27 Feb 2010

I received this message from a piercer with a question about tongue piercing:

Hello Elayne,
I'm currently a body piercer in NY, I have recently returned to piercing after having been out for some time. My question is, I pierced a womans tongue over a month ago and she returned with a hard bump inside her tongue after a night of drinking she said. There doesn't appear to be any puss or leakage of any type, however, she said it is slightly tender. I have never had this situation before and I have done several tongues in the past. It is not discolored either, do you have any suggestions for this situation?..Mick

Hi Mick,

Thanks for your message. It could be from trauma. If she was drunk, she might not know that she was playing with it too much, or doing something to it that irritated it. Hardness in tongue piercings is often scar tissue formation that is caused by "overuse" during healing. And it may seem to her that it happened overnight, but there's a possibility that development of the bump/hardness occurred over time and she just became aware of it suddently.

I'd suggest she do some mild saline rinses, just in case something got inside the channel, resulting in localized irritation. It isn't all that likely, but it is still a possibility. As long as there are any signs of distress, the piercing should be cared for as though it is healing. The recipe for the saline and suggested care guidelines are here: http://www.safepiercing.org/piercing/oral-aftercare/

Is there any swelling? Had her jewelry been downsized since the piercing was done?

Let me know how it goes....

Elayne Angel
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing


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