily
  • use a soft-bristle toothbrush for cleanings
  • choose a mouthwash that’s alcohol-free
  • look for signs of complications — especially an infection

On the flip side, don’t

  • use tongue scrapers
  • play with your jewelry
  • engage in french kissing or oral sex until the piercing has completely healed
  • play contact sports with your jewelry in your tongue
  • smoke or drink alcohol during the healing process

Tips for long-term care

Once your tongue piercing has healed, you’re not completely off the hook in terms of cleaning and hygiene. You can eliminate salt rinses, but be sure to stay on top of your oral health to prevent any problems.

Tongue Piercing
Tongue Piercing

You’ll also want to ensure that any jewelry you select for your tongue piercing is of good quality. Look for jewelry made with steel, titanium, or 14-karat gold. Less desirable metals are more likely to cause an allergic reaction or lead to infection.

Be sure to keep up with your regular dental checkups over the lifetime of your piercing. Tongue piercings can increase your long-term risk of cuts, tooth trauma, and gum recession. Your dentist can monitor for changes and help ensure that your piercing doesn’t cause such damages.

Symptoms to watch for

Although tongue piercings are quick to heal compared to other piercings, they’re extremely vulnerable to infections. Poor-quality jewelry, messing with the piercing, and improper cleaning techniques all increase your risk.

See your doctor if you experience:

  • severe pain
  • severe swelling
  • redness around the piercing site
  • discharge from the piercing site
  • unusual odors

Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help treat the infection and prevent its spread.

You shouldn’t remove the jewelry during this time. Doing so will trap infectious bacteria inside your tongue and may lead to further complications.

If you decide that you want to let the piercing close up — or you just want to switch the jewelry — you should wait until the infection has completely cleared.

When to see your doctor?

Any new piercing can raise lots of questions. Those done on your tongue are especially delicate. Feel free to reach out to your piercer if you have any questions concerning the results, aftercare, and healing time.

If you think you’ve developed an infection, your piercer isn’t the right source for treatment. You’ll need to call your doctor if you see signs of an infection or you’re experiencing severe discomfort.

How Much Is a Tongue Piercing

The Factors Involved In Tongue Piercing Prices

By all means, there is no one standard price for tongue piercings. Depending on which studio you go to, the price may be a bit less or more than you find at other places. In fact, there may even be multiple prices at one studio. Here are some things that can affect the price you pay.

Piercer Experience

As with most things in life, you pay for quality. A piercer who has been doing tongue piercings for years can charge more for their experience than a newer body piercer.

And yes, their experience can be to your benefit. Experienced piercers tend to perform piercings more quickly, more accurately, and with less pain.

Piercing Technique

A basic tongue piercing is the least expensive of the tongue piercing techniques.

You may pay a bit more if you want to get the snake eyes piercing (a single barbell that exits both sides of the tongue horizontally) or the frog eyes (aka venom) piercing, which is actually a double tongue piercing.

Any combination of multiple tongue piercings or unusual placements may result in higher prices.

Studio Popularity

Studios with good piercers are likely to be favored by repeat customers and the people they recommend the studio to.

It is important to remember piercing studios have to balance customer demand with the number of piercings they can reasonably perform in a day, which is why highly popular studios charge more for their piercing services.

How Much Do Tongue Piercings Cost?

Studio Location

Some areas simply have a higher demand for piercings than others. Often, this has a lot to do with the population. A piercing studio in an urban area is going to have more clients, and thus higher prices, than a suburban studio.

Of course, the urban studio probably also has more customer traffic, so their piercers have a lot of experience. (You can see how the factors are somewhat related to each other.)

Piercing Jewelry

There are all different kinds of jewelry you can put in your tongue piercing. Most likely you will start with gold, titanium, or surgical steel. There are also different styles to choose from, like rings or barbells.

Undoubtedly, there are a variety of ball styles or you can simply go with a plain piece of jewelry, where the ball looks just like the metal on the rest of the bar or ring. All the different options will be priced differently.

Tongue Piercing
Tongue Piercing

Extra Purchases

You may also leave your piercer’s studio with a few extra items. If you won’t be back for a while, you may want to purchase extra jewelry for when your piercing is healed and you’re ready to change it out.

Most studios also offer various forms of aftercare products to ensure you’re able to take care of your tongue piercing and prevent infections or other complications from arising.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.

Why The Cheapest Prices Aren’t Always The Best Option?

As you can see from the factors above, the price often relates to quality.

Paying to get your tongue pierced at a reputable piercing studio gives you a better chance of having the piercing turn out how you want it, as well as avoiding an infection. Professional piercing studios maintain hygiene practices and use sterilized equipment.

An inexperienced piercer could end up getting the placement wrong or causing more pain than necessary.

Getting your tongue pierced somewhere other than at a well-maintained piercing studio means the person may not follow proper hygiene and equipment cleaning practices to prevent you from developing an infection. So definitely don’t pay your neighbor to do it for a few bucks.

Tongue Piercing Prices

Cheap jewelry is also a problem. Cheaper metals are highly likely to cause an allergic reaction for many people, and in the case of a new piercing, that allergic reaction will lead to severe irritation and possibly infection.

Therefore, you will just end up having to pay for more expensive jewelry or a repricing of the tongue anyway.

