If you’ve just had a mouth piercing and want to know how to help it heal quickly, here’s our guide to oral piercing aftercare.
- Take one Zinc tablet on the day of the piercing and one each day for a full week. This will aid the healing process.
- Every time you eat, drink or smoke you should wash your hands thoroughly then rinse out your mouth with saline solution (see below) or glycol mouthwash. The barbell/ring should also be moved up and down/turned to remove trapped food.
- Reduce the intake of hot drinks, hot/spicy foods, tobacco and alcohol.
- Increase the intake of liquids (non-alcoholic) to avoid any dehydration.
- Choose easy to chew foods that are liquid or soft, soup is ideal.
- Keep healthy; a nutritious diet with some form of vitamin/ mineral supplement will help the body fight infection and heal itself.
- Avoid alcohol and non-prescription drugs since they can aggravate the piercing leading to swelling.
- Do not use standard mouthwash for at least one week after the piercing, as the alcohol in it will irritate the piercing.
- Do not fiddle with your piercing while it is healing, or allow anyone else to do so. This will inevitably lead to infection.
- Do not turn or move the body piercing jewellery in the bath, and do not immerse in hot soapy water for any longer than necessary. Soap and shampoo in the piercing can lead to infection and delay healing.
- Do not remove or replace jewellery until piercing has completely healed. Your tongue piercing is liable to close over upon removal of the barbell for 1 hour, even after many months.
- Don’t expose your piercing to dirty environments and don’t touch or fiddle with it unless cleaning
- Swimming should also be avoided for the first few weeks.
- Avoid oral contact with your piercing, as everyone’s mouth harbours bacteria.
- Avoid coming into contact with other people’s bodily fluids as you have an open wound and you could exchange more than just bacteria.
Tongue Piercing Aftercare:
Tongue piercings will swell to begin with. Reduced the risk of swelling by sucking ice cubes for the rest of the day (don’t overdo it!).
This swelling can last between 3-7 days, after which time the swelling will go down and the barbell you were pierced with will start to feel too long. You should go back to your piercer to have your barbell replaced with a shorter one.
The swelling may continue to reduce for another 2-4 weeks.
- your tongue swells, making it difficult to swallow or breathe
- you cannot stop the bleeding at the piercing site after compressing it firmly with clean linen (e.g. handkerchief) for up to 30 mins.
Or go directly to casualty and ask to be referred to the maxillofacial surgeon.
How long will my oral piercing take to heal?
It can take three months to a year for your piercing to heal completely. Although your piercing may look healed, this might only be surface healing. Be patient with the healing process and you are less likely to encounter any problems.
Saline solution is ideal to help healing since it agrees with all skin types and does not damage the pH of the skin or irritate the wound.
How to make saline solution:
Boil a pint of water and add a teaspoon of sea-salt, allow this to cool and apply to the pierced area as indicated above.
– You should clean the pierced area using gauze swabs rather than cotton buds or cotton wool as they can introduce fibres into the site.
– All piercings weep until they heal. This is lymph and should not be confused with an infection. The lymph will form a dry crust formation that you should soak off with saline solution during the cleaning procedure.
If you’re looking for aftercare information for non-oral piercings, please see our how to care for your new piercing guide.
This guide is for information only, if you have any concerns about your oral piercing you should contact your piercer for advice.