Today we are going to look closely at the pain and risks associated with frenulum piercing as well as some of the mitigation measures and best practices that can minimize these risks and reduce chances of infection, teeth and gum damage etc. We have also included several pictures of this body mod art to give you an idea what your piercing may look like.
The term frenulum, or frenum if you like, is used to refer to any of the numerous soft, membranous flaps of connective tissue connecting any two parts of the body.
In human beings, there are frenula (plural form of the term frenulum) in the undershaft of the penis shaft, between the gum and the inside area of your lips (both lower and upper lip; referred to as labial frenulum), and between the floor of your mouth and the lower side of your tongue (lingual frenulum or frenulum linguae if you like).
The webs in between the toes and fingers are as well considered to be frenula.
In that context, the term frenulum piercing can have a wide range of meaning, depending on the area of the body where it is specifically located. While the term frenulum piercing can be used interchangeably with the terms web piercing and frenum piercing, frenum piercing is in contemporary terms more typically used to refer to male genital (penis shaft) piercing.
For all piercing of the frenulum involving the mouth area, the term oral web piercings or oral frenula piercings may also be used. As for piercings of the upper lip frenulum, the terms smiley and upper lip piercing may as well be used.
In the case of male frenum, the absence of natural entry and exit point that is typical for all other piercings in this category means that the skin beneath the shaft of the penis (penile shaft) has to be pinched and raised up first to create entry and exit point for the piercing cannula as well as the jewelry.
This essentially means that it is 100 percent a surface piercing and is consequently the most susceptible to migration and rejection. Other forms of piercings in this category are still susceptible to migration and rejection nevertheless in spite of having natural entry and exit point.
Other risks associated with frenulum piercings include irritation and infection, teeth damage and gum recession (especially for labial web piercing), and allergic reactions to the jewelry. You can always minimize the risk of these complications and problems by getting pierced at a professional, board-certified studio and ensuring that all the aftercare steps and precautionary measures are observed to the letter.
All these risks notwithstanding, frenum piercings have their own benefits to which people are attracted. Oral piercings in particular have a reputation for relatively quicker healing compared to other body piercings. Tongue web piercings for example takes between 2 and 8 weeks to heal.
We sought to find out some of the most popular frenum piercing studios in Orlando, and among them are: Scratch the Surface, Axiom Tattoo & Body Piercing, Black Chapel, and Heavenly Inkz.
Tongue Frