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rec.arts.bodyart: Piercing FAQ 2C--Facial Piercings & Their Suggested Jewelry

( PartA - PartB - PartC - PartD - PartE )
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Archive-name: bodyart/piercing-faq/jewelry/partC
Last-modified: May 01, 2000
Posting-frequency: Quarterly
URL: http://www.cs.uu.nl/wais/html/na-dir/bodyart/piercing-faq/.html

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Summary: This posting contains information about body piercing. Anyone 
    interested in the subject and/or who wishes to read/post to 
    rec.arts.bodyart should read the Piercing FAQ first.

The rec.arts.bodyart Piercing FAQ is divided into 30 parts:

1--Introduction
2A--Jewelry Materials
2B--Jewelry Sizes & Designs
2C--Facial Piercings & Their Suggested Jewelry
2D--Body Piercings & Their Suggested Jewelry 
2E--Genital Piercings & Their Suggested Jewelry
3--Getting A New Piercing
4A--Professional Organizations, Piercing Instruction
4B--Professional Piercers - United States - Alabama - California
4C--Professional Piercers - United States - Colorado - Iowa
4D--Professional Piercers - United States - Kansas - Nevada
4E--Professional Piercers - United States - New Hampshire - North Dakota
4F--Professional Piercers - United States - Ohio - Pennsylvania
4G--Professional Piercers - United States - Rhode Island - Wyoming
4H--Professional Piercers - Canada
4I--Professional Piercers - Beyond N. America
4J--Professional Piercers - Beyond N. America Cont'd
5--Care Of New Piercings
6--The Healing Process & Healing Problems
7--Healed Piercings
8--Historical Information
9A--Resource List
9B--Resource List Cont'd
10A--Personal Experiences - Facial & Unisex Piercings
10B--Personal Experiences - Genital Piercings
10C--Personal Experiences - Genital Piercings Cont'd
10D--Personal Experiences - Genital Piercings Cont'd
11A--Jewelry Manufacturers
11B--Jewelry Manufacturers Cont'd
11C--Jewelry Manufacturers Cont'd

This section includes:

2C  Facial Piercings & Their Suggested Jewelry
   2C.1 Facial Piercings
   2C.2 Oral Piercings

All texts written and (c) 2000 by Anne Greenblatt unless otherwise
noted.   
Please see Part 1 of the FAQ for information regarding copyright and
dissemination of the FAQ.

DISCLAIMER!  The Piercing FAQ contains material of a sexually explicit
nature. The information contained in the Piercing FAQ should not be
construed as medical advice.


2C FACIAL PIERCINGS & THEIR SUGGESTED JEWELRY

The following contains descriptions of each piercing and suggested
jewelry.
Healing times offered are estimates. Healing time and success rates
vary for
different people.

2C.1 FACIAL PIERCINGS

EARLOBE

6 to 8 weeks

Ear piercings heal quickly and comfortably when a captive bead ring is
worn.
Rings are easier to clean and more comfortable than ear piercing studs.
Piercing studs are usually only one length which is too short to
accommodate
swelling or earlobes which are thicker than average. The butterfly clip
backing can become clogged with discharge, dirt, and bacteria. Studs
also
have a tendency to become wrapped with hair, embedding hair in the
piercing.

Please refer to Part 3 of the Piercing FAQ for information about the
piercing gun and needle piercing procedures.

Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings in 18 to 8 gauge and 3/8" to 5/8" in
diameter. The ring must not hug the edge of the earlobe. A ring which
is too
small in diameter will cause the piercing to migrate or scar. Heavy
rings
should not be used if the earlobe is exceptionally thin. Straight
barbells
in 18 to 8 gauge and 1/4" to 5/16" long; the length should be 1/16"
longer
than the width of the piercing to accommodate swelling.

Large Earlobe Piercings

Please refer to Part 7 of the FAQ for information on stretching
piercings.

Please refer to Part 2B of the FAQ for descriptions of different styles
of
jewelry for enlarged earlobe piercings.

Earlobe piercings can be easily stretched. The stretching process
should be
a gradual one. Using a stretching taper is the easiest method to test
how
far the piercing can be stretched safely. Stretching too soon or too
fast
can tear the piercing or stretch it unevenly.

