Tongue Piercing Infection Signs

Just like any other type of body piercing, tongue piercing should also heal quickly and without any problems. However, being the tongue one of the most sensitive parts of your body, you should absolutely be aware certain risks that this procedure may cause.

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Knowing the signs and symptoms of potential infections will help you detect them in time and treat them before they develop into more serious health complications.

Described below are some of the most important tongue piercing infection signs that you ought to be mindful of.

Signs of Tongue Piercing Infection:

The tongue should be fully healed within 6-8 weeks after the piercing has been done. In most cases, it is quite normal to experience some swelling and irritation during the first 2 weeks, but if these signs don’t disappear and other symptoms show up, it will be necessary to immediately consult your doctor and receive adequate medical treatments and antibiotic therapies.

Tongue piercing infections are mostly caused by different types of bacteria that live in the human mouth, which have the capacity to rapidly multiply and spread, giving raise to infections. If left untreated, these infections can lead to serious health problems.

But let’s take a look at some of the most common tongue piercing infection signs.

Swelling

As we have just mentioned above, it is normal to experience some swelling around the tongue area, immediately after you get your tongue pierced. However, if swelling persists, becomes worse, or is accompanied by difficulty swallowing and speaking, it is one of the first signs that you have an infection. This requires immediate medical attention and treatment.

Redness

Slight redness around the tongue area may also be normal during the healing period, but if it continues and is accompanied by swelling and pain, it is a sure sign of inflammation and infection.

Red streaks

If you notice red streaks radiating out of the piercing hole and running down the sides and the front your tongue, this indicates the presence of an advanced infection going on, which requires an immediate antibiotic treatment.

Red strikes come along with painful tenderness of the tongue and are sometimes accompanied by fever.

Bleeding

Although some bleeding may normally occur immediately after the piercing is done, bleeding that occurs after the initial healing process has completed is instead another sign that indicates an ongoing infection.

Discoloration and discharge

Any extreme discoloration of the tongue (green, yellow, purple or black) should be taken very seriously, as it indicates the advanced stage of an infection. In this case it is necessary to seek immediate medical attention.

Discoloration may also be accompanied by yellow or green discharge, which is the pus that comes out of the infected area. This also requires prompt and adequate antibiotic treatment.

Tongue Piercing Infection – Prevention and Treatment

pierced tongue

It is possible to prevent tongue piercing infections, as well as to treat them at home in case symptoms and signs have been noticed in time.

Prevention and treatment tips

1. To avoid any infection, it is fundamental to find a reputed and professional piercer, and inform yourself well about the piercing procedure.

The piercer you choose should have a license to practice, as well as adequate training and experience. He should also exercise all the necessary sanitary precautions during the entire process of piercing, such as using sterilized needles, instruments and tools, and wearing sterile gloves and face masks.

2. After the piercing is done, it is important to carefully follow all the aftercare instructions, as advised by the piercer.

3. When getting your tongue pierced, you should always opt for plastic (polytetrafluorethylene or polypropylene) studs, since they gather less bacteria than stainless steel or titanium studs.

4. During the healing period you should avoid coffee, alcohol and cigarettes, and eat foods that are not spicy or irritating, such as mashed potatoes, bananas, cold soups, and other similar.

5. Another good way to prevent infections is to rinse your mouth after each meal. Salt and water is a very effective rinse to accelerate the healing process and treat infections in their initial stages.

6. If you develop an infection or suspect that you may have one, don’t ever take out the bar yourself. You will only worsen the situation.

Hopefully this post has helped you realize the importance of adequate sanitary precautions during the tongue piercing process, as well as of the appropriate aftercare steps, in order to prevent infections. If you have ever experienced any tongue piecing infection, please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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Jessica is a translator who has lived for many years in Asia and South America. She now lives and works in Europe, while preparing her new journeys. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, exploring different cultures and foods, and being in love.

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97 thoughts on Tongue Piercing Infection Signs

  1. youqueen girl illustration natasha

    Salt and water is the best to rinse your tongue after u have it pierced

  2. youqueen girl illustration brandi smith

    Is it ok if my tongue is yellowish. My hole tongue is and were the ball sits is a little crater of yellow stuff is that ok

    • When I got mine that’s how mine looked. I just brushed my tongue a little longer.

