Tongue piercings have gained popularity among people of all ages, especially the youth. It is a statement of one’s personality. Tongue piercing is often associated with characters of boldness and toughness.
There are numerous types and unique ways to get tongue piercings.
While most people opt for a single tongue piercing, do you wish to do something different?
How about a double tongue piercing?
If you are particularly interested in a double tongue piercing and wish to know more about it, you have landed at the right place.
Here is what you wanted to know about double tongue piercings. We will understand how it is done, what does it feel like to get a double piercing, how long it takes to heal, how to take care of your piercing, the risks of getting a double piercing and tips to choose the right jewelry for you.
What Is Double Tongue Piercing?
Double tongue piercing involves two separate piercings on the tongue, and you can wear a barbell in each of them.
You may have one vertical piercing and the other horizontal, or both aligned in the same direction.
In a horizontal double piercing, the piercings are laterally placed on the tongue, which looks as if you have four piercings, while all you have is two.
Another type of double piercing is the double center, in which two vertical piercings are done at the center of the tongue, with one piercing behind the other.
Double piercings off the center of the tongue, that is one on either side, are called Venom piercings. The pair of piercings looks like marks left by a snake as it bites a victim, and may be referred to as snake bite piercing.
How Is Double Tongue Piercings Done?
Make sure to get your piercing done by a professional with experience and following hygienic practices. This would save you from a lot of trouble later.
Before the piercing, they would usually perform a check to locate your veins. They might use a blue light, shining it on your tongue, in case your veins are difficult to find.
They would then mark the exact spot on the tongue, where the piercing is to be done. The positioning of the piercing needs to be done carefully, ensuring that it doesn’t affect any vein, and is not very close to the teeth or the tip of the tongue. Improper position of piercing may lead to speech problems.
A double piercing is difficult to position as compared to a single one and requires extra caution. In case you opt for a venom tongue piercing, it is important to place the piercing symmetrically on either half of the tongue.
Be sure to brush your teeth and wash your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash before the procedure.
With the position decided, now comes the piercing.
The piercer would clamp your tongue to hold it in place, and prevent any jerking during the procedure. They would then puncture the tongue with a stainless steel needle.
This is followed by inserting your desired piece of jewelry into the piercing. After they have secured it in place and done with a final check, you are ready to go.
You may get both the piercings of the double piercing done at the same time so that you would be over with the swelling and discomfort in a single shot.
Otherwise, you may choose to get the double piercing done one at a time, waiting for the first one to heal before getting the other one.
Please bear in mind that with the procedure getting over, it’s up to you to maintain your piercing with regular care. We shall discuss aspects of caring and cleaning in a later section.
Does Double Tongue Piercings Hurt? Does It Pain Terribly?
Generally, you would experience some pain and mild bleeding. It is normal to find swelling and tenderness for a few initial days. You may also notice clear or white discharge from the piercing site. These are the side effects of piercing and would usually subside in a week’s time.
The intensity of pain varies depending on the type of piercing you choose, which determines the number of punctures and how big they are.
The pain experienced would also depend on the individual and their pain tolerance levels. Some people have reported more pain during the healing time, than when they were being pierced.
How Long Does It Take To Heal?
Tongue piercings mostly heal quickly. The tongue may remain swollen and sensitive for nearly 7- 10 days after it was pierced.
It may take 4-8 weeks of healing time for a double piercing. The piercing may also heal quickly taking only 2-4 weeks, in some people. However, the healing may be delayed in case of infections, allergy, and other complications.
How Should I Care For My Double Tongue Piercing?
In comparison to other types of piercing, oral piercings have increased chances of infection. Your double piercing does require care and regular cleaning to ward off infection-causing germs and ensure quick healing.
Here Is How You Can Do It
- To relieve the initial swelling and discomfort, you may use ice cubes. Place some small ice cubes on or under the tongue and let it melt. Do not suck or chew the ice. Drink lots of water.
- Rinse your mouth after every meal to keep it clean. You can make a solution of sea salt in warm water for less than a minute. You may do this around five times a day and definitely before bedtime. The saline solution also quickens up healing. You may also use an alcohol-free mouthwash solution.