Most ear piercing studs are approximately 18ga in thickness. Standard
earlobe piercings can often be safely stretched to 16 or 14ga. The size
of
the earlobe and how close the piercing is to the edge of the earlobe
will
determine how far it can be stretched. If the piercing is too close to
the
edge to be stretched to the desired size, a new piercing may be placed
above
the existing piercing without compromising the strength and elasticity
of
the earlobe.

If the earlobe has not been pierced, the piercing should be placed in
the
center of the earlobe by visualizing it as a circle or oval.

Most piercers do not perform piercings larger than 10 or 8 gauge.
Piercing
needles slice a crescent-shaped hole; they do not actually remove the
tissue. The larger the needle, the more exaggerated the crescent shape
of
the hole. Some piercers will use a large needle and immediately stretch
the
piercing to the next gauge. However, this method can cause excessive
tissue
damage because the piercing will tend to tear at the corners of the
crescent
rather than stretching evenly.

Dermal Punch Method for Large Earlobe Piercings

Dermal punches are designed to remove tissue for biopsy procedures. A
few
piercers use dermal punches to create an initially large piercing in
earlobe
and ear cartilage.

Some piercers and the Association of Professional Piercers
http://www.piercing.org/app feel that dermal punches are inappropriate
for
performing piercings.

Shannon Larratt of the Body Modification Ezine
<http://www.bme.freeq.com>
comments on the dermal punch procedure:

  "The piercing is made with a dermal punch, usually 2 to 3.5mm
depending on
  the lobe and the desired effect. A taper is used to stretch the hole.
  Since the surface tension is relieved by using a dermal punch, the
stretch
  is an easy (and large) one. The final piercing size is usually
between 6
  and 2 gauge. It is important to use light (often titanium) jewelry
for 
  healing. Healing time is the same or slightly faster than a standard
lobe 
  piercing."

TRANSVERSE OR LATERAL EARLOBE

4 to 8 months

The transverse earlobe piercing is placed perpendicular to a standard
earlobe piercing, from edge to edge. This piercing is only appropriate
for
large, unattached earlobes.

The transverse piercing can be placed to intersect an enlarged lobe
piercing, making the transverse piercing two piercings which may reduce
healing time.

Initial jewelry: Straight and curved barbells in 14 to 12 gauge and 1/8"
longer than the width of the piercing to accommodate swelling. If a
curved
barbell or ring is used, the piercing must be curved to match the
jewelry.
Most earlobes are not thick enough to support jewelry larger than 14 or
12
gauge.

Captive bead rings in 14 to 12 gauge. No more than 1/3 of the ring is
through the piercing. A ring which is too small in diameter will often
cause
the piercing to migrate or scar.

VERTICAL EARLOBE

4 to 8 months

The vertical earlobe piercing is placed vertically or close to
vertically
through the earlobe and anti-tragus.

Initial jewelry: Straight barbells in 14 to 12 gauge and 1/8" longer
than
the width of the piercing to allow for swelling and cleaning. Most
earlobes
are not thick enough to support jewelry larger than 14 or 12 gauge.

EAR CARTILAGE

3 to 6 months

Helix (upper ear) piercings are often performed with a piercing gun.
Cartilage
piercings performed with piercing guns are often problematic. Often the
piercing is not perpendicular to the tissue because the piercing gun
will not
fit around the curl of the upper ear. Body jewelry is easier to clean
and more
comfortable than ear piercing studs.

Cartilage piercings involve several layers of different types of tissue
which
heal at different rates and by different processes. The action of
piercing often separates the skin layer from the cartilage layer at the
exit point; the jewelry should be rotated towards the exit after the
piercing is complete and after cleaning to push the layers back
together.

Some cartilage piercings, particularly those through very dense
cartilage,
often swell during healing.

Some piercers perform cartilage piercings using a needle one size
larger than
the that of the jewelry to be worn (e.g. 18 gauge jewelry, 16 gauge
needle) to
allow room for new tissue to form around the inside of the piercing,
but this is not necessary.

Cartilage piercings have a greater tendency than other piercings to scar
because of the nature of the tissue involved. The piercing should be as
perpendicular to the tissue as possible to reduce stress on the tissue.
A ring
which is too small in diameter will often cause the piercing to migrate
or
scar. Prolonged healing, scarring and migration often result if the
wearer
sleeps on his/her ears.

Cartilage piercings often resist stretching quickly. Stretching a
reluctant
piercing often results in scarring.