      • I got my tounge pierced on tuesday all of my tounge is yellow what does this mean ??

      • youqueen girl illustration melissa

        Hey I have a white ring around the bottom of my tongue where my tongue ring is what does it mean and it hurts sometimes

    • youqueen girl illustration Stacey

      You need to brush your Tongue. The build up of yellow stuff is bacteria. You Tongue usually cleans itself on the roof of your mouth but because the ball is in the way your tongue can no longer do this. It’s not a sign of infection but your Tongue does need to be washed with a tooth brush. The ring around the piercing are just dead cells and perfectly normal although you need to start brushing them and the rest of your Tongue. Also use non alcohol mouth wash (the alcohol will irritate the piercing )

      • youqueen girl illustration Yolanda

        So the yellowish, and weird tasting stuff around the ball on the top and bottom of my tongue is just build up of dead cells and will go away if i brush it longer?

      • youqueen boy illustration Louise

        I don’t have any experience about the tongue piercing but i really want to have one, but before i do. i want to know those tips and effect after piercing is it normal if you can’t eat after the piercing or 2 to 3 days ago??? NOTICE ME PLS.

      • My tounge is all yellow and I got it done on tuesday is that a sign of infection ??

    • You have to brush your tongue as it’s a bacteria that will lurk around the area and may cause it to get infected so it’s always recommended that you do so

    • youqueen girl illustration Hailey

      You should be okay, as white/creamy colors are safe in most cases, your tounge can’t scab over and all that is is white blood cells

  3. i had my tongue pierced 3 days ago,on the 3rd day(today) i woke up and it was a yellowish color and had a ring of bloody round the pierced area,does it mean its infected,and if it is what do i do?

  4. youqueen girl illustration Shannon Bradley

    I have had my tongue pierced for 5 years now and sometimes I have some sort of swelling around the ball which goes within a few days.
    However, my tongue has swollen completely like when it was first pierced. Why is this??
    Slightly worried!!

  5. i got my tongue pierced on monday and today when i was cleaning t yellowish puss was released…..does that mean my tongue is infected

    • No That Just Means It’s Healing Like It Should Your Fine No Worries It’s Not infected

  6. youqueen girl illustration Simone Collins

    Got my tongue repieced for the third time. And this time I have like little bits of skin growing up the piercing. Why and what can I do.

    • youqueen girl illustration Autumn.

      That’s called the anthil. It’s just like the tongue’s form of a scab. It will disappear in a few days. Completely normal.

  7. youqueen girl illustration sarah york

    I had my tounge pirshed 14 days ago it healed up good. No swelling no redness. But it turned yellow.my tounge dosent hurt or nutting. Why did it turn yellow? Some body plz help. I need info!

  8. I had my tongue pierced 2 weeks ago, and i wear a retainer when im at work. There’s yellowish pus that comes out only when im wearing my retainer. Should i be worried??

    • youqueen girl illustration Shannon

      Just make sure you clean your retainer really well. X

  9. youqueen girl illustration melanie carrero

    hey i got my snake eyes tongue piercing 2 weeks ago n yesturday i got the regular one done! now the tip of my tongue went a little numb and its kinda red… i just cleaned my tongue and i had yellow stuff coming out i wanted to know if i should be worried!! i don’t know who to go to cause nobody knows please help me! :(

  10. youqueen girl illustration Morgan

    i got my tongue done 2days ago and i think i might of ripped it a bit because its started bleeding

  11. I just got my snake eye piercing yestoday and today at night i saw my tongue only the tip of the balls are blue and under its blue too itsinfected or its normal helppp im really scared and dont know what to do

  12. youqueen girl illustration Anonymous

    I’ve had my tongue pierced over 3 months and its beeñ fine but latly its swollen and very tender are there any ways to stop an infection or should i go to the piercer and have him look at it.