The Average Cost Of A Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercings typically cost between $30 to $100, with the lower range being a basic tongue piercing with simple jewelry. The higher end of the range is more likely if you are going in for a double tongue piercing or selecting more expensive jewelry.

Pay attention to how the studio calculates prices. Some charge a flat fee for piercing and basic jewelry, and others charge for the jewelry separately.

Common Discounts

You may also be able to get some kind of a deal at the piercing studio you go to. It doesn’t hurt to call and ask if they have any buy one get one free discounts, repricing deals, or student discounts.

One of the most common discounts you will find is lower prices per piercing when multiple piercings are done at once. This is true of double tongue piercings, where you don’t usually pay double the price.


Tongue piercing prices are pretty reasonable considering you get a way to personalize your appearance for years to come. The only real upkeep cost is buying any new jewelry you’re interested in wearing to change up your look.

Remember to research your studio and ask for recommendations from people you know rather than just going with the cheapest option. It doesn’t hurt to look for a deal where one is available though.

Tongue piercing prices can be high and low, but remember, the quality ones can last forever.

How Bad Do Tongue Piercings Hurt?

The tongue may seem like it would be sensitive, but most report relatively low piercing pain. With an experienced piercer, you will feel a pinch, but they’ll conduct the procedure quickly, so it will be fast.

The real pain comes in the days immediately afterward. Your tongue is an essential aspect of your daily existence, so it’s nearly impossible to give it a day off. Since your healing tongue will move quite a bit, it will lead to more healing pain and swelling. The good news? Tongues heal crazy fast, so this portion of the healing process won’t last long.

Can a tongue piercing hurt my mouth in other ways?

yes. Piercing the tongue can result in harm to your oral health in several different ways. First of which is the possibility of nerve damage. Piercing the tongue can affect the nerves in the tongue, causing numbness, altering the sense of taste, and even altering the way the mouth moves. This nerve damage can be temporary or permanent.

Additionally, a tongue piercing can easily become infected. There are many forms of bacteria present in the mouth, and a piercing is initially an open wound. It’s a recipe for infection, and an instance when infection poses especially serious risks. Infection of the tongue could lead to swelling that blocks the air passage, which is dangerous and could lead to death or brain damage.

The tongue is also at risk of dangerously swelling and blocking the airways from allergic reactions. Many people find that they have metal allergies and sensitivities to the metals used in piercing jewelry. Jewelry not made of surgical steel, gold, silver, or other high-quality, low-irritation metals can result in an allergic reaction.

Do Tongue Piercings Really Ruin Your Teeth?

Unfortunately, yes. A tongue piercing can cause damage to teeth. Piercings are usually hard metal, which inside the mouth can cause damage. Biting down onto the piercing or playing with it can result in scratching or chipping teeth, as well as increased tooth sensitivity.

What type of tongue ring is best?

Tongue Piercing Types

  1. Midline Tongue Piercing

This is the traditional tongue piercing which involves a single vertical perforation right in the center of the tongue. It’s the simplest of all tongue piercings, making it the perfect choice for a first-timer. It’s quite painless as the tongue is pierced through the middle, where there are fewer nerves, and it’s more affordable than other piercings due to its simplicity.

  • Tongue Web Piercing

This piercing is perfect since it’s located under the tongue and is an ideal hidden piercing. It’s a special piercing in which the perforation is done through the frenulum (the under-tongue webbing) located just between your tongue and the floor of your mouth. However, this is not a typical tongue piercing and doesn’t work for everyone as it requires a thicker frenulum to fix the jewelry through. If yours is fairly thin, you should probably avoid getting this.

  • Snake Eyes Tongue Piercing

This rare and unusual piercing gets its name from its resemblance to the eyes of a snake. It’s located on the tip of the tongue and is formed by a single piece of jewelry going through the tip of the tongue horizontally. The downside of this piercing is that it can eventually migrate, leaving scars on your tongue so you might want to consider this risk before you go ahead.

  • Venom Bites Piercing

This is a double tongue piercing placed side by side and located symmetrically on either side of the tongue, resembling venom bites or the eyes of a frog. Although this piercing can look scary, it’s also unique, stylish, and guaranteed to make you stand out in the crowd. However, as it involves a double perforation, it would require a lot more care than a single perforation so that infections and unwanted complications can be avoided

  • Frowny Tongue Piercing

The Frowny piercing is similar to the tongue web piercing as it also goes through the frenulum under the tongue. The difference, however, is that it’s done between the lower gum and the lip. It’s easy to hide anytime you need to for work and formal occasions. However, like all frenulum piercings, this one too is prone to migration so if you’re looking for something more long-term it may not be the best choice.

  • Surface Scoop Piercing

The Surface Scoop piercing is located on the surface of the tongue, making it one of the less painful piercings as it goes through less tongue tissue than the others. It can be done across the surface or lengthwise along with the tongue but because it’s just on the surface, there is a high risk of jewelry rejection and migration.

  • Multiple/Double Tongue Piercing

If you’re a piercing enthusiast, this could be the perfect piercing for you. A set of two or more separated perforations made up of multiple piercings is what this piercing is all about. You can play around with not only the variations but also the jewelry as multiple piercings will allow you to insert different types of jewelry. Having multiple tongue piercings requires a lot more attention and care. Our recommendation? Start with one and then work your way upwards.

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