Fresh Tongue Piercing - Allowed Foods and Smoking Awareness

Although body piercings are a popular form of self-expression, they can have some adverse health effects. Oral piercings such as tongue rings can be particularly dangerous because they consistently come into contact with bacteria and they are within close proximity to delicate structures inside the mouth. During those initial weeks, eating certain foods may intensify your discomfort level and increase your risk of developing an infection. Once the swelling subsides and the healing process is complete, you should be able to eat any food you usually eat. Until then, however, don't rush it. Strictly follow the aftercare advice of your piercing professional and choose your foods carefully.

Foods to Eat?
For the first week after your tongue piercing, the Association of Professional Piercers advises avoiding foods and drinks that are hot in temperature or spicy. Hot and/or spicy foods can irritate your tongue, causing additional pain and discomfort. Moreover, because the jewelry in your mouth can conduct hot and cold temperatures, you may burn your tongue if the food you're eating is too warm.

Sticky Foods
Skip sticky foods, such as oatmeal or mashed potatoes, during healing. These foods can cling to the barbell and are difficult to clear from your mouth. When food particles remain in your mouth, you run the risk of developing an infection, thanks to the harmful bacteria that can set in. If you do eat sticky food, take particular care to cleanse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash afterward.

Hard Foods
Avoid hard, crunchy foods, such as toast, cookies or popcorn, as they can be highly uncomfortable on your sensitive tongue. Hard foods also require much chewing, which heightens the risk of biting your tongue or fracturing a tooth with the barbell. Finally, hard food particles can also get caught in your piercing which can be intensely uncomfortable.

Acidic Foods
Acidic foods and drinks should also be avoided as your piercing heals, as it can irritate the tongue. Steer clear of citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, pineapples and tomatoes, as well as the juices of these fruits. You should also avoid alcoholic drinks and alcohol-based mouthwashes, both of which have acidic properties.

Dairy Foods
Dairy foods, such as yogurt or milk, should be avoided in the days following a tongue piercing. Dairy products are believed to encourage the growth of yeast bacteria, which could give rise to a painful yeast infection.

How to Eat?
Wash your hands. Tighten the beads on your barbell before and after eating to prevent losing or swallowing a bead. When you chew your food, the movement of your tongue and food hitting your tongue barbell can cause your beads to loosen or fall off.

Fix meals when you have time to sit down and eat. Chew slowly to prevent chipping or cracking a tooth while chewing. Your piercer places a long barbell into your tongue piercing during healing to allow for swelling. The long barbell can move while chewing and get caught in between your teeth, causing a chip or crack from the metal of the barbell.

Prepare foods that are cool and bland. Hot, spicy or crunchy foods can cause pain while you are eating with your healing tongue ring. Small pieces of crunchy foods can become stuck in your tongue piercing channel and cause irritation, tearing or pain. Cold or frozen foods, such as ice cream, can soothe your fresh tongue piercing.

Eat with disposable forks and spoons when possible. Metal silverware may harbor bacteria even if washed. Do not share utensils with friends or family to avoid bacterial infections. Place the fork or spoon in the side of your mouth while eating. Placing the utensil in the center of your mouth may cause pain or discomfort if the utensil hits your barbell.

Other Eating Tips
Eat slowly and chew carefully after your piercing, taking care to place any food morsel directly on your molars. For a few days after the procedure, you'll likely be most comfortable eating clear, cool broth or soup. Remember to avoid sharing food, eating utensils, cups and plates with other people, as this can introduce harmful bacteria into your mouth.


Gum Recession
Researchers in the same study discovered that 35 percent of young adults who wore tongue rings for at least four years and 50 percent of young adults who wore long-stemmed barbells for at least two years experienced gum recession. The reason long-stemmed barbells are more likely to cause recession is because they have a greater ability to reach and rub across the gums.

Infection and Allergy
According to the Canadian Dental Association, many body piercers have no formal education on sterilization and appropriate infection control. This fact combined with the invasive nature of getting a tongue piercing puts clients at a higher risk of developing a bacterial infection or contracting diseases such as Hepatitis B, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and syphilis. Moreover, since metals that aren't gold, surgical steel and titanium are common allergens, clients with tongue rings are susceptible to experiencing adverse allergic reactions that may even include abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Prolonged Bleeding and Nerve Damage
Other potential risks of getting a tongue piercing by an inexperienced person are severe bleeding and nerve damage, says the American Dental Association ADA. Since body art studios aren't regulated by most states, the ADA recommends checking out a potential piercing studio carefully, looking for signs that the business is established and licensed with trained and experienced piercers as well as separate, clean and well lit piercing rooms. It also recommends looking for studios that use new gloves and fresh disposable needles and avoiding studios that use piercing guns.

Chipped or Cracked Teeth
Wearing a tongue ring may chip or crack your teeth. People will frequently hit their tongue jewelry against their teeth when talking and eating, and can even bite down on it, especially if they're wearing a long barbell, according to Constant contact between a tongue ring and teeth can cause the enamel--the hard outer coating that protects teeth--to chip away and expose the more sensitive deeper layers. More severe impact, such as biting on the tongue ring or getting hit in the mouth, can cause a crack that extends into the dentin, which makes up the bulk of a tooth, or into the pulp, which is the fleshy nerve center inside a tooth.

If your a smoker, you should be very careful during the first two weeks when the fresh piercing is healing. Always wash the mouth with a saline solution (for internal use) and be careful when washing the piercing jewrel. This could be very challenging, especially in the first two or three days when the tongue is swelling. Cleaning the jewrel is very important in order to prevent any kind of infections and risks.

Be careful in the first two weeks and follow your aftercare advice given by your piercing artist. Try to avoid smoking as much as possible.