The specific ear cartilage piercings include:

CONCH  Piercings made through the bowl shape of the ear. Conch
piercings can
be described as either "lower" or "upper" with regards to the Crus
helicis
(see DAITH). Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings in 16 to 10 gauge. The
ring
should not tightly hug the edge of the ear. Barbells in 16 to 10 gauge
and
5/16" to 3/8" in length; the barbell should be 1/16" to 1/8" longer
than the
width of the piercing. A barbell is more comfortable if the wearer
sleeps on
his/her ears.

DAITH  A piercing made through the softer cartilage behind the hard
edge of
the Crus helicis, the inner-most ridge just above the ear canal.
Because of
its interior location this piercing can be slept on comfortably. Initial
jewelry: Captive bead rings in 18 to 14 gauge and 3/8" to 1/2" in
diameter.

HELIX  Piercings made through or around the upper edge of the ear. If
the
curl is large and pronounced, a piercing made through the apex of the
curl
and parallel to the side of the head may be more comfortable. Initial
jewelry: Captive bead rings in 18 to 12 gauge and 5/16" to 7/16" in
diameter. The ring should not hug the edge of the ear.

TRAGUS  The triangular prominence of cartilage in front of the ear
canal.
Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings in 18 to 14 gauge and 5/16" to 3/8"
in
diameter; the diameter should be approximately 1/8" wider than the
piercing.

ANTI-TRAGUS  A piercing is made through the prominence of cartilage
opposite
of the tragus. Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings in 18 to 14 gauge and
3/8" to 7/16" in diameter; the diameter should be approximately 1/8"
wider
than the piercing. Barbells in 16 to 10 gauge and 5/16" to 3/8" in
length;
the barbell should be at least 1/16" longer than the width of the
piercing.
A barbell is more comfortable if the wearer sleeps on his/her ears.

INDUSTRIAL  Refers to two or more piercings through which a single
barbell
is worn. An Industrial can involve piercings of the helix, tragus,
earlobe,
Conch, or Rook. Piercings should be placed as perpendicular to the
tissue as
possible to avoid stress that can cause scarring and migration. In some
cases a curved barbell may be more comfortable than a straight barbell.
The
piercings should be healed wearing two separate pieces of jewelry if a
single piece of jewelry will put too much stress on the piercings.

ORBIT / ORBITAL  Refers to two piercings through which a single ring is
worn. Common orbital combinations include Conch/Lobe, Lobe/Lobe,
Conch/Conch. Piercings should be placed as perpendicular to the tissue
as
possible to avoid stress that can cause scarring and migration. The
piercings should be healed wearing two separate pieces of jewelry if a
single piece of jewelry will put too much stress on the piercings.

ROOK / ANTI-HELIX  A piercing made through the antihelicis, the ridge of
cartilage above the Crus helicis. Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings
in 18
to 16 gauge and 1/4" to 3/8" in diameter; the diameter should be
approximately 1/8" wider than the piercing. Curved barbells in 18 to 16
gauge and 5/16" to 3/8" in length; the barbell should be at least 1/16"
longer than the width of the piercing. A curved barbell is more
comfortable
if the wearer sleeps on his/her ears.

SNUG  A horizontal piercing of the antihelix. This piercing is very
anatomy
dependant and is often difficult to heal, especially if the wearer
sleeps on
his/her ears. Straight and curved barbells are usually chosen as the
most
comfortable and unobtrusive style of jewelry. The barbell should be 1/8"
longer than the width of the piercing.

NOSTRIL

3 to 6 months

Placement is usually somewhere along the groove in the nostril where the
cartilage is often thinner. The interior structure of the nostril
should also
be examined when deciding placement.

Some piercers perform nostril piercings using a needle one size larger
than
the jewelry to be worn (e.g. 18 gauge jewelry, 16 gauge needle) to
allow room
for new tissue to form around the inside of the piercing, but this is
not necessary.

Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings in 20 to 14 gauge and 5/16" to 7/16"
inside diameter. The ring should not hug the edge of the nostril. A
ring which
is too small in diameter will often cause the piercing to migrate or
scar.

Nostril screws in 20 to 16 gauge and 5/16" and 3/8" in length; the
nostril
screw should be 1/16" longer than the thickness of the nostril. Nostril
screws
are used when the wearer prefers the look of a stud. Nostril screws
have a
small semicircle at a right angle to the stud that holds the jewelry in
place
without the need for a clasp. Nostril screws are more difficult to
clean than
rings.

