How long does it take for a tongue piercing to close up?

The answer to that question is not so simple, it is variable. I just ended my 7 year tongue piercing. I remember watching Malcolm in the Middle, where Malcolm just got his tongue pierced and said “After a week, I can just take it out anytime and no-one will know the difference”.

Here is my personal experience…

I had my tongue pierced early in 2004. At the time I was working at a University in Australia. About 6 months later, while I was at work, I was eating a chicken burger and then CRUNCH, I thought I just chewed on a rock. But the ball on the end of my tongue barbell had fallen out and I had just chewed on it. I was the only person at work and couldn’t leave to put my piercing back together (i.e. find a mirror), and being a relative newbie at piercings I wasn’t yet talented enough to put it back on without looking. After about 2 hours I was relieved from work, went straight to the bathroom and…

Tolerated some horrendous pain to push the barbell back through again. I ended up pushing through scar tissue… there was blood everywhere and it stung all day.

That was about 6.5 years ago.

Now I live in Japan and work as a teacher. Schools do not tolerate any visible piercings or tattoos. I got sick of wearing retainers, they are quite short and since the bottom isn’t screwed on, it was always falling off.

Finally I decided that it was serving no purpose and I got good value out of it. So I left the barbell out.

One night later… I pushed a barbell through and although a little tight, it went back in fine. I left it out again.

The second night, the barbell would only go about halfway through, beyond that felt like some pretty solid scar tissue.

So that’s it, I’m now piercing free. If you knew me during my Uni days, I got this piercing in my second year of Uni the morning after a massive party we had in our house at Toormina. I work up sleeping face down in the carport and decided, hey I’ll get my tongue pierced!

So 6 months, it took only 2 hours to start closing up.

7 years, it took 2 days to close up.

It’s funny, it closed up about 2 weeks ago and I still do the habitual movements of attempting to play with the piercing. I never put the metal between my teeth, but I would flip my tongue over and put the bottom ball between my lips. Now all I feel is this weird ring of thick skin where it has healed over.

Author: DW

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14 Comments

  1. Mine fell out one night @ the King Street Hotel
    Was healed up the following afternoon when I noticed it was missing

  2. Ah good ol King St…

  3. i have had my tongue pierced for about seven years, and have decided that for the sake of my teeth, i’d finally take it out… do you have any regrets?

  4. No regrets… I wasn’t the type of person that played with it heaps or anything. Do you have any regrets?

  5. i had to take my tongue ring last tuesday do to removing all of my teeth and one week and 2 days later i put it back in no problems ive also had it periced since 2000 so 13 years now it all depends on your body and how fast you heal everyone is different.

  6. Agreed Tanya. Everyone’s body is different and reacts differently.

  7. Just some perspective from the other extreme (which I’m told is rare), piercings which never close. I heal and scar badly, so every piercing I have ever had is still open – which is great for some ( my multiple ear piercings, are all open – despite going for years at a time without earrings) – bad for others belly button, yukky). Very glad I never got my tongue or nose done – I’d still have holes in them forever.

  8. I took mine out many times in the past 13 years I’ve had it pierced, and the piercing never fully heals. I may add that I’ve gone over two years with it removed, and I can still put it back in.
    Also, I decided to take out my monroe which never healed properly either. It is different for every person. Sometimes piercings are semi permanent!

  9. Wow… interesting experiences from Sousy and Lorraine. Really shows how different peoples bodies are!

    Mine always closed up VERY quickly.

    Moral of the story (and answer to the question posed in the post title) is that time taken for the piercing to fully heal differs hugely from person to person!

  10. I took my tongue ring out 2 years ago. The hole never closed and I recently put it back in, 2 years later!

  11. I had my tongue pierced for a year and it fell out tonight I ate and attempted to put it back in and it wont go do you think its closed???

  12. Sounds like it has closed up Jasmine. Similar thing happened to me where it was out for a few hours. It didn’t entirely close up, but it had started to. Without going into much detail, let’s just say there was a lot of blood, but the bar went through.

  13. Ive had my tongue pierced for three days. Cant talk cause my mouths so swollen not sure if im having a reaction to the metal. Cant talk. An now im considering its more of a hassel than anything. So would it be safe to take it out now? Three days later,and should it be healed up and back to normal talking?

  14. If you took it out after just 3 days, it’s very likely that it will close up quickly. I went through the same thing during my first few days of having it pierced. Just eat lots of very cold things… ice cream, ice, frozen yoghurt etc. It will take a few days but you’ll get through it!

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