  13. youqueen girl illustration Ashley Mo'nay

    I had my tongue pierced for almost a week this Wednesday (August 14, 2013) would make a week and my tongue has turned a yellowish color does that mean its infected?????

  14. I’ve had my tongue pierced for 3 days & on the third day it was black round the balls , what does that mean ?!

  15. youqueen girl illustration tatiyana

    hi , i have had my tongue pierced before and within two weeks it was fine. i took it off and now have it re-pierced. Now its 1week and 5 days and around my piercing its swollen and it looks red inside the hole, also under my tongue around the piercing its white. what does that mean ? Help . tips. would be greatly appreciated

  16. i had my tongue pierced 3 days ago,on the 3rd day(today) i woke up and it was a yellowish color and had a ring of bloody round the pierced area,does it mean its infected,and if it is what do i do?

  17. youqueen girl illustration Rhiannon

    I got my tounge pierced round about 3-4 weeks ago and under my tounge round my ball is white/yellow hard puss kind of thing and on the top of my tounge ther is a swollen red circle round my ball and let’s out yellow puss???
    Is it infected and how can I get it to go normal???

  18. I got my tounge pierced round about 2weeks ago and under my tounge round my ball is white/yellow hard puss kind of thing and on the top of my tounge ther is a swollen red circle round my ball and let’s out yellow puss???
    Is it infected and how can I get it to go normal???

  19. youqueen girl illustration Brandy

    I got my tounge pierced 6 days ago. And it’s been really sore and iv been eating a lot of ice and slushies and pop sickles to help the pain and swelling and iv been taking Tylenol 500. And today it just randomly started bleeding. And I got it checked out but they didn’t say much about it. And it’s bleeding a lot off and on. And in really worried that its infected or something. I semi think that while eating or talking I some how ripped the hole a bit causing bleeding. Does anyone know why this may be happening??

  20. youqueen girl illustration Brianda

    I got my tongue pierced like 2 months ago, it’s gonna be 2 months in 3 days.. But it always hurts around the ball and today I switch the ring and I noticed that I have something really white all the way in the back of my tongue with a lot of little bumps, what does that mean?

  21. youqueen girl illustration adrianna

    i got my tonuge periced around febuary and everything was going good but i kept playing with it and everything and just 3 weeks ago i had to take it because i had to get surgery. but i noticed that the skin has rised where i split it. and i just wanted to know how i can get rid of the risen skin

  22. youqueen girl illustration Stephanie

    I got my tongue pierced about 5 weeks ago, and there’s a little white ring around the ball underneath my tongue. It sort of looks like an ulcer and its sore. What does this mean?

  23. youqueen girl illustration chloeee

    I got my tongue pierced 3days ago and have a little lump of skin in frount of my bar should i go back to the shop or is this ment to happen???

  24. youqueen girl illustration leighh

    I got my tongue pierced 3 days ago, it has got a whte/yellow blob on it, to anyone else who has the same, this is !00% normal you could just make sure you clean your tongue; such as brush it with a toothbrush. the yellow blob is just bacteria and is nothing to worry about :3 also make sure you use mouthwash and/or salty water throughout the day c:

  25. youqueen girl illustration Candace Bell

    I got my tongue pierced about a week ago. There is a yellowish color on my tongue! It doesn’t hurt or isn’t swollen. What does the yellow mean?? Should I be scard?? Help please..

    • youqueen girl illustration CeeCee

      That’s just bacteria. Your tongue usually scrapes itself on the roof of your mouth but it can’t because of the ball. Just brush your tongue really well & make sure you use a mouthwash that doesn’t have alcohol in it. If you do, your tongue could get dried out and turn a little white & slow down the healing process. Rinse with salt and water to speed it up and brush the ring gently to get rid of plaque that could get on it.

  26. youqueen girl illustration Shannon

    I’ve had my tongue pierced for 6 days and it’s been so sore and I haven’t been able to eat. A second ago I noticed some puss looking stuff around the ball on the top and bottom. I used my tweezers to get it out then I mouthwashed but it’s come back? My tongue is a yellow colour but it’s always been that way so I’m not stressing about that. But the stuff around the balls was a white colour and it was stringy and thick, like mucus. What do I do?!