SEPTUM

4 to 8 weeks

The septum piercing is made through the thin layer of tissue between the
alar cartilage (outer) and the quadrangular cartilage (separating the
nostrils). This space of tissue is usually largest towards the tip of
the
nose. The jewelry should be no thicker than what the space can
comfortably
accommodate. Jewelry that is too thick can painfully pinch the
cartilage. If
the space is small but the wearer desires a thicker gauge, the piercing
should be performed at a thinner gauge and later stretched. Septum
piercings
can easily be stretched after healing.

If the piercee anticipates wearing spikes and tusks the piercing should
be
made low enough to allow the jewelry to fit comfortably below the
nostrils.
Please refer to Part 2B of the Piercing FAQ for descriptions of
different
styles of septum jewelry.

Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings, circular barbells in 18 to 10
gauge and
3/8" to 5/8" in diameter.

U-shaped septum retainers are available for those who need to hide the
piercing. The spread of the shanks should be adjusted so that the
retainer
may be comfortably flipped up into the nose but snug enough to prevent
losing the retainer.

An alternative to buying two pieces of jewelry (ring and retainer) is to
wear a small circular barbell in which the gap between the balls is wide
enough that it can be flipped up into the nose. Wearing a circular
barbell
as a retainer is limited by the size of the nose.

EYEBROW

2 to 4 months

The eyebrow piercing is usually placed perpendicular to the eyebrow.
Piercings placed vertically usually cause the ring to protrude.
Piercings
that are slanted inwards (\ /) tend to make the ring lay flat.

The depth of the piercing should be determined with regards to how much
tissue is available to support the piercing. Most eyebrow piercings are
usually between 1/4" and 3/8" wide. To avoid damaging the nerves
beneath the
eyebrow the piercing should not be made much deeper. Placing the
piercing
through the outermost half of the brow will avoid damaging the
Supraorbital
nerve.

Because the brow is usually relatively flat, eyebrow piercings have a
greater tendency than other piercings to migrate or reject. If the brow
is
completely flat and cannot be easily pinched, the tension of the skin
creates pressure on the jewelry which may cause the piercing to migrate
or
even reject completely. In some cases the piercing will shift or migrate
slightly while healing but will eventually settle. The piercing should
not
be made excessively deep on the assumption that it will migrate into
place.

Jewelry which is too thin is more easily rejected by the body and more
likely to tear the piercing if the jewelry is accidentally pulled.
Jewelry
which is too heavy for the amount of tissue available can cause the
piercing
to migrate or reject. Prolonged healing, scarring and migration often
result
if the wearer sleeps on his/her piercings.

Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings in 18 to 14 gauge and 3/8" to 7/16"
in
diameter; the diameter should be at least 1/8" wider than width of the
piercing. No more than 1/4 of the ring should be through the piercing. A
ring which is too small in diameter will often cause the piercing to
migrate
or scar.

Straight or curved barbells in 18 to 14 gauge and 5/16" to 7/16" in
length;
the barbell should be at least 1/16" longer than the width of the
piercing.
Straight barbells should not be used if the brow is very flat. The balls
will create pressure against the skin behind them which often causes the
piercing to migrate forward. A curved barbell will eliminate pressure
between the barbell balls and the skin.

Eyebrow retainers should not be worn in new piercings because they are
not
secure.

Eyebrow piercings often swell or bruise slightly during the first 24 to
48
hours.

BRIDGE / NIEBUHR / ERL / NASION

4 to 6 months

This piercing is made through the tissue over the bridge of the nose.
This
piercing must not be made too deep to avoid piercing the blood vessels
and
nerves that are found on either side of the bridge. The piercing is
usually
3/8" to 9/16" wide. This piercing has a high incidence of migration and
rejection, particularly if the tissue is shallow or flat.

An infection of a bridge piercing should be treated very seriously
because
of the close proximity of the sinuses. For this reason, some piercers
do not
perform this piercing.

Initial jewelry: Straight or curved barbells in 14 to 12 gauge and
7/16" to
5/8" in length; the barbell should be at least 1/16" longer than the
width
of the piercing. Captive bead rings in 14 to 12 gauge and 1/2" to 5/8"
in
diameter. No more than 1/4 of the ring should be through the piercing. A
ring which is too small in diameter will often cause the piercing to
migrate
or scar.


