Tongue Piercing Ideas with Types, Pain & Healing Stages

Piercings have always been quite the conversation starter and look cool. So, if you’re looking for an amazing icebreaker or are genuinely interested in piercings, a tongue piercing might be the thing for you. 

For the uninitiated, tongue piercings are just like any other type of piercings that you can get on your body, except it is on your tongue. There is a multitude of different piercings that you can get, each more unique and different from the last.

But, you probably know this, and you’ve probably made up your mind. In addition, you are just looking for a good piercing idea that is sure to put all the money and time that you are about to pour in worth it.

Well for both the uninitiated looking to learn more about tongue piercings as well as the tattoo enthusiasts reading this, here is a detailed guide about everything you need to know about tongue piercings as well as some ideas for piercings.

Tongue Piercings

Tongue Piercings

Of all of the different piercings that are available to people, tongue piercings are easily the most diverse. There is a myriad of different styles available for tongue piercings, and you can make modifications after you get the piercing making them even more versatile. And over the years, there have been some amazing tongue piercings that put other types of piercings to shame.

While most people will tend to get a simple barbell in the middle of their tongue or will opt for a very generic tongue piercing in the middle of the tongue, there is a multitude of different styles that you can instead indulge in. But before we move onto proper styles, let’s talk a little bit about what happens during a piercing.

tongue piercing

When Getting A Piercing

Once you muster the strength to get a piercing, because it can be quite scary getting a piercing, it doesn’t just happen. The piercer will first take a good look at your tongue before they start. So, depending on where you want your piercing, your piercer will tell you the cost of the piercing and whether the piercing is possible at all. And yes, your piercer can straight up deny giving you a piercing.

They only do it for one reason, and that is because they believe that your frenulum’s structure is not sturdy enough. You can even ask the piercer why they won’t, but the answer doesn’t stray too far from your tongue isn’t sturdy enough.

On the other hand, if your tongue is sturdy and everything else is ok, your piercer may ask you to wash your mouth with mouthwash before they start the piercing. This step is however optional, as some piercers skip this step. 

Now depending on where you want your piercing done, the piercer will take measurements of that area and help you find jewelry that fits. Finding the right size for your jewelry is necessary, seeing how smaller jewelry will cause unnecessary swelling of your tongue. So by choosing a professional piercer to do your piercing, you get the added benefit of guidance from someone who knows what they are doing.

Finally, they will mark the location of your tongue where you want the piercing, and then proceed to pierce your tongue. Some professionals may also use clamps to hold your tongue in place as they pierce, so don’t be alarmed.

tongue piercing

Types of Tongue Piercings

If you, while sitting in front of the piercer, tell them to give you a tongue piercing, you will likely encounter a blank face. Asking a piercer for a tongue piercing is the same as you going to a barber and telling them you want a haircut. The professional won’t know exactly what you want unless you spell it out for them.

You will have to be very specific about what kind of piercing you want from your piercer and what kind of jewelry you would want along with it. So to help you make a more educated decision, here are the most common types of tongue piercings that you would find on someone.Midline Tongue Piercing

Midline Tongue Piercing

Let’s start with the most basic and the most common type of tongue piercing, the midline piercing. As the name suggests, the Midline piercing is in the middle of the tongue. And because it is in the middle, it is one of the easiest piercing to get. It is also the easiest piercing for the piercer to give.

But this piercing can be a little irritating, especially if you are eating. So if you happen to eat more with your right side, you should get the piercing to your left to avoid any irritation.

Horizontal or Vertical Tongue Piercing

Moving on, let’s look at the second most common type of piercing, the horizontal, or vertical tongue piercing. The horizontal and vertical tongue piercing another is a very common style of piercing that people get. The piercing happens on either both left and right sides of the tongue or vertically in the middle of the tongue.

There is no limit to the number of piercings that you can get both vertically or horizontally. Now it is fair to note that not every piercer will perform this type of piercing because there are many risks involved with this type of piercing. Since there are many nerves running through your tongue, this piercing runs the risk of hitting those nerves.

There are also various blood vessels in your tongue that you run the risk of hitting by doing this piercing. So it is important to find the right professional for the job, as you want to avoid the risk of hitting both nerves and blood vessels at all costs.

Snake Eyes Piercing

Snake Eyes Piercing

This piercing is possibly the strangest of any other tongue piercing, yet it is still an amazing piercing to look. The name snake eyes piercing is not just a cool name, but it is also a good way of describing how this piercing looks like. This piercing does look like a snake when you show it to other people. And although the piercing looks like it is two individual pieces of jewelry, it’s just one big piece of jewelry.

