What does it take to get a snakebite tongue piercing, otherwise known as venom tongue piercing? Continue reading to get more information about it, including cost, rings used, and the risks associated with it, not to forget the healing time. To give you a visual insight, we have also listed several pictures.
Venom Tongue Piercing or Snake Bite Tongue Piercing
Otherwise known as Venom tongue piercing, snake bite tongue piercing is actually a pair of piercings placed side by side on the surface of the tongue, each on either center (right and left) of the tongue. I see people asking what is the difference between venom piercing and snake bite piercing, but is essence they are one and the same thing.
The piercing is rightly named because the pair of piercings looks like the marks left by snake fangs on a victim of snake bites. This makes the piercee look like s/he has snake bites on the tongue. The term venom piercing on the other hand comes from the fact that the piercing placement is akin to that of snake fangs through which they inject venom into their victims.
The placement along the length of the tongue may vary depending upon personal preferences but it is typically placed towards the center of the tongue. For instance, a piercee who wants to adorn captive bead rings would likely want to have the piercing done more towards the tip of the tongue.
While most people get both piercing done at once, for which there is an advantage of having to go through the swelling process just once, you may as well ask to have the second one done after the first has healed first.
After the piercing process, you can expect your tongue to be swollen for the next 3-5 days. It will also feel tender for the first week.
As with all piercings, snake bites tongue piercing carries the risk of infection. This is especially so because the mouth has a relatively high amount of bacteria, some good others potentially bad.
It is therefore very important that you keep the piercing wound clean. This entails rinsing the mouth with a sea-salt solution (mix 1 cup of warm water with ¼ tsp of non-iodized sea salt) several times daily, particularly after taking food. Rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash a few times a day also helps.
Below are more aftercare measures that you should consider:
- Switch to a new soft bristled-toothbrush. A baby toothbrush is particularly good
- Melt small pieces of ice in your mouth starting in the morning after the piercing to curb swelling. However, don’t chew or suck on them.
- Take soft foods until the piercing has healed. Some good choices are mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and protein shakes.
- Check that your barbells fit snugly, particularly after meals and before going to bed. This will minimize chances of irritation.
- Avoid kissing and oral sex as these might provide a transit route so to speak for bacterial infections
- Avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking.
- Avoid rubbing the jewelry against your teeth or sides of the mouth. This may lead to irritation (during the healing process) and/or teeth and gum damage.
Other risks associated with venom bite piercing are teeth damage and allergic reaction to the metal. The latter is however rather uncommon and is pretty unlikely if you use high quality jewelry such as those made of surgical grade stainless steel.
You can always reduce chances of complications by going for professional studios. Of utmost importance is to ensure that the studio or shop is run in hygienic and health standards-compliant conditions. Try also to gather as much information as you can before getting one and only work with a piercer you feel comfortable.
Snake Bite Tongue Piercing Pictures
Before you make the big decision to give your tongue that snake bites look, you may want to know what to expect in as far as the final look is concerned and what a better way than to look at some pics. We have listed a few pictures below to help you.
Snake Bite Tongue Rings
The term “ring” is a misnomer in as far as most tongue piercings are concerned. Technically speaking rings are rarely used for tongue piercings, including venom bites piercing; straight barbell style jewelry is typically used.
14 gauge barbells are usually preferred in order to accommodate the initial swelling, but because the tongue tends to move a lot, there is always the risk of migration when the piercing is such thin.
For that reason, most piercers will recommend changing your jewelry to a 12 gauge (or even 10 gauge) barbell once the wound has healed. This not only makes the jewelry fit in snugly but also help to reduce the risk of migration.
Stainless steel is the first choice of the jewelry, particularly for the shaft that goes into the flesh, but a range of decorative materials such as acrylic, high carbon plastic etc, can be used for the balls (beads) used to fasten the barbell in place. You can even use a bead that matches the color of the tongue to make the piercing less noticeable.
All said and done, you can still use a captive bead rings or circular barbells if you so decide for a snake bite tongue piercings that are placed very close to the tip of the tongue.
Venom Tongue Piercing Healing
The mouth is very prone to infection due to the high number of bacteria thriving there but because of the high number of blood vessels, oral piercings, including venom tongue piercings, heal pretty fast.
The healing time however varies from one person to another depending on an individuals’ health condition. For example a person with weakened immune system would take longer time to heal than a person with active immune system.
An over active immune system would also more likely lead to complications such as rejection and migration and allergic reactions to the metal as such system tend to respond over-aggressively to perceived foreign bodies.
All in all, most venom piercings heal in 4-6 weeks. This time may prolong considerable in the event of complications such as irritation and infection. In the light of that, the importance of taking proper care of your piercing as it heals cannot be overemphasized. The fact that you are dealing with two piercings at once doesn’t have as much impact on the healing time.
Venom Surface Tongue Piercing
When a tongue piercing is done at the surface of the tongue, it is often referred to as scoop piercing.
Now if you are looking for an even more thrilling piercing, a venom scoop (surface) tongue piecing maybe a worthy consideration. For a venom scoop piercing, you can either go for a small barbell or a curved barbell.
You however need to keep in mind that venom scoop piercing is inherently more prone to migration and rejection than typical venom piercing. This is because surface piercings are closer to the edge of the tongue and are more likely to be perceived as a foreign object.
Venom Tongue Piercing Cost
The price it takes to get a snake bite tongue piercing varies greatly from one piercing studio or shop to another and from one location to another. The level of competition in your area will also have an impact on the cost. Well known studios may also have the livery to charge more than their unknown competitors who do just as good a job.
Nevertheless you can expect to pay anything between $30 and $90. The quoted price may cover both the actual piercing and jewelry or cover the piercing only, in which case you would have to incur an extra cost for the jewelry. The jewelry you choose could also change the price. For example, decorated beads (balls) may cost a bit more than the typical stainless steel beads and so on.
While it is important to check for the best price, cost should not be the only factor. Your tongue is important and deserves the best care. So, find a place that not only charges a fair price but also makes you feel comfortable. At the very least it should be clean, licensed, registered with the relevant bodies e.g. Association of Professional Piercers, and observing the best health practices (autoclaving of equipment in particular).
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