2C.2 ORAL PIERCINGS

The risks of oral piercings include chipped and cracked teeth and
damage to
other oral tissues, including irritation or loss of gum tissue and, in
extreme cases, bone loss beneath the gums. These risks can be reduced,
but
not altogether eliminated, by appropriate placement and jewelry
selection.
The risk of swallowing or inhaling jewelry is reduced by wearing
high-quality jewelry and frequently checking that it is secure.
Swallowed
jewelry usually passes within three days but can be potentially very
dangerous.

LIP & LABRET

2 to 4 months

The Labret piercing is usually made centrally approximately 3/8" below
the
colored edge of the lower lip, through or just above the cleft of the
chin.
Lip piercings can be made anywhere along the outside of the lips.
Because of
the delicate nature of the tissue the colored area of the lips should
not be
pierced. If a ring is chosen the piercing should be placed so that
there is
no pressure between the teeth and the ring; pressure will cause the
piercing
to migrate.

Because the mucous membrane tissue on the inside of the lip regenerates
quickly and readily, a lip piercing may close if it is left empty, even
after the piercing has been healed for several months or even years.

Labret studs tend to cause deterioration of the inside of the lip; a
niche
usually forms under the disc. Labret jewelry usually causes at least
some
gum loss where the disc rubs the gums. Labret jewelry can also cause
damage to tooth enamel if the jewelry rubs against the teeth. Over the
long term, continual pressure can cause gum loss and possibly bone loss
beneath the gums. Bone loss can also ocur behind the bottom teeth as the
jewelry pushes the teeth backwards. Bone loss is sometimes evident by an
indentation in the gums below the gumline. Often bone loss can only be
detected by x-ray.

L-shaped Fishtail Labrets are designed to reduce gum erosion. The tail
is
intended to fit into the indentation below the gumline, and the piercing
must be placed accordingly. The presence of a large frenulum may impede
ideal placement for a fishtail.

Some piercers prefer to angle the Labret piercing so that the disc is
above
the teeth. This placement will avoid gum erosion but may cause the
wearer to
accidentally bite down on the jewelry.

Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings in 16 to 10 gauge and 3/8" to 1/2"
in
diameter; the diameter should be 1/8" wider than the thickness of the
lip.
The ring should not hug the lip. A ring which is too small in diameter
will
often cause the piercing to migrate or scar. A smaller ring may be worn
after the piercing has healed.

Labret studs, barbells with a thin 3 - 5mm disc in place of a ball, in
16
to 10 gauge and 3/8" to 1/2" in length; the stud should be 1/8" longer
than the thickness of the lip to allow for swelling during healing; the
stud should be shortened after healing to reduce the risk of gum
irritation. A labret stud can be made adjustable by wearing a rubber
o-ring under the front end. The edges of the disc should be smoothly
rounded. Fishtail Labrets in 18 to 10 gauge. Fishtail labrets should be
made of a flexible metal so that they can be easily adjusted.

Playing with the jewelry while the piercing is healing can result in
scarring or prolonged healing or migration.

Labret jewelry will collect plaque, especially in the crevice between
ball
and bar. Plaque traps bacteria and can cause the jewelry to have a bad
odor.
Daily use of an anti-plaque rinse is suggested to prevent plaque
build-up.
To remove a build-up of plaque remove and soak jewelry in an
antibacterial
denture cleaner following the package directions.

While smoking may be irritating but not necessarily damaging to a new
piercing the use of chewed tobacco products is discouraged as the use of
chewed tobacco has been attributed to oral cancers and lesions.

MADONNA / BEAUTY MARK

Also called the Marilyn or Chrome Crawford because of the resemblance to
their natural beauty marks, this piercing is made above the upper lip,
usually to one side, using a Labret stud or fishtail labret. Placement
should be carefully checked to avoid the Facial Artery. Jewelry should
be
chosen following the guidelines for Labret piercings.

A piercing made in the center of the upper lip is called Philtrum
(anatomical), Upret, Divot, Medusa, Angel's Kiss, or Cupid's Bow.

CHEEK

3 to 5 months

Many piercers consider cheek piercings dangerous because of the
proximity of
large blood vessels and nerves. Placement should be carefully checked to
avoid the Facial Vein and Artery and the Paratoid Duct.

Initial jewelry: Labret studs in 16 to 10 gauge and 3/8" to 1/2" in
length;
the stud should be 1/8" longer than the thickness of the cheek.