    • youqueen girl illustration Shannon

      I also have tonsillitis I don’t know if that makes a difference!

    • youqueen girl illustration CeeCee

      It’s not infected so don’t worry. That is just dead cells coming out of the piercing. That will happen for a few days while the piercing is still healing.

  27. My tongue is coated white is it infected? I had it pierced 3 days ago and I am very worried

    • youqueen girl illustration CeeCee

      No it is not infected. That is just bacteria. Just brush your tongue really well to get rid of it.

  28. youqueen girl illustration T.dot..x

    Hi i got my tongue pierced 10 days ago and it doesn’t hurt but on odd days it does feel like when I talk its streching my tongue, I don’t knowif this is just part of the healing process? Please let me know asap! Thankyou..x

  29. youqueen girl illustration karine

    hi i got my tongue done about 4 days ago and its red under the ball and has like yellowish stuff coming out of it whats that mean??
    please help!

  30. My tongue has been pierced for 5 months now and I’ve been sick and taken antibiotics, but that hasn’t helped. My tongue is extremely sore but only right at the back where my throat is, so I cant swallow or poke the area with my finger. Is it infected??

  31. I had my tongue pierced 3 days ago, I am not experiencing some pain and a little more swelling. I rinsed with salt water this morning.

  32. youqueen boy illustration Marco Stteeez

    Ive had mine peireced and repeired about 4weeks ago should Iit be normal if its numbish on the bottom tounge? What can I do to get it back to normal

  33. youqueen girl illustration Destiny Marquez

    I just got my tongue pierced im on my third day and i woke up and went straight to the bathroom brushed my teeth mouth wash all that good stuff and hours go by and i rubbed my tongue against my lip n i felt a bump i go to check it out and its a little yellow bump next to my bar, ball however you want to say it and it doesnt hurt its not hot. is it dead skin or something cause i got my toothbrush and put my mouth wash on it and lightly brushed on it it didnt hurt , is it infected or ?

  34. Hi I have a white ring around the bottom of my tongue bar it’s really hurting and on the top I’ve got a yellow ring could anyone help me out please x

  35. youqueen girl illustration Peyton

    I got my tongue pierced four days ago and I woke up with a right of blood round it! Is that normal? Also on the second day of having it done my tongue went white! What does it mean?

  36. youqueen girl illustration melissa

    Is it normal to have like soars on the side of your teeth on you cheek . I think it may be from sucking on my.piercing but not to sure . I just had my tongue pierced for the first time 2 days ago . should I be worried ?

  37. My tongur has gone yellow straight after changing into my new bar. I got this pierced about 4 weeks ago.
    I am not worried but just want to know how to reduce the amount of bacteria evolving around my tongue, but.. Should i be concerned ?

  38. youqueen girl illustration chantal

    I have my tongue ring four 4days now n itz still sore as hell im rinsing with da salt water but nw i dd c my tongue is turneing so blue is it nomal any1 help plz

  39. i have just recently had my tongue pierced but around the ball my skin has cracked at the front and started to overlay a bit of my ball what does this mean?does this mean i have an infection coming? i am constantly rinsing my mouth after my meals with salt water and morning and night i am using alcohol free mouth wash but it has still not gone also i have a whiteish tongue and i am really hoping i dont have an infection coming along also, my speech has been affected because it is swollen will i permanently have a lisp or will it go down within the healing process?

  40. I have had my tongue pierced for 4 days now. Its still fully swollen and almost over the ball at the top and bottom. I have been eating, drinking a lot of ice cold water, brushing my teeth regular, taking paracetamol and using anti bacterial mouth wash a lot. I have experienced pain on the bottom of my mouth the side of my tongue and around the actual piercing. Does anyone know what this means?

    Need help ASAP.

  41. So i got my tongue pierced last night and tonight im lookin at it and i see a yellowish colored puss around the bottom side ball. Is that normal?

