I’ve had my tongue pierced twice. The first time I was 15, and then I let it close after about a year. Then I had it re-done later. I recently was at the dentist and was asked about the scar/hole from the piercing which reminded me that I’ve never shared my experience. My post about industrial piercing pain and experience did well so I thought a tongue piercing version of that post idea may be of interest as well.
Prior to getting my tongue pierced the first time I was scared because everyone said it would be extremely painful. The reason given most often was that the tongue is primarily muscle, with little fat. So I was pretty nervous about getting my tongue pierced but I worked up the guts one day.
I had my tongue peirced at a tattoo shop and they had me gargle some mouth wash for much longer than typically recommended. I want to say it was two minutes? It was a very strong, minty mouthwash and I remember my eyes were watering due to the intensity of it. Once it was done they used what looked like metal tongues to hold the tip of my tongue out. They marked my tongue with a marker and then lined up what looked like a metal straw on those dots. It looked like they were moving something through the straw, but that was just my perception at the time, I could be wrong about how that works. However at a certain point I felt a large pinch, and then a pain that felt like a radiating burn. It felt like a more intense version of getting an IV or getting blood drawn in the sense that there is a big pinch and then a burn. However I was surprised at how quickly the burning sensation finished. I had a regular seat of earrings in my ears when I was about 8, and it was certainly worse than that, but it was not terrible. My eyes watered but I didn’t actually shed any tears. And I’ve never really perceived myself as having a high pain tolerance.
After we left the shop my piercing would be sensitive if the ring caught on my teeth or on food. My tongue did swell up a bit, but they put in an extra-long tongue ring when you are newly pierced so that it has room for swelling. For a few weeks after it was pierced I would accidentally bite one end of the jewelry, which would sort of have the same effect of stepping on your dogs leash. It would make my tongue sort of snap or jerk on the opposite end of the jewelry which would be a bit painful. But for the most part, after the initial healing period it was pain free. I’ve heard some horror stories of intense pain, puss, etc but if you follow recommendations for keeping it clean and have good oral health it should be fine.
The second time that I had it pierced I was worried that it would hurt worse because of scar tissue. However, the place I went said they never pierce scar tissue, so they just put the piercing hole at a slightly different spot on my tongue and it was not any more painful than the first time.
I’ve had my ear lobes, my tongue and an industrial piercing in my ear. The tongue was worse than ear lobes but not as bad as the industrial piercing pain.