Piercings have been a popular form of self-expression for thousands of years. This expression grew and evolved with humankind, and today many people still get piercings. Specific locations such as oral piercings, such as lip, tongue, or cheek piercings, are very common among people and celebrities.
It’s undeniably true that tongue piercings are great forms of expression, but sometimes people find that their affinity for piercings has gone. One of the reasons piercings are so great for expression is because they aren’t permanent.
Over time, people decide to take out old piercings and let them close up for good. Tongue piercings can close up, but a lot more happens before they get to that point.
How Long Does it Take a Tongue Piercing to Close?
When piercings are in areas like the mouth, they are in fast-healing locations. A lot of blood vessels flow through the tongue, which is why mouth wounds close so quickly. It should only take about six to eight weeks after getting a tongue piercing for it to heal completely. However, if you tear your piercing site or face problems with infection, your piercing will likely take longer to heal completely.
Tongue Piercing Overall Care
Sometimes, the healing process can be a bumpy road, especially in areas where a lot of bacteria passes through. Specifically, tongue piercings are known to be easily infected and close quickly as well. Because of the amount of food and bacteria that travels through the tongue, these piercings can quickly become infected and may swell, causing blocked air passages. When it becomes swollen or infected, it can begin bleeding a lot because of all the blood vessels, which can make it quite challenging to speak, swallow, or chew.
It may not seem like it, but tongue piercings can actually cause significant health issues if they aren’t cared for correctly. The piercing itself can chip or crack teeth if it is hit against them too hard. Sometimes, people develop a bad habit of biting or twisting their piercing, making it more likely for them to scratch their teeth. Some people take their piercing out at night to avoid this possibility, but if your piercing is too new, then it will close up quickly in your sleep.
Once a piercing has completed the healing process, it’s safe to change and maybe even remove it in your sleep. After some time, many people eventually want to get rid of their piercings, which is a simple process.
Properly Closing a Tongue Piercing
There is little effort required to properly close your tongue piercings because any piercing site naturally wants to close anyways.
In order to allow your piercing to heal fully and close, you must remove your jewelry and be sure not to fiddle with the piercing site. There might be a hole in your tongue for a little while, depending on how long you’ve had the piercing, but it will likely close up just fine.
The only reason a piercing might not close completely is if it’s been stretched too long or had a troubling healing process, meddled with infections and other issues. If your piercing has ever torn a little, gotten swollen, or had other minor problems, it can also cause your piercing to close differently.
Does the Age of the Piercing Impact How Long it Will Take?
Any newbie tongue piercings that are less than a year old will close within hours if it gets taken out. The tongue’s ability to heal quickly is why it’s so important not to remove your piercing before your piercing has fully recovered because these babies heal quickly. You can accidentally lose your piercing if you’re not safe.
However, if you are a veteran tongue-pierced person, then you will have to wait a few days or weeks for your piercing site to close completely. It’s safe to say that the longer you’ve had your piercing, the longer it will take to close. People who’ve had it for a couple of years or more might find that it only took three days for their tongue-piercing site to disappear. If you have had your piercing for over five years, it’s likely you might be waiting a week or more for that hole to close.
Even though most piercings will close up within weeks, this is not the case for all tongue piercings. If you faced a lot of issues or stressful symptoms while your tongue healed from the piercing, it might take a little longer for the site to close. Some people stretch their piercings out with gauges, and if you extend to a large enough size, then your piercing site will never close completely.
Do Tongue Piercings Leave Scars?
Piercing sites heal as if they are scars in general, so it isn’t unusual for a closed spot to have a scar. However, any tongue piercings without any complications should close smoothly with minimal to no scarring. The amount of care people put into their piercing’s healing process also affects the way their piercing will completely heal.
Most tongue piercings are with a 14 gauge bar, and they have the potential to cause scar tissue to appear. Even if scar tissue is apparent, it may be very minimal and barely noticeable. Anyone with a piercing that is wider than a 14 gauge might have more scarring since the muscle will stretch more. A piercing site with a much broader gauge might not be able to close and may result in a small remaining hole.
Long Term Effects of a Closed Tongue Piercing
The long-term effects of closed tongue piercings will not be the same for everyone. Long-term outcomes for any piercings mainly depend on the individual and their care for their piercing.
Some temporary side effects of piercings can turn into long-term effects. For example, some piercings can cause nerve damage, numbing the tongue. This nerve damage is usually a brief side effect, but it can be a long-lasting issue if it doesn’t disappear during the healing process.
As stated earlier in this article, sometimes piercings cause damage to the gums or teeth or fillings. It’s easy for these thick metals to crack or scratch teeth accidentally. This possibility is raised if the person often plays with their tongue piercing by biting it.
The best way to avoid any long-lasting side effects is to leave your tongue piercing alone as much as possible. While it’s healing, don’t play with it or twist it. While you’re trying to let your piercing go, ignore the small hole in your tongue as best you can.
There are many popular oral piercing sites that can close easily without any scarring. While tongue piercings aren’t guaranteed to close without scaring, it’s likely they will not leave any permanent damage behind.
Piercing aftercare is one of the most critical details in getting a new piercing, along with finding the right piercer and place. Taking proper care of your tongue piercing while it heals is the best way to ensure it doesn’t leave any permanent damage behind when you decide it’s time to take it out.
Letting your tongue piercing close is one of the easiest things you can do. All that needs to be done is to remove the piercing and not play with the hole left in your tongue. The longer you’re piercing is in, the longer it will take to fully heal. Even though there are a few situations where a piercing will not close completely, most tongue piercings will close easily.