Tongue piercings are a trendy form of body modification that involve getting the tongue pierced with a barbell-style jewelry piece. But if you decide to remove your tongue ring, a common question is how long it will take for that piercing to close up.

If you need a quick answer: An established tongue piercing can begin closing in as little as a few minutes after jewelry removal and can fully close within 12-24 hours. However, the exact timeframe depends on several factors.

Piercing Age Impacts Closure Time

New piercings (less than 3 weeks) may take only minutes to start closing

When it comes to tongue piercings, the age of the piercing plays a significant role in how long it takes to close up. For new piercings that are less than 3 weeks old, the closure process can be quite rapid. In fact, it may take only minutes for a new tongue piercing to start closing up.

This is because the body recognizes the piercing as a foreign object and initiates the healing process to close the wound.

During the initial healing period, it is crucial to follow proper aftercare instructions provided by a professional piercer. This will help minimize the risk of infection and promote a faster healing process.

It is important to note that everyone’s healing process may vary slightly, so it’s essential to consult with a piercer or a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Established piercings (over 6 months) can take 12-24 hours to fully close

As a tongue piercing matures and becomes more established, the closure time increases. Piercings that have been in place for over 6 months may take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to fully close. This extended closure time is due to the development of scar tissue around the piercing, which takes longer to heal and close up.

It is important to note that even though the piercing may appear closed on the surface, the internal hole may still be present. This is why it’s essential to seek professional assistance if you no longer want your tongue piercing, as they can ensure proper closure and minimize any potential complications.

The older the piercing, the longer it takes to close up

For tongue piercings that have been in place for several years, the closure process can take even longer. The older the piercing, the more time it will take for the hole to close up completely. In some cases, it may take weeks or even months for an older tongue piercing to fully close.

It’s important to keep in mind that individual factors such as genetics, overall health, and aftercare practices can influence the closure time of a tongue piercing. If you are considering removing a long-standing tongue piercing, it is advisable to consult with a professional piercer or a healthcare provider for guidance on the best course of action.

Jewelry Worn Plays a Role

When it comes to the closure time of a tongue piercing, the type of jewelry worn can have a significant impact. Different factors such as gauge size, wearing patterns, and oral activity level can affect how quickly a piercing hole closes up.

Larger gauge piercing closures slower than smaller gauges

One important factor to consider is the gauge size of the tongue piercing. Generally, larger gauge piercings take longer to close up compared to smaller gauges. This is because a larger hole requires more time for the body to heal and regenerate the tissue around it.

It’s important to note that the closure time can vary from person to person, but on average, larger gauge piercings may take several months or even years to fully close up.

Jewelry worn 24/7 delays closure vs. intermittent wear

The duration and frequency of jewelry wear also play a role in the closure time of a tongue piercing. If someone wears their tongue jewelry 24/7, it can delay the closure process compared to intermittent wear.

This is because continuous wear keeps the hole open and prevents the body from naturally healing and closing up the piercing. On the other hand, intermittent wear gives the body more opportunity to close up the hole, speeding up the closure time.

Oral activity level affects closure rate for tongue rings

Another factor that can affect the closure rate of a tongue piercing is the level of oral activity. Activities such as talking, eating, and chewing can put stress on the piercing and slow down the closure process. The constant movement and pressure can prevent the body from fully closing up the hole.

Therefore, individuals with a more active oral lifestyle may experience a slower closure time compared to those with less oral activity.

It’s important to note that everyone’s body is unique, and closure times can vary. While these factors can give a general idea of the closure process, it’s always best to consult with a professional piercer or healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance.

Additionally, if you’re considering getting a tongue piercing, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and aftercare instructions to ensure proper healing and minimize complications.

Individual Factors Influence Closure

When it comes to the closure of a tongue piercing, there are several individual factors that can impact the length of time it takes for the piercing to close up. These factors include health conditions, age, and oral hygiene habits.

Health conditions like diabetes slow the closure process

Individuals with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, may experience a slower closure process for their tongue piercings. This is because conditions like diabetes can affect the body’s ability to heal properly.

Therefore, if you have diabetes or any other health condition, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional or your piercing artist to understand how it may impact the closure time of your tongue piercing.

