Question About Tongue Piercing Jewelry

I received a message from a piercee who is concerned about the size of the tongue jewelry in his new piercing:

So recently i got my tongue pierced, and ive been taking care of it rather well if i dont say so myself but something is bugging me, and i have asked my piercer and he says its fine but it still bugs me. You know how when you get your tongue pierced the ball of the barbell creates that crater? well the ball of my piercing is all the way sunken into it and i can't see it when my tongue is laying relaxed in my mouth. But i can push the piercing up and the ball will pop out of the crater just fine but will always sink in after. Now the guy who pierced my tongue said that this is fine and that my tongue is just swollen and this will go away, but for some reason the people I talked to about this ( who have their tongues pierced as well) hasnt encountered their ball sinking into their crater this badly. So im just a over worring person.Im wondering if something happened or im just that small percent of people where this happens all time and im just not aware of it.

If you can help me thank you so much !


My reply:

HI Sam,

It is hard to evaluate your situation without seeing you, but I'll help as best I can. You're welcome to send a clear, close-up photo or two. You said "recently" but I'd like you to be more specific: how old is your tongue piercing? Tongue piercings normally do swell, but standard practice is to put in a bar that is long enough to accommodate the swelling, without being overly long, which represents extra danger to your teeth.

A certain amount of "nesting" with the jewelry sinking into the tissue is to be expected. But too much is not a good thing, and because oral tissues regenerate so quickly, if your jewelry is too short, you can end up with an embedded barbell. If more than half the ball is sunk into your piercing when your tongue is at rest, you may need to get a longer post put in. If you don't think it seems as though you're in danger of embedding and your piercing is just a few days old, then you may want to see what you can do to get the swelling to go down ASAP.

Are you letting your tongue rest (not too much talking--NO playing with it), sucking gently on ice, drinking cold beverages, and sleeping with your head elevated to minimize swelling?

Here's some tips that are from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:

Piercings heal better if your body is well nourished, so eat whatever feels comfortable, and in a few days you should feel back to normal. Follow these tips for a safe, comfort-able healing course:

• Eat slowly and take small bites. Focus on keeping your tongue level. The jewelry can get between your teeth when it turns.
Avoid foods like mashed potatoes or oatmeal; they may be soft, but they are hard to eat because they to stick to your mouth and jewelry.
Smoothies, shakes, energy drinks, ice cream, soups, and the like are good menu mainstays.
Use clean fingers or utensils to place small bites of solid food between your molars. The tongue moves food to the back of the mouth, so food that is already there requires less manipulation.
Cold and frozen foods are soothing and help to minimize swelling.
Chewing gum or sucking on candy may be injurious during healing. Salty, spicy, acidic, or hot foods and beverages may be irritating.
A certain amount of speaking is unavoidable, but when your piercing is fresh, try to let your tongue rest as much as possible.
Do not play with your tongue or jewelry!


Elayne Angel, Author
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
Medical Liaison, Association of Professional Piercers

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Thank you!


hi igot my tongue pirece last friday an its only been 6 dys an with in that space my right ear is paining me an so is under my chin there is a small lump under it iwent to the doctor an she told me it was the piercing so itold her that am going to give it 2wks to get back to its normal size if not am going to take out d ring*another thing ifind my swellen went down pretty fast casue use of ice water etc.its a bit swell around the hole but not much an my barbell ithink its perfect can c under an on top of my tongue pretty well ijus hope it change at all*bt what most am concern about is the swellen under my chin plz respond asap cause iwill love to no if its gonna go down an hw long thnx

hi i have the same thing i just got my tongue piereced last friday you can see the ball but its starting to nest is this normal 

when you initially get your tongue pierced to the balls have to be steel or can they be acryllic?

I just got my tongue done, but I dont know what size to switch to after the swelling goes down. Its a little to up front on the bottom, so im getting a flat bottomed ring, and I want to make it as short as posible to avoid further contact with my teeth. Whats the standard long bar size...ya know the one they first put in

i just recently gotten my tongue pierced two or three days ago and the top part of the barbell ball has sunken half way into my tongue and i caant tell if my tongue is swollen or not. is that normal? will it go away? i would love to know asap im starting to freak out a little. :c an answer, email, or reply would be greatly appreshieated.                                                                                                   please and thank  you,                                                                                                                       courtney. c;

So, I sort of have the same problem with the whole crater thing but I can see my ball of the brbell when my tongue is relaxed. I would say the ball of my barbell is about half way in the crater. Also, my tongue is only swollen around the piercing, is that normal?


So I got my tounge pierced about 2 weeks ago, I have a boyfriend and he thinks oral sex with girls with it closer is better. But we don't know if it's too far back or not, what do you guys think?

Hey I was just wondering if in 4-10yrs time what will happen when If i take it out and don't put it back in, Would it heal back up or will I have a huge hole? I've got mine done and I've had it for about 3yrs now and I thinking in 4-10yrs I won't want it and I've looked it up and everything and I can't find this answer out haha .. Peace out Conor :D

I got my tongue pierced about 6 days ago, and my bottom ball you can't see at all anymore unless I stick my tongue out... Is that normal???