SCRUMPER / LIP FRENULUM

1 to 2 weeks

This is a piercing of the upper or lower lip frenulums. Frenulum
piercings
are prone to rejection. The frenulum is usually thin and easily torn.
Playing with the jewelry frequently can cause or hasten rejection.

Over the long term the jewelry can cause erosion of the tooth enamel
and the
gums.

Initial jewelry: Rings in 16 to 14 gauge and 1/4" to 3/8" in diameter.

TONGUE

4 to 8 weeks

Tongue piercings are most commonly placed in the center of the tongue.
The
tongue is comprised of muscles. The risks of nerve and blood vessel
damage are
minimized when the piercing is placed in the center. The large blood
vessels
of the tongue are usually to either side and very visible on the
underside.
Very ocassionally are blood vessels present in the center. Tongue
piercings
are not known to affect the sense of taste; the papillae (tastebuds)
are too
numerous. Taste buds that are displaced by the needle will turn white
and eventually shed.

Placement should be made with regard to the length of the tongue both
in its
normal resting position in the mouth as well as when it is extended.
Placing
the piercing through or just behind the natural bend in the tongue is
usually the most comfortable position for speaking and eating. If
placed too
far forward, the bottom ball will rub against the gums, causing gum
irritation or even gum loss. If placed too far back, the piercing will
often
swell excessively and be uncomfortable and irritate the frenulum, if
one is
present.

The frenulum is the web of tissue which runs lengthwise along the
underside
of the tongue and is usually present in most people to some degree. If a
frenulum is present the piercing should be made in front of or to the
side
of it. Piercing through the frenulum often results in scarring. If the
frenulum is large, it may become irritated by the jewelry enough to
cause
scarring. Wearing a smaller bottom ball can reduce irritation. If the
side
or length of the frenulum impedes appropriate placement, the piercee
should
consider having the frenulum clipped by a dentist or oral surgeon.

The piercing should be as perpendicular to the tongue as possible. An
extremely slanted or crooked piercing creates stress on the entrances
which
can result in prolonged healing and/or scarring. A slanted piercing in
which
the top entrance is further back than bottom entrance often pushes the
bottom ball against the gums, causing gum irritation or even bone loss.

The bottom of the mouth and the lower gums may become irritated from
pressure
exerted by the bottom barbell ball. Shortening the barbell usually
alleviates
irritation. If the ball continues to rub against the gums a smaller ball
should be worn. Over the long term, continued pressure can cause gum
loss and
eventually bone loss beneath the gums. Bone loss can also occur in
front of
the bottom teeth as the barbell pushes the teeth forward. Bone loss is
sometimes evident by an indentation in the gums below the gumline.
Usually,
bone loss can only be detected by x-ray and/or an examination performed
by a
dentist.

Chipping and cracking teeth are risks of tongue piercings. The risks are
greater if the teeth are already structurally weakened by large
fillings or
caps. Wearing smaller balls, in addition to shortening the barbell, is
advised if the wearer accidentally bites down on the barbell while
eating.
Most people play with their barbells between their teeth. Over the long
term, metal jewelry will hasten deterioration of tooth enamel as the
balls
hit and scrape the teeth. Plastic or acrylic balls will reduce the risk
of
damaging the teeth but can break if bitten hard enough. Acrylic posts
should
not be worn because of the risk of breakage.

Off-center tongue piercings using barbells must be carefully placed to
avoid
severing large blood vessels. The risk of accidentally biting down on
the
jewelry is greater. If the mouth is narrow, the piercings should be
slanted
inwards on the bottom to prevent the balls from rubbing against the
gums.

Tongue piercings made through the front and side edges of the tongue
using
rings have been successful for some people, but for most a ring impedes
eating
and speaking. The risk of accidentally biting down on jewelry is
greater. A
ring may rub against the gums, resulting in irritation. If such a
piercing is
desired, the diameter of the ring must be large enough to allow for
swelling.
A ring which is too small in diameter will cause the piercing to
migrate or
scar. A smaller ring may be worn after the piercing has healed.

Initial jewelry: Straight barbells in 14 to 10 gauge and 3/4" - 1" in
length; the barbell should be at least 1/4" longer than the thickness
of the
tongue to accommodate swelling. During the first 24 to 48 hours the
tongue
usually swells to almost twice its normal size. Swelling should not
impede
breathing. If the barbell is too short, the balls may start to nest or
embed
into the tongue. The barbell may be shortened after the swelling
immediately
around the piercing has gone down, usually after 2 to 4 weeks.
Shortening
the barbell usually corrects speech or eating impediment. Many piercers
do
not use 14ga because of the risk of tearing the piercing with frequent
play.