The snake eyes piercing happens at the tip of your tongue and looks amazing.Side Tongue Piercing

Side Tongue Piercing

The side tongue piercing is very similar to the midline piercing in terms of jewelry but is different in terms of its placement. While the midline piercing is right in the middle of the tongue, the side tongue piercing is only on one side of the tongue (on the left or the right).

Of course, you can choose whether you want the piercing towards your left or your right. But you should choose wisely, as the piercing can get a little irritating when eating. Professionals advise keeping the piercing towards the side where you chew the least, so it won’t irritate you.

Frenulum Linguae Piercing

Finally, let’s talk about the rarest piercing for you because it is usually beneath a person’s tongue. The frenulum is a small strip beneath your tongue and is one of the hardest places to get a piercing, not only because it is beneath the tongue, but also incredibly sensitive.

This is not a piercing that anyone can get, as some people have a very thin and weak frenulum, which will lead to the piercing falling off. So be sure to contact your professional before committing to this type of piercing.

Now that you know the different types of piercings, we can get into the many different styles of piercings that you can try to really wow your friends.

Frenulum Piercing

How Much Does It Hurt?

Well, this is, unfortunately, the hardest question to answer.  Since pain is subjective for every person, there is no way that someone can say just how much it can hurt. Now, of course, the piercing is going to hurt, but how much pain bothers you and how sensitive you are to pain is subjective to you.

People often compare the pain that you feel during a piercing to that of biting teeth. However, this is inaccurate, as biting your tongue is actually a lot more painful. Your teeth cover a lot more surface area of the tongue when you accidentally bite your tongue, whereas a needle covers a very small area of your tongue and the pain can be over very quickly.

So to answer your question, yes tongue piercings can hurt a lot, and there is not really anything you can do about it. 

Caring For Your Piercing

People will often rush into piercings hot on the heels of trends. Although there is not necessarily something wrong with people following trends, piercings are not something that you would want to rush into.

Piercings have a certain amount of risk associated with them and require a lot more aftercare than any other piercing.  So to help you with the aftercare process, here is how you can take care of your piercing to avoid infections.

Cleaning the Piercing

You will have to clean your piercing at least four times a day with Listerine antiseptic or with seawater solution. You will have to brush this solution on your tongue gently to ensure the most optimal healing. And remember to wash your hands before touching your piercing.

The Swelling

For the first few days, your tongue will swell and the best way to deal with it is to melt small pieces of ice on your tongue. You should also reduce the amount of talking that you do, as it can also lead to major swelling on the tongue. Try to keep away from the hot beverages or carbonated drinks during the piercing.


What Happens If I Pull My Tongue Back During The Piercing?

Nothing, because you won’t be able to move your tongue at all. Professional piercers use a pair of forceps to hold onto the tongue so you can’t move it. The piercer will also use a very sharp needle, so by the time you even feel something, the piercing is complete.

Can I Damage My Teeth?

Yes, you can. Much like every other type of oral piercing, it is very likely for you to damage your teeth with the piercing. The best way to minimize this risk is by ensuring that your jewelry is a perfect fit, or switch to smaller piercings after the first month.

Can I Change the Jewelry Myself

Yes, you absolutely can. You can screw most types of jewelry on and off, you can easily take it off without anyone else’s help.

Will I Talk In Strange Way?

When you are freshly done with your piercing, there will be a small readjustment time where you may talk in a strange way because your tongue is swollen, i.e., you will definitely talk in a  funny way.

Also See: Keloids on Piercings: How to Deal? Removal & Prevention Guide

10+ Different Styles

  1. The Smiley Face

Happen to be a big fan of comics by Alan Moore, well then the smiley face piercing is sure to bring some epic back memories for you. Watchmen is easily one of the most influential comics ever made, as it was able to perfectly mix wit, humor, and elements of sheer horror within a 12 issue comic book series. And with the new HBO series coming out soon, this is sure to be an amazing icebreaker.

While some of you may argue that the original symbol had a bloodstain on it, friends who know you well will know why you got it. And even if you don’t find yourself to be a huge fan of comics, a good smiley midline piercing can go a long way in making you look good and feeling unstoppable.Bold Barbell Piercing

  1. The Bold Barbell Piercing

Barbells are the new famous piercing now; People are out with the studs and in with the barbells. These barbells are incredibly fierce and commanding of everyone’s attention. Especially this pink barbell midline piercing that is gorgeous to look at.

The pink color gives the otherwise fierce barbell piercing a tranquil and soft feeling, that gives the piercing an awesome combination of ferocity and softness. The pink color of the tip is so bright in fact that it properly contrasts the immensely dark color of the barbell itself.Ring and Barbell tongue piercing

  1. Very Bold Choices (Ring and Barbell)

If you are looking for more of a commitment than just a simple stud or barbell, then why not go all the way and get a double piercing of both a barbell and a ring on your tongue. Now this is, of course, a very edgy look and it isn’t for everyone, yet it is an incredibly good-looking style.

