Tongue piercings have been around for a long time. However, their variations keep increasing, making them unique in many ways.
A tongue web piercing – done on the underside of the tongue is also called a tongue frenulum piercing.
This kind of tongue piercing is gaining popularity owing to how much it can change the overall look of an individual.
If you plan on getting one, here is all you need to know.
What is a frenulum piercing?
The frenulum, also called the tongue web, is a thin tissue found on the underside of the tongue and also on the penis. On the tongue, it connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
On the penis, it connects the head to the shaft. Both types of frenulum can be pierced and jewelry inserted.
For this article, the focus will be on the tongue frenulum as it is the most popular. Also, what applies to the tongue frenulum also applies to the penile frenulum piercing.
A tongue web piercing perforates the frenulum of the tongue and comes out on the other side. The thinness of the frenulum makes it easy to perforate and heal fast given that it does not have many blood vessels.
It will thus not bleed much compared to piercings on other parts of the body.
Before delving into the details of this kind of piercing, you need to know that the person doing the piercing should be an expert in the area to ensure they do it correctly.
The aim is to avoid any unnecessary damage to your tongue and other risks associated with this kind of piercing.
Is it painful?
Your general response to pain differs from the one expressed by the next person. With this kind of piercing, however, the pain level or scale is lower than what you will feel for other types of piercings.
Still, there is pain. The assumption is that you already have other piercings on the body thus not too much pain to bear.
- The fact that the frenulum is thin and has less blood vessels and nerve endings, the pain is quite minimal.
- The clamp will exert some pressure hence some discomfort will be felt. The discomfort is also on the minimal side of the pain spectrum.
While undergoing the piercing, the correct size of the jewelry should always be used to prevent rejection, reduce pain and ensure proper healing.
As for the kind of jewelry you will be using for your piercing, most people will be started on a curved barbell then another type of jewelry once the hole made has healed properly.
Taking care of any type of piercing after it is made determines a lot of issues such as whether it will be free from infections, how fast it will heal and others. To care for the frenulum piercing, here are the aspects you need to know about:
- First of all, you will need a soft bristle toothbrush from now on. Make sure that you do not mix the toothbrush with others given the delicateness of the matter. Keep it in a dry environment.
- You will also need mouthwash that is free of alcohol such as alcohol free biotene or Listerine. Alternatively, you can create a salt water solution. For this solution, you will need to mix ¼ of a teaspoon of iodine-free sea salt in an 8-ounce cup of warm water. Those with a heart condition should avoid using the salt option. If all that is hectic, get H20cean which is a sea salt solution without alcohol thus appropriate for this case.
- Using either the alcohol-free mouthwash or sea salt solution, rinse your mouth for about half a minute after every meal and before going to bed for the best results. Avoid overdoing it since it will cause irritation and discoloration in the mouth. Keep it simple and at most five times a day. Also, keep it to half a minute for each rinsing session.
- At any time you are touching your jewelry (which should be minimal), always wash your hands with soap to avoid infecting the area.
- Your general wellbeing should also be taken care of to avoid depriving yourself of sleep and getting stressed.
- As much as possible, refrain from playing with your piece of jewelry as it is a pathway for germs to infect the area. Even more serious is that the thin nature of the frenulum makes it easy to tear if you play with it.
- Also, avoid talking too much before the piercing has healed. You will simply be putting stress on the area pierced. This can slow down the healing process and many other negative issues. Simply enjoy the silence and only talk when you need to.
- Kissing should also be kept to the minimal and simple. Avoid French kissing since it leads to infection besides damaging the tongue due to exerting pressure on it.
- Avoid alcohol in all its forms. Besides irritating the wound, it will also lead to other issues you do not want to deal with. Keep off alcohol as much as you can for a few months after the piercing.
- Avoid any foreign objects in the mouth as much as you can. That includes biting nails, licking on objects (even sweets) and any other unnecessary objects you can do without.
- It is also advisable to keep off from smoking anything. Marijuana, shisha and even cigarettes should all be kept away while you are still healing. Besides slowing down the healing process, smoking increases the chances of getting infected.
- This is the time you should avoid sharing things that go into the mouth. That includes straws, kisses, drinks, silverware and others as they increase the chances of getting infected.
Luckily, all these precautions will only be required for the first few months until the piercing has healed. After that, you can be sure to go back to your normal ways. The person who pierced your frenulum should tell you when it has healed through observation.
Word of caution
You may be tempted to save some money by thinking you can do the piercing yourself. Resist that temptation as much as you can given that it is a risky kind of piercing that needs to be done by someone with the skills and experience required to do it safely.
Just below the tongue are the salivary glands (two of them) which need to be avoided when getting the frenulum piercing. The glands produce saliva which moistens and lubricates the mouth beside serving as a per-digestive fluid for the food you eat.
Damaging the salivary glands will not only make the piercing painful, it will also increase the chances of permanently damaging the salivary glands. As you well know, you can’t function well without saliva in your mouth. The corrective surgeries for the salivary glands are quite costly and hectic to deal with just so you know.
The glands are likely to be blocked or damaged if you choose to do it yourself. Simply get a skilled and experienced piercer to do it for you at a small fee.
Migration and rejection chances
Migration or mitigation and rejection are two of the most important things to watch out for when you have a piercing.
Mitigation refers to the movement of the jewelry from its initial position closer to the surface. It also refers to a situation in which the tissue pierced becomes narrower with time.
Mitigation often occurs very slowly and is painless. These two aspects make it mostly unnoticeable until the damage has already been done.
If mitigation continues, the jewelry might remain in the skin. This is called rejection.
Both mitigation and rejection occur mostly when the frenulum is not large enough especially for those who are below the age of 18. If you visit your piercer for this kind of piercing and they tell you that your frenulum is too small, it is better to wait until they approve of it.
The risks of having this piercing when the frenulum is not large enough include damage to the salivary glands. You do not want that given the issues that come with it. Besides that, you will only be increasing the likelihood of experiencing mitigation and rejection.
Jewelry for a tongue web piercing
For beauty, both barbell and ring jewelry can be used on the piercings. However, the timeliness of each type of jewelry will depend on how much you have healed from the piercing.
Your piercer will advise on the right type of jewelry to use with your stage of healing.
What happens after the piercing?
You have had your piercing done on the frenulum, now what? The following is a breakdown of what you should normally expect after the piercing. There are also some clues on what to do to keep the discomfort away.
The first few days after the piercing will be characterized with some swelling, light and occasional bleeding with some tenderness. To remedy this, you can melt some ice in your mouth to sooth the discomfort away. If you prefer, you can use some anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen to deal with the discomfort.
When the swelling subsides, a whitish yellow fluid may be secreted at the wound. You could easily fret and think it is pus yet it is not. In fact, it is normal for the fluid to appear. The tenderness and discomfort may not, however, go away as fast as you may wish.
If, on the other hand, you see a liquid that is green or red in color, you have every reason to worry since it is a sign of infection. If you notice this kind of fluid, refrain from removing your jewelry as it may make the case worse. Ensure you see your piercer to ascertain whether it is an infection or not. If so, see your doctor.
It is normal to see some plaque on the jewelry’s post or ball. If this is the case, use a new soft bristle toothbrush. Use light strokes to brush off the plaque from the jewelry. An interdental brush can also do the job well. Whatever you do, avoid removing the jewelry until the wound is fully healed.
If you use a professional and ensure good oral hygiene, you will have a beautiful frenulum piercing without any complications.
The healing time and process
Given the delicate nature of the tongue, do not expect this kind of piercing to heal as fast as piercings on other parts of the body. The normal healing period for the frenulum piercing is between 8 to 10 weeks.
Throughout this period, you ought to keep the mouth clean at all times using an alcohol-free mouthwash or sea salt solution to rinse the mouth after every meal and before going to bed.
Keep off alcohol, smoking and kissing. Also, do not share anything that goes into the mouth for your own safety.
Always ensure that your piercer knows about any new developments with the piercing. If you see any uncommonly fluids or feel any pain out of the ordinary, make sure they know of it. This knowledge will help your piercer notify you of any infections and other such aspects like mitigation and rejection.
The mistake most people make with this kind of piercing is removing the jewelry before the piercing is fully healed. If any issue occurs with your piercing (such as the size, style or material of the jewelry) and there arises the need to change the jewelry, let that be done by the professionals.