Jewelry which is internally threaded at both ends allows for easy
insertion
and removal. Externally threaded jewelry can irritate or tear a
piercing,
even after the piercing has healed. Barbells with one fixed ball should
not
be used; the bottom ball can adhere to the shaft with plaque making
removal
difficult or impossible.

A slight depression usually forms under the top ball, particularly if
the
tongue rests against the roof of the mouth. If the depression covers
more
than half of the ball or forms a pocket around the ball, the barbell is
probably too short to accommodate swelling and / or the piercing is
slanted
so that the top hole is further back than bottom hole.

Tongue piercings stretch easily, particularly if the wearer plays with
his/her barbell. Frequently playing with the barbell by pulling the
barbell
forward will cause the piercing to stretch forward and may change the
angle
of the piercing.

Occasionally a piercing will develop excess granulation tissue, a
condition
described as hypergranulation, during healing. Excess granulation
tissue is
red or dark pink and often forms a raw-looking, visibly layered bump
that
appears to erupt from the entrance(s). Capillaries will grow into the
tissue, and hence the tissue will often bleed when disturbed. This
condition
is usually not painful. Hypergranulation can result from:

  - stress caused by playing with the barbell while the piercing is
healing
  - stress caused by excessive length of the barbell if the barbell
leans
    when the mouth is closed
  - stress caused by the piercing being placed at an inappropriate
angle;
    the piercing should be perpendicular to the tongue and not slanted
  - chemical irritation caused by the alcohol in many mouthwashes or 
    overusing mouthwash or disinfectant, smoking, certain foods
  
The excess tissue sometimes recedes into the piercing one the source(s)
of irritation has been eliminated. Continue cleaning the piercing as
suggested by your piercer for the remainder of the healing period.

Because granulation tissue is very delicate, it can sometimes be
removed by
wiping with a cotton swab or gauze sponge. Excess tissue may also be
excised
by a dentist or oral surgeon. If hypergranulation is persistent, the
piercing may have to be abandoned.

Excess white or pale pink scar tissue can also form towards the end of
the
healing process for the same reasons. Around the bottom entrance, scar
tissue may appear as a raised ring around the entrance. Around the top
entrance, scar tissue will often take the form of a hard bump beneath
the
surface of the tongue. Scar tissue that forms after the piercing has
healed
is usually the result of injury to the piercing or an accumulation of
plaque.

Some people have successfully treated hypergranulation and excess scar
tissue on oral piercings using an aspirin and water paste. This method
is not suggested; aspirin can easily damage delicate oral tissues.

Tongue barbells will collect plaque, usually on the bottom ball,
especially
in the crevice between the ball and bar. Plaque traps bacteria and can
cause
the jewelry to have a bad odor. A large accumulation of plaque can
irritate
a healed piercing and result in scar tissue. Daily use of an anti-plaque
rinse is suggested to prevent plaque build-up. To remove a build-up of
plaque, remove and soak jewelry in an antibacterial denture cleaner
following the package directions.

Check the tightness of barbell balls daily to prevent losing,
swallowing, or
inhaling the jewelry. Ask your piercer if your barbell is internally or
externally threaded and if your barbell is threaded at one or both ends.
Ideally the threads should have least three rotations and should fit
securely.

TONGUE WEB / FRENULUM

2 - 4 weeks

The piercee must have a very pronounced frenulum to be safely pierced;
there
must not be any visible blood vessels present. The piercing should be
made
in the center of the triangle of the frenulum and not too close to the
base
of the tongue where several blood vessels and glands are present.

Frenulum piercings are prone to rejection. The frenulum is usually thin
and
easily torn. Playing with the jewelry frequently can cause or hasten
rejection. Tongue web jewelry accumulates plaque quickly.

Initial jewelry: Captive bead rings in 14 to 12 gauge and 5/16" to
7/16" in
diameter. Straight or curved barbells in 14 to 12 gauge and 1/4" to
3/8" in
length. A barbell is more appropriate if the wearer has a tongue
piercing
with a barbell.


-- 
--

                              Anne Greenblatt
                Manager of the rec.arts.bodyart Piercing FAQ
                             Piercing Exquisite
                      http://www.piercingexquisite.com

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM