Why Does My Tongue Piercing Hurt At The Bottom?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on January 7, 2020
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

If you’ve decided to get a tongue piercing, it’s essential to know what to expect before you go into the piercing parlor. For example, post-piercing, you may experience pain underneath your tongue.

This can either indicate a side effect that’s no cause for alarm or may be a signal of a more significant problem. Complications in your mouth need to be monitored closely as an infection here can have dire consequences. 

If your tongue piercing hurts underneath at the bottom, you may be suffering from:

  • Jewelry that’s too small
  • Wear on your skin tissue
  • Rejection of the hardware
  • Sublingual hematoma
  • Infection

The Anatomy of a Tongue

Before we can talk about how a piercing affects your tongue, we need to understand a bit about the structure of this organ

Your tongue is a muscular organ made up of two muscles running next to one another and working in tandem. The line down the center of your tongue is connective tissue that separates the two tongue muscles. If you lift your tongue and look at its underside, you should see two blue blood vessels running parallel to one another. These are high-volume lingual blood vessels.

The placement of a piercing in your tongue is vital as it makes a difference to the function of your tongue. Where the tongue is pierced also affects the likelihood of consequences because of your body modification. 

Out of the six types of tongue piercings, the midline piercing is the only one that goes through only the connective tissue in your tongue. This connective tissue doesn’t have nerve endings or blood vessels, making a well-placed midline piercing through this tissue less painful than you might imagine a tongue piercing to be.

Penetration of other areas of the tongue increases the chance of complications, especially the closer you get to the lingual arteries. Your piercer will carefully choose the placement of your tongue piercing to avoid piercing arteries and restricting muscle movement. 

Post-Piercing Pain

All pierces are traumatic for your tongue. This organ will need time to adjust and recover. The other tissues in your mouth will also be adapting to the new hardware inside. In about four to six weeks, the tongue piercing should be fully healed. 

You may be baffled or confused as to why you’re feeling pain underneath the tongue piercing. No matter whether you’ve had the piercing for only a few weeks or longer, you may be developing side effects of the piercing that are having negative consequences on your health. 

A Piercing That’s Too Tight

When you get a piercing in your tongue, the professional piercer will give you a piece that’s larger than the regular size. That’s precautionary. All new piercings inflame as a reaction to being punctured and having a foreign object to adjust to.

You’re given a larger barbell so that the tongue can swell without hitting the balls on the end and getting squeezed between the boundaries of your piercing. If you’re in pain, you may have been given a piercing that was regular-sized as a mistake. 

Irritation from Wear

Because your tongue is a very frequently used organ, your tongue ring will rub up against the inside of your mouth often. Wear and tear on the tissues surrounding the piercing, like the gums, the soft palate at the bottom of your mouth, and your teeth, is one of the largest and most severe complications of tongue piercing. 

If you feel like your tongue piercing is destroying or wearing at any of these tissues, not only will you experience pain, but you may face serious health complications. Make sure to visit a dentist for help. 

Rejection of the Hardware

The metal used in the jewelry of your piercing might be making a big impact on your reaction. Jewelry for piercings are usually made of:

  • Stainless steel 
  • Gold
  • Niobium
  • Titanium 
  • Alloys

Your body may react to the intrusion of a foreign object in your body by rejecting one of these metals. 

Lingual Hematoma

If your piercer accidentally nicked one of your lingual blood vessels while piercing you, you may develop a hematoma. A hematoma is blood that seeps from a vein or artery into tissues of the body. The blood collects and creates swelling and may result in infection or other severe consequences. 


Bacterial infections are prevalent with piercings in general. Pus and pain at the site of your piercing, as well as prolonged swelling and tenderness, are all indications of an infection. If you notice that your tongue starts to change color, this is a sign of a serious infection and requires immediate medical attention. You must ensure you keep your piercing as clean as possible at all times during the healing process.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.​

All Piercings Come With Risks

Tongue piercings can have a lot of complications. Since your tongue is so vital to the functions of eating and speaking, be careful. 

If you’re experiencing pain under your piercing at the bottom, make sure to pay attention. It may be a simple issue like a piercing that’s too tight or irritated. On the other side, the pain may be a sign of a more serious problem. Be ready and willing to contact a medical professional if you think that’s the case.

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