The barbell and ring take on a midline piercing as it gives them a sense of symmetry and further adds to the overall appeal. Now you can change the color of the barbells and rings as well as their styles to make the style itself all the better. The change in style and color can also make the style a lot less edgy if that is your concern. But you should remember getting a piercing itself is a very big commitment, so be sure to have a talk with yourself and don’t rush into this.Double Midline Studs tongue

  1. Double Midline Studs

Almost everything is instantly better when there is more than one of them, like these incredible midline studs. But remember double the studs, double the commitment.

These midline studs look amazing on their own but can look even better when you mix and match with different types of barbells and studs. Although the double red studs look great on their own, anything good can be better. Hey, go nuts with it, and help yourself stand out more with this style.

Regardless this one of the best looking styles to get and goes best with casual days and events. You can also replace the double ball studs with flatter suds to make them less visible if you are going for a more discreet look.tongue piercing

  1. Crystal Ball Stud

It’s almost mandatory that every piece of jewelry eventually have some form of bedazzled counterpart, it is necessary. And if you happen to be into much shinier jewelry, then we might have the thing for you.

The crystal ball stud is the best stud to wear where you intend on being the center of attention. Other than being incredibly shiny (obviously), the stud can go on the tip of your tongue, which will make it all the better to look at. You can also double down on the studs and add another one to the mix just for that little extra satisfaction.

The crystal ball stud is incredibly dynamic in terms of its placement, as you can put it anywhere, and the stud will look amazing.Gold Frenulum Piercing

  1. Gold Frenulum Piercing

Nothing quite makes you the center of attention like a gold barbell under your tongue. Now sure not everyone will see it, but you are sure to leave quite the impression on someone who manages to catch a glimpse of it.

This piercing will look good with other piercings that you may have gotten on your tongue, so be sure to mix and match to get the best look. The best part of the barbell as compared to a frenulum ring is that the ring can be a bit of a nuisance even under the best of conditions.

Now while you may think that a piercing on the frenulum is just not for you, you might think otherwise after looking at this image.Snake Bites piercing

  1. Snake Bites

You have probably heard of snake eyes piercings, but you have probably never heard of snakebites piercings. Snakebites piercing are just a much edgier and cooler way of saying horizontal piercings close to each other.

Now the snakebites piercing often looks a lot better with flat studs that lie on the surface of the tongue. While ball tops won’t necessarily look bad, they can be a little uncomfortable if you plan to wear them for an extended period.

  1. Square Piercings

Tired of the incredibly conventional and generic barbells that have balls at both ends of the bar? Well, then these square piercings might be the thing for you.

The square piercings act as traditional barbells and are incredibly versatile in their application, as any specific type of piercing doesn’t limit them. So, you can get either a midline piercing or a side piercing on your tongue, and the piercing will look perfect.

Now true that the square bar does have a black color, and if that happens to be a little too gothic for you, you can find different colors for it with your professional.

  1. Bold Rings

Bold rings are another frenulum piercing that is not for the faint of heart. Not everyone is always willing to go for a frenulum piercing and those who do go it add a little bit of ferocity to their personality.

The rings can be any color that you want, so go crazy customizing what type of ring you would want there. And if you are feeling especially flashy, you can get a gold ring for you frenulum piercing. You can also get a much larger ring for your frenulum, to further show just how fierce you are.Snake Eyes tongue piercing

  1. Classic Snake Eyes

If you aren’t looking for something too flashy or exposing, you can always get classic snake eyes piercing. Not only do they look very cool, but also as they are on the tip of your tongue, they are not as easy to spot.

As for the jewelry, you can use larger piercings, or you can stick to something a lot smaller and less recognizable while also being able to choose from a large assortment of jewelry.rose tongue piercing

  1. Elegant Roses

Having a tongue piercing doesn’t suddenly turn you into a fierce person who others don’t want to mess with. Piercings can also be incredibly delicate and feminine, and it all comes down to the jewelry that you are using; case in point, the elegant rose barbell.

The elegant rose barbell is an amazing piece of jewelry that makes your piercing look incredibly beautiful instead of bold. The rose itself doesn’t carry any color other than that of silver, further adding to its elegance.


Tongue piercings are all the rage now as people are now going out of their way to get amazing piercings. Now that is not to say that it is a very easy task, as you can easily feel overwhelmed by the amount of aftercare it requires. Be sure to get proper details from your professional piercer about steps you should take in efforts to take better care of yourself.

In conclusion, be sure to do as much research as possible before committing to a single piercer. Good luck and have fun on your piercing adventure.