  42. youqueen girl illustration Alicia

    I want to get my tongue pierced but people are say if it get’s in effected that their going to chop my tongue off :O

  43. I got my tongue peirced a week ago and today it was bleeding like forel 10/15min straight is this bad?

  44. youqueen girl illustration chiquita

    I got my tongue pierced on dec. 31 . That was 2 weeks ago. Today is jan. 16 and qhen i woke up this morning my tongue was yellow and for rhe past three days my throat has been hurting is this normal please please respond. I really wanna take it out

  45. hi on the bottom of my tongue i have white stuff coming out is that normal?

  46. I got my tongue done a few days ago, its the second time having it pierced and it was infected when i got it done the first time and now its pussing on top and bottom and it bleeds when i brush my teeth, what do i do to heal it or stop it from being infected?

  47. Hi i got my tongue pierced 9days ago… and the day after i got it pierced like yellowish greenish discharge been coming out of it & inside theres like a hard lump the discharge is like mucous… is this normal

  48. I went and got if look at at the place i got it pierced at and he said it was normal. Im just worried because i been reading online that yellow or green discharge isnt normal. Thanxx in advance.

  49. Just got a tongue piercing about 3 days ago and its yellow and I have a lifted yellow taste bud aroung the oiercing. Is itninfected should I take it off and if yes what do I do after I take it of is still going to be infected

  50. youqueen girl illustration keasha

    I just got my tongue pierced 3 days ago n it hurt bad on the bottom but that mean

  51. I got my tongue pierced 4 days ago took it out the next day bc it was pierced to far back, I got it redone yesterday and now there is a red circle around the piercing it formed blood earlier is that bad??
    Super scared any help would be lovely

  52. I took my tongue piercing out yesterday and today my tongue feels a little numb and kinda swollen. Really scared here. And it feels like hard where my tongue piercing was

  53. And I used salt water as soon as.I took out my tongue ring because it was bleeding.

  54. youqueen girl illustration Cede Romero

    Hey, so I’ve had my tongue ring for about 6 1/2 months now and haven’t had any problems with it until a few days ago. It healed really good and I played with it a lot, I do smoke cigarettes, but I use mouth wash twice a day and after I smoke. Well a couple days ago I’ve had really bad cotton mouth and I can’t get rid of it to save my life. And I started getting bumps along the side of my tongue but not where near the piercing. I read that I could just be really dehydrated or I could be having an allergic reaction to something food or something that is affecting my whole mouth and throat. I didnt notice swelling on my tongue until about an hour ago and now my piercing is really sore and im starting to talk like I was when I first got it done (not as bad tho.) My boyfriend said that bc I play with it too much there could be a possibility that I may have ripped it? No bleeding, no puss, and no redness. If this might be a start to an infection I’d like to take of it right now bc its annoying :( any ideas of what I should do?!

  55. Hi I’ve had my tounge done for a year now and I’ve noticed it’s swollen where the ball sits it’s also really sore I don’t know if it’s infected I don’t know what to do I clean it 4 times a day with mouth wash and salt water any ideas of what’s wrong please reply kinda worried
    Thanks

  56. i got my snake eyes on 5 days ago nd i keep forgetting to buy listerine what is another way i can prevent it from getting infected ?

  57. youqueen girl illustration alexis .a

    I got my tongue done about 4days ago nd Ijust nnotice a like yellow bump right in front of pieced hole!! What does this mean please someone help I alaid no try noticed a yellow. Whiteish color wit yellow discharge.

  58. I got my tounge done 3 days ago, and i’m really worried because my tounge is yellow…. i have read on line that its normal but i’m not sure if it is or not… its also painful to swallow… not sure if i should take it out or not because i can’t eat… Help!!! someone tell me what to do (: xx

  59. youqueen girl illustration Abbrionna Martin

    This is my 2nd time getting the snake eyes piercing..ive had it pierced for 2 days and monday when i woke up i had a blood ball that was on the left side of my piercing so i just took it off it keeps bleedind so i used salt water…is my tongue infected???