Age impacts the body’s healing and closure abilities

Age is another factor that can influence the body’s ability to heal and close up a tongue piercing. Younger individuals tend to have a faster healing process compared to older individuals. This is due to the fact that younger bodies generally have a higher metabolic rate, which aids in the healing process.

However, it is important to note that everyone’s body is unique, and individual healing times can still vary regardless of age.

Oral hygiene and smoking affect closure time

Proper oral hygiene habits play a significant role in the closure time of a tongue piercing. Regularly cleaning the piercing site and maintaining good oral hygiene overall can help promote faster healing and closure. On the other hand, poor oral hygiene practices can prolong the closure process.

Additionally, smoking can also slow down the healing process and extend the time it takes for a tongue piercing to close up.

Remember, the time it takes for a tongue piercing to close up can vary from person to person. It is important to listen to your body and consult with a professional piercer if you have any concerns or questions about the closure process.

Steps to Close a Tongue Piercing

Remove jewelry and clean the piercing site

If you are looking to close up your tongue piercing, the first step is to remove the jewelry. This will allow the hole to start closing. It is important to clean the piercing site regularly to prevent infection and promote healing.

Use a saline solution or a mild, non-alcoholic mouthwash to gently clean the area. Be sure to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer or consult a healthcare professional for guidance.

Rinse mouth with antimicrobial mouthwash 2-3 times a day

In addition to cleaning the piercing site, rinsing your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash can help to speed up the healing process. Choose a mouthwash that is specifically formulated for oral piercings and contains ingredients like benzalkonium chloride or chlorhexidine gluconate.

Rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day, making sure to swish the mouthwash around the piercing site for at least 30 seconds. This will help to kill any bacteria and prevent infection.

Do not play with or continue to stretch the piercing

One of the most important steps in closing a tongue piercing is to avoid playing with it or attempting to stretch the hole further. Constantly touching the piercing or trying to stretch it can irritate the tissue and prolong the healing process.

It is best to leave the piercing alone and allow it to heal naturally. Remember, everyone’s healing process is different, so it may take some time for the hole to fully close up.

For more information on tongue piercing aftercare and closure, you can visit, a trusted website dedicated to promoting safe and responsible piercing practices. Remember to consult a professional piercer or healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance on closing your tongue piercing.

What to Expect During the Healing Process

Getting a tongue piercing is an exciting and stylish way to express oneself, but it’s important to understand the healing process that follows. Healing times can vary from person to person, but on average, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for a tongue piercing to fully heal.

During this time, there are several things you can expect to experience.

Swelling and discomfort as the hole begins to close

After getting a tongue piercing, it’s normal to experience some swelling and discomfort for the first few days. This is because the body sees the piercing as a foreign object and responds by sending extra blood flow to the area.

As the hole begins to close up during the healing process, you may notice that the swelling and discomfort start to decrease.

Potential fluid drainage, treat by rinsing with salt water

During the healing process, it’s possible for some fluid drainage to occur around the piercing. This can be a clear or slightly yellowish fluid, and it’s a sign that the body is working to heal the piercing.

To help keep the area clean and promote healing, it’s recommended to rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution a few times a day. This can be made by dissolving 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water.

Use over-the-counter pain medicine as needed for pain

While the healing process for a tongue piercing is generally not extremely painful, some individuals may experience discomfort or soreness. If you find that you’re experiencing pain, over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used as directed to help alleviate any discomfort.

However, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication.

Avoid irritants like spicy foods, alcohol, and smoking

During the healing process, it’s important to avoid irritants that can potentially prolong the healing time or cause complications. Spicy foods, alcohol, and smoking can all irritate the piercing and slow down the healing process.

It’s best to stick to a soft diet and avoid any foods or drinks that may irritate the piercing site. Additionally, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth gently and rinsing your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash.


While tongue piercings can fully close in as little as 12-24 hours after jewelry removal, healing varies based on the age of the piercing, jewelry worn, and individual factors. Pay close attention to swelling, discharge and pain during the closure process.

See your piercer or doctor for any signs of infection or other concerns.

Similar Posts