Horizontal Tongue Piercing gives the impression you have two piercings even though it is just one. Today we look at this type in more details, paying particular attention to the cost as well as risks, healing time and process, and the jewelry preferred for it.
As the name suggests, a horizontal tongue piercing is done where a hole and jewelry cut across the tip of the tongue horizontally as opposed to the classic vertical placement.
Another name is snake eyes because the barbell balls on either side of the tongue make this piercing resemble the eyes of a snake when the pierced sticks out their tongue as you can see from the pictures in the next section.
However, it should not be confused with snake venoms or snake bites which on the other hand involves a couple vertical holes (two) placed separately on either half of the tongue, that is on the right and left sides of the tongue surface.
The 16g barbell is a good starting point for most people but your piercer may request a larger or smaller size depending on the size of your tongue.
The question in your head right now is probably, does horizontal piercing hurt? Well, it hurts, just like any other piercing. Compared to other oral types, it is slightly more painful because the needle or cannula uses passes over a relatively larger area of tissue.
Most piercees seem to agree the pain is not that much and is only sharp when the jewelry is going through. After that it is nothing more than just slight soreness till the pierced areas have healed significantly.
The healing time for horizontal piercing of the tongue is 1-2 months (assuming that there are no infection or any other complication). The swelling will subside in 1-2 weeks.
As with any body piercing, there are risks involved, most important ones being an infection, tooth damage, and speech impediment (due to restricted movement of the tongue).
Infection can lengthen the healing time to as long as 5 months which further emphasizes the need to for proper care of the tongue during the healing phase.Effective aftercare hinges on proper hygiene coupled with the adoption of proper lifestyle practices.
You will, in particular, want to rinse the mouth with a saline solution prepared by adding ¼ teaspoon of sea salt (non-iodized) to a cup of previously boiled, cool water after every meal ad in the morning and evening. You may also use a non-alcoholic mouth rinse several times each day.
It is also recommended that you refrain from oral sex, kissing, and smoking, all of which could be precursors to infection and delayed healing.
The best way to get a piercing studio in your area is to check online. Google is a good starting point. Just check “name + your area”. For example, when I searched for studios in Baltimore using the phrase “Horizontal tongue piercing in Baltimore, I found out Piercing by Kenny in 1225 Seneca Rd Baltimore, Maryland.
And here comes our favorite part. Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. You know our obsession with images if you have been reading around our site for a while.
And there is a good reason for that; we like the old tired cliché, an image speaks a thousand words. Whoever said that was smart, we can’t agree more about the power of a photo. In the light of that, here are a few pictures showing piercees with their tongue pierced horizontally:
The price it takes to get your tongue pierced in this horizontal manner varies significantly from one area, city, and country, to another. Different shops within the same precinct may also charge differently. Also, while some studios charge the actual piercing process and the jewelry separately, others charge a flat fee for everything.
All in all, the overall cost typically falls in the range of $30-90. The cost may also shift upwards depending on your jewelry choice.
Keep in mind though that price is just as much an important factor as is health and safety. So, don’t depend on price alone to choose your piercer. You should also check their level of professionalism.
That rolls down to operating in a hygienic environment where stringent health and safety precautions are observed to the letter and is registered with the appropriate boards e.g. Association of Professional Piercers in the United States.
Double horizontal tongue piercings
When people search for this term, perhaps after seeing a piercee spotting “such a piercing”, it is usually the result of the illusion of “two piercings” given by a typical horizontal piercing of the tongue. One tends to think that you have two – one on either edge of the tongue – when in actual sense you have just one.
If you are one of the hardcore piercing enthusiasts, though, you may want to take your exploration journey to another level by getting a second one (horizontally placed). This will often give the illusion of four piercings.
If you decide to go for a double, you may choose to have the two done on the same day or wait until the first one has healed before getting the second.
Just keep in mind that a pair of the piercing means twice the risk of teeth damage, speech impediment, and other complications. The edge ward placement of barbell beads makes it no better. You will thus need to be extra cautious not to play with the jewelry or accidentally bite it.
Horizontal tongue piercing offers a great level of flexibility. It can be done in multiple locations along the length and height of the tongue.
In other words, it can be placed anywhere from the tip of the tongue to the back and from the center of the tongue upwards going to the surface [see more about tongue surface piercing in the next section].
So, what is the piercing on the tip of your tongue called, you ask? Well, there is no special name for this precise placement. It is just another variation, otherwise known as snake eyes.
Should you opt for the one on the tip, ensure that the placement of the jewelry is not in a part of the tongue that bends during a speech.
As the horizontal jewelry placement type of tongue piercings continue to evolve and gain increased acceptance and recognition, enthusiasts have continued to come up with more creative approaches.
One way is to place it horizontally right on the surface of the tongue as opposed to the classic deeper placement through the thicker mass of tissue.
This term is often used for this specific type of horizontal piercing of the tongue. The term was coined by Jeremy Elms, a tattoo professional in Boynton Beach, Florida.Charmaine’s horizontal surface tongue piercing is perhaps the most well-known in its category.
Scoop or surface pierced tongue carries the same risks associated with other oral ones, but it has a significantly higher risk of migration and rejection. This is not at all surprising considering that it has a more “surface” approach which increases the risk that the body perceives the jewelry as an unwanted foreign body.
On a good note, though, it has a relatively shorter healing time (sometimes healing in as low as 2 weeks) compared to the typical horizontal piercing of the tongue.
Jewelry and rings
So, what tongue ring is suitable for a horizontal piercing of the tongue? None. You should technically be speaking not use a ring for this type of oral piercing.
Most people refer“jewelry” in its collective sense when they say ring, but just in case you have in mind an actual ring, e.g. captive bead ring, you should instead consider using a barbell. If anything, it is the only viable option given the nature of this piercing.
Stainless steel straight barbell with either acrylic or stainless steel balls remains a popular option, but there are as well various decorative, high carbon, acrylic, and nylon plastic beads to choose from nowadays if you like that extra “cool” appeal.
12 gauge onwards will do for most people, but 14 and 16 gauge barbells seem like the most popular options. Of utmost importance is that the jewelry you choose sits flush with the tongue such that the bar doesn’t show through at the point of contact. This helps to minimize the risk of tooth damage.