Oral Piercings

Firstly it must be said that all oral piercings carry with them the risk of doing damage to the teeth and gums. This can happen by accidentally biting the jewellery or constant abrasion because of positioning, or playing with the jewellery against the teeth and gums.

Listed below are the most common Oral piercings with a short description, of which there are two main groups.
1) True oral piercings which are completely inside the mouth and,
2) Semi-Oral Piercings that travel from the Outside of the Mouth to the Inside of the Mouth.

True Oral Piercings


Probably one of the most common piercings. Standardly done with a 2mm thick barbell, vertically through the center of the tongue, with care taken to avoid piercing through veins on the underside of the tongue. Piercings can also be done along the rim or on either side of the center “line”. Piercings that go through muscular tissue take longer to heal.  Initially, a longer Barbell between 19mm and 25mm is used to accommodate the swelling, which usually goes down within 7 days. Healing time is anything from 1 to 2 months depending on aftercare.

Frenulum (Two Types)

Lip (not shown):  Done horizontally through the Frenulum of the upper or lower lip. Usually done with a Ball Closure Ring with a flattened bead/ball.

Tongue: Done horizontally through the Frenulum at the underside of the tongue with either a Ball Closure Ring or Barbell. Care must be taken, not to injure the sublingual salivary gland below the Frenulum. Healing time on any of the Oral Frenulum piercings is anything from 2 to 3 months depending on aftercare.

Semi-Oral Piercings


These are piercings worn anywhere on the Lip (Labrum) region. They can be centred below or above the lip line, usually done with a Labret Barbell, which has a fixed disc at one end and a threaded ball at the other end. The disc side goes inside the mouth to avoid discomfort and reduce the risk of gum recession. Most piercings done closer to the lip line are done using rings, as this prevents the teeth from hooking on the disc if it were done with a Labret Barbell. Vertical Labrets though only partially in the mouth are done with Curved Barbells. Giving the appearance of a ball between the lips and another ball on the lower or upper lip line.


This is in essence, a Labret piercing above the lip line, centered between the upper lip line and the nasal Septum, it is positioned in what is known as the Philtrum.



This is a piercing that is off center on the upper Lip area, and is meant to resemble a beauty spot. It is essentially a Labret piercing like the medusa and is thus done with a Labret barbell, again to reduce erosion of the gums and teeth. The initial jewellery should be at least 12mm to 14mm long as this region of the lip is thicker and swells more. Healing time for Labret type piercings can be anything from 2 to 4 months depending on aftercare.

Cheek Piercing

This piercing is not a common piercing as it can be a very troublesome piercing and can take a while to heal. This is partially due to the fact that it passes through muscles of the cheek and is thus subjected to constant movement while you speak or eat. It also takes a competent piercer to determine the length of the initial jewellery, as the cheek is thicker than most realize. Jewellery to be used is preferably an extra length Labret Barbell or a straight Barbell. This piercing has proven to be more successful when pierced with a flexible biocompatible plastic. It is possible to heal this piercing, but great patience and adherence to aftercare procedure must be exercised. Healing time is anything from 4 to 8 months depending on aftercare.

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