- Do not play with or tug at the jewelry in the piercing. Avoid rubbing it against the teeth or walls of the mouth. Irritation to the piercing would only deal healing. This action can also damage your teeth and gums.
- Keep the piercing clean. Use cotton soaked in saline solution and gently dab it in the areas surrounding the piercing. This can be done twice daily.
- Dental hygiene is very important to remove harmful bacteria that thrive in the mouth. Make sure that you brush regularly.
- Take care not to irritate the tongue while brushing. You may opt for a brush with soft bristles. Avoid using harsh toothpaste and other products that may cause burning sensation and interfere with the healing.
- Keep your piercing dry after every time you wash. This can be done using a clean paper towel.
- Avoid consuming hot and spicy foods while the piercing is still healing.
- You can consider taking soft or liquid foods such as soups, mashed potatoes, rice, scrambled eggs, mashed fruits, and porridge, during the initial days.
- You may also consider staying away from milk and dairy products until it heals, as these could introduce unwanted bacteria into the mouth.
- Avoid oral sex during the phase of healing to keep away from infections.
- Refrain from smoking and use of alcoholic drinks until the piercing is completely healed.
- Check that the jewelry in the piercing is well fitting and fastened, after meals and before going to bed. Avoid touching the piercing at other times.
- Ensure that you have clean hands while handling the piercing. Wash your hands with antimicrobial soap and water. This prevents the transfer of germs to the piercing.
- Do not attempt to remove or replace your jewelry until your tongue piercing has completely healed. When it is time to change your jewelry, choose one of good quality that does not produce allergic reactions. Get the replacing done by a professional.
Here let me also tell you that while cleaning your piercing is important, you must not overdo it. This may hamper the healing, cause further irritation and take a longer healing time.
Double Tongue Piercing Jewelry
The jewelry used for double tongue piercing is called a barbell. This consists of a central straight shaft, with a bead ball at each end. One or both these beads can be unscrewed for removing or changing.
Most commonly used barbells have one bead that is fixed, and only the other one can be removed. The name comes from their resemblance with barbells used in weightlifting.
Barbells come in a variety of materials such as stainless steel, gold, titanium, plastic, and silicone.
You can also choose barbell beads across a wide range of shapes, patterns, and colors. A common type of bead is the spherical one. Beads with flat circular shapes are also available, to allow free movement of the tongue and ensure minimal damage to the teeth and gums. You would use two barbells for a double tongue piercing.
Barbells come in different gauges, which refer to the thickness of the shaft or the stem. The barbell is also measured by the length of the shaft connecting the beads.
Generally, the first barbell used immediately after the piercing would be longer to allow space for swelling and subsequent healing.
This barbell is normally replaced after complete healing, with one that fits your needs and choice. The new one would be smaller in gauge and shorter than the previous one.
Tips For Choosing Jewelry
i. You need to carefully select the jewelry for your piercing.
ii. If you are particularly allergic to any material, opt for an alternative. This reduces a major risk of complications due to allergic reactions.
iii. Choose the right size. You should use a long barbell in the initial days after the piercing, to allow healing. After healing, you need to replace this with one of the right size. Get the removing and replacing done by your piercer.
iv. Use correct fitting jewelry in the piercing, to avoid damaging the teeth and gums. Also, make sure that it is at level with the tongue, and does not project too much from the surface of the tongue.
v. Always use jewelry of good quality.
vi. Ensure that the jewelry is sterile and is inserted under hygienic practices. This reduces your chances of infection.
vii. Check the barbells regularly. The bead balls on the barbells can get unscrewed or become loose with time. Gently tighten the barbells with clean hands. Ensure that they are snugly fit and not too tight.
Price Of Double Tongue Piercing
Some piercers may tell the price of the piercing procedure alone. The price of the jewelry would be additional, depending on your preferences.
A double tongue piercing would usually be priced in the range of $30 – $100.
Factors that determine the price of a double tongue piercing include the location, level of expertise, standards maintained, level of competition, techniques used, and individual choices.
Money matters aside, you should definitely check on other factors before deciding where you get your piercing done.
Go to a piercing professional who has experience in doing tongue piercings. Be sure to find out if they use sterilized instruments and prioritize health and hygiene. Choose a place where you feel comfortable.
Side Effects And Risks Of Double Tongue Piercing
Like any other type of piercing, double tongue piercing too poses risks of potential complications, particularly infections.