  60. I got my tongue pierced last year, drank alcohol the next day, smoked a cigarette right afterwards, everything was fine. I just made sure to use mouthwash after every cigarette and beer. I had to take it out due to work and it closed up, so I recently got it repierced about a month ago. Smoked a cig right after and drank again the next day. Still perfectly fine. Y’all just got some messed up tongues lol

  61. I had my tongue pierced yesterday, and it didn’t hurt when I got it pierced. and it did not hurt afterwards, just a little sore 2 on a scale of 10. and it doesn’t hurt now, same amount of pain. and there is no pus. but it is a little white around the piercing hole on top, and I’ve gently, very gently scrubbed it with a toothbrush and it did not come off, it looks like my tongue with taste buds too. it’s a very light white. other than that everything is fine. is this normal? is it infected? Thanks

  62. youqueen boy illustration JDanny

    I am writing about my piercing that no longer feels okay when in for more than a couple days. Its been over 3 years since I got a tounge piercing and it was fine the first two years but now I can’t leave it in for more than a few days until it starts swelling and irritating the area and starts to feel worse and worse and I feel I have to take it out until the swelling and throbbing goes away and I wonder why

  63. youqueen girl illustration megan poole

    why has my tongue gone a yellow/white colour??is it normal?? how do i get rid of it??

  64. youqueen girl illustration Sophia

    I just got my tongue done two days ago it kinda ripped should i take it out?

  65. youqueen girl illustration tykeriah gair

    I got my tongue pierced yesterday, and I have a hard time spitting!! is there a solution

    • youqueen girl illustration shawty

      If you suck on ice and cold things such as Popsicles, ice cream etc. the swelling will go down and you’ll be able to spit easier.

  66. youqueen girl illustration shawty

    hey I got my tongue pierced march 22 (2 weeks ago) and I’ve had some light yellowish pus coming out of it. I’ve been rinsing it with salt and water & mouth wash but it doesn’t seem to be going away. Should I be worried ?!?! It doesn’t hurt or anything.

  67. youqueen boy illustration natalia

    so I pierced my tongue on april 6 2014. I have two days with my piercing and I noticed I have like a white sore underneath the bottom of my piercing and it hurts . its that normal or is it infected…..

  68. youqueen boy illustration natalia

    I got my tongue pierced 2 days ago. and I noticed like a white sore around one side of my piercing on the bottom. and it does hurt a little.does that mean its infected please help..

  69. youqueen boy illustration Cammydry

    Had my tongue pierced a week ago but my tongue has turned a bluey-green colour. I suspect that it’s just from trying to suck my disinfectant mouthwash and water through the piercing to clean it because I constantly get food stuck in there… Should be normal right? Don’t have pus or any yellow colour, also almost no pain normal swelling and no heat/throbbing sensation. Don’t need to worry right? Thanks :)

  70. I have my tongue pierced 3 and half months it has this yellow ring around the ball and its like pulse on the inside right next to the ball it hurts right now! What does this means

  71. youqueen girl illustration olivia

    Actually, you should NEVER opt for plastic or acrylic jewery. Acrylic pieces contain chemicals that can me harmful to the body. Both plastic and acrylic are pores and when nicked or cracked with produce large amounts of bacteria to fester.

  72. Hi I wonder if anyone can help me iv had my tongue peirced for 4 years and this week it’s been really sore feels like I have an alsore on it but iv been to the place iv had it done n they said it looks oki just to keep rinsing my mouth out after every meal please help!!

  73. A yellow color discharge is good. It looks like phlegm? That means your piercing is healing properly. Non alcoholic mouth wash is good for cleaning the piercing as well. If you take care of your mouth anyway your piercing will be fine. Its not that complicated.

  74. I got my tongue pierced 3 days ago now, I have like a little red dot right where they pierced my tongue. Is that a sign of infection? Also could I rinse with regular salt like cooking salt? Or does it necessary have to be sea salt?

  75. I got my snake eye done three days ago the one on top of my tongue and u some up the morning and one of the Rings had crusted blood on them is that ok? I have the regular one too but no bleeding came from the regular one

  76. I had my tongue done three days ago but my left side gland Hurts is this normal

  77. hi i had my tongue pierced 2 week ago and it is still swollen and the top ball is sinking into my tongue is it infected and what should i do!!!