AdviceHealth & Beauty

Tongue Swollen and May Be Infected After Piercing

I had my tongue pierced 3 days ago. It's more swollen than ever with white lumps all over and a red lump too. Is it infected? I'm struggling to talk more than ever.


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October 10, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

It seems the first person you should be asking about this problem is your technician that did the piercing as they should be familiar with all of the problems associated with after effects of tongue piercing. They should be able to tell you if you need to see a doctor.

  • An infected tongue can be a very serious matter so do not fool around waiting to see if this is just normal after effects.
  • The following statements are from the Association of Professional Piercers and state the problems that can arise and also some solutions.
  • Piercing the tongue is a traumatic procedure that can lead to serious and possibly life-threatening infections. For the first few days, the normal pain and swelling is difficult to differentiate from any signs of infection. If you have difficulty breathing, however, or any other symptoms that match those of an infected tongue piercing, seek medical attention immediately.
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  • After a tongue piercing, normal healing symptoms and healing times vary from person to person. Pain from a tongue piercing lasts up to one month. The normal healing symptoms lasting several days; uncomfortable aching, pinching or tightness in the area of the wound, swelling, bleeding and a yellowish, liquid secretion. Usually, a tongue piercing heals in four to six weeks.
  • Tongue piercings carry other risks besides the danger of infection; fractured teeth, nerve damage, speech impediments, allergic reactions to tongue jewelry, scar tissue, prolonged bleeding and disease transmission as some additional risks. When factoring in all of these risks, having your tongue pierced is a decision that must be considered seriously, and close attention must be paid to symptoms of infection afterward.
  • A mixture of sea salt and water is effective in treating infected tongue rings at their initial stages. Ensure you rinse or gargle your mouth with this saline solution after every meal. If you want to make your own saline solution, mix a half a teaspoon of sea salt with 8 ounces of water.
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  • You may experience a white coating on your tongue; this is a normal bacteria response to your piercing; that is why antibacterial mouth wash is recommended. After 3-5 days the swelling will start to reduce.
  • The use of alcohol free mouth washes such as Listerine.
  • NOTE: Do not use hydrogen peroxide since it can cause crusting.
  • To reduce swelling or pain, chew small ice chips.

Here are a couple of links to sites that have more information and suggestions to help you through this period of pain and discomfort.

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October 9, 20170 found this helpful

The swollen part is completely normal! After I got my tongue pierced I felt like it wouldn't even fit in my mouth anymore. Luckily, that usually lasts about a week or week and a half at most. I didn't encounter the white bumps though. Could it possibly be a mouthwash or something you are using to clean the piercing that you haven't used before?


If it is something new, it could be irritating your tongue or you may be allergic to one of the ingredients. I would monitor them for a few days and see if they get any better and possibly use a different product to cleanse the piercing and see if that helps. If they don't resolve, I would call the place you got the piercing and ask their advice.

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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

Please remember nobody on here is a doctor and any advice that you receive is not a professional opinion and you should follow this at your own risk.

  • If you tongue is this swollen it could be a major problem and an infection.
  • However, this could be a allergic reaction to the piercing or what you are using now to clean it with.
  • This is advice from my dentist when I had something cut my gum and it was swollen and infected. I was told to go to the pharmacy and buy some hydrogen peroxide and gargle with this 4 times a day. I was to use 1 cap full of hydrogen peroxide and put it in my mouth and swish it around for 3 to 4 minutes and then spit it out. Do not swallow this it is not healthy for you.
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  • Within the first day the swelling had gone down and the cut in my mouth was starting to heal. You will need to buy the lowest solution as possible I think it is 3 percent if you live in the States.
  • You can try this, but I would recommend that you go seek medical advice this could be very dangerous.
  • The tools used to pierce your tongue might not of been cleaned properly and you have an infection from this.
  • You could have an allergic reaction to the earring used on your tongue. Your body could be rejecting this because you are allergic to this material.
  • There are so many possibilities and reasons for this swelling that we can only guess about.
  • You will need to see a doctor in order to find out what is wrong with your tongue and what medical advice they will give you. They might need to remove the earring from your tongue if there is a problem with this.
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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

Tongue swollen.

Step 1
It is normal to have swelling 3 to five days or longer after piercing.


Step 2
Start eating and drinking as usual.

Step 3
There will be white coating on your tongue use antibacterial mouthwash but no over use.

Step 4
Take vitamin b and zinc promotes healing.

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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

Mine was swollen for a week and I was directed by the piercing technician to keep ice in my mouth very often. It went away. Try the ice and rinsing out your mouth. I'd visit the place you got it done and have them check it out.

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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

Crushed ice or cool/iced water is supposed to reduce swelling and pain. However, your piercing technician should have told you a care guide on how to maintain your piercing. I would go back and ask them to take a look.


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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

It is going to be super swollen, that is perfectly normal. It is also going to take a little time for it to heal and for you to get used to having it in your mouth once the swelling goes down. You are supposed to be rinsing your mouth with Biotine Mouthwash or Listerine after every time you eat, drink, or smoke anything. If you have been doing that chances are it is not infected but if you think it could possibly be infected I would contact the piercing studio right away and have them look to see if it is healing normally. Just call and express your concerns and tell them you want to be sure everything is ok. They will have no problem taking a look for you and that will save you from paying a doctor bill if there is nothing wrong. If there is something wrong however, you will want to know right away so the proper procedures can be taken to fix the problem.

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October 19, 20170 found this helpful

White and red lumps indicate infection. I would take the tongue ring out.

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