Risks of double tongue piercings include:
Piercings on the tongues, generally have a greater chance of being infected, when compared to piercings done elsewhere. This is because of the numerous bacteria that thrive in the mouth. The open wound from the piercing is exposed to these bacteria, some of which are capable of causing infections.
Infections of the piercing can also be caused by using unsterilized equipment and unhygienic practices for piercing.
What Does An Infected Piercing Look Like?
Signs Of Infections Include
- Persistent swelling that does not subside within a week’s time after the initial piercing.
- Yellowish pus-lie discharge from the piercing site, which may be foul-smelling
- Red streak across the surrounding areas
- Bleeding that lasts beyond the healing time
- Discoloration of the tongue may be visible in some cases
- High levels of pain
The swelling that results from the infection may also cause difficulties in breathing.
When you notice these signs of infection, immediately get it treated, to stop the infection from spreading to other parts of the body. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to control the infection.
Do not remove the jewelry from the piercing in the case of infections. This may further aggravate the infection. Don’t remove it unless advised by a medical practitioner, and do not attempt to do it by yourself.
2. Swelling Of Tastebuds
In the initial stages of healing, the taste buds in the tongue, especially those near the site of piercing may be swollen and sensitive. This would interfere with your sense of taste as well as how you perceive food.
3. Excess Salivation
The salivary glands surrounding the tongue may secrete saliva in excess. Saliva consists of enzymes that fight harmful microbes and heal the wound quickly.
4. Difficulties In Speaking And Eating
It is normal to have trouble in speaking and eating during the initial stages of healing. The swelling and pain can cause discomfort when swallowing.
There are cases of speech impediments even after the piercing has completely healed.
5. Excess Bleeding
The tongue is a soft tissue consisting of many blood vessels. Normally the oxygen in the air aids in clotting the blood, thereby inhibiting bleeding. However, a tongue piercing is not exposed to air and this delays clotting. Profuse bleeding after piercing requires medical care.
6. Damage To Teeth And Gums
The jewelry in the piercing can cause dental problems like chipping the teeth and irritation to the gums. This can happen while eating or absent-mindedly playing with it.
7. Damage To Nerves, Loss Of Sensation
Improper piercing practices without adequate caution can lead to damage of the nerves, causing loss of sensation, and paralysis. Chances of such an occurrence are high in case of double tongue piercing. Scarring of the tissue can lead to hard lumps on the tongue.
8. Allergic Reaction
Piercings also stand the risk of allergic reactions to the jewelry in the piercing. This mainly happens in people with a sensitive immune system. This could be a reaction to the material or it may result from using poor quality jewelry.
9. Swallowing The Jewelry
There is the potential risk of swallowing the jewelry in the tongue piercing. This happens if the jewelry has unscrewed and is loose.
10. Rejection Or Migration
The jewelry being a foreign body, there are chances that the immune system may try to fight it out. In this process, the body heals the area behind the jewelry, which is called rejection.
As a result, if rejection, the jewelry may gradually move outwards, in a phenomenon known as migration.
11. Blood-Borne Diseases
Unhygienic piercing practices pose the risk of contracting blood-borne contagious diseases including hepatitis and HIV-AIDS.
When To Consult A Doctor?
While healing times and symptoms vary across individuals, a yellowish discharge from the piercing, which may be smelly is a clear indication of infection.
Here is a list of conditions that require medical care:
- Excess pain and swelling that do not subside within a few days, or gets worse.
- Foul-smelling discharge from the piercings
- Severe or persistent bleeding
- Fever or chills
- Speech impediment
- Numbness or restricted movement of the tongue even after the double piercing has healed
- Difficulties in breathing
If you notice any signs of infection or experience severe symptoms, it would be best to get it checked by a medical practitioner.
In case you think there is an infection, do not delay in seeking treatment. Delayed treatment and care can aggravate the condition and spread the infection to other parts of the body.
One of the potential complications is the inflammation of the membrane around the heart, a condition called endocarditis. Most complications can be avoided with adequate care and precautions at the right time.
Moreover, remember not to remove your jewelry unless you have been advised to do so. Removing the jewelry during an infection can lead to closing the piercing with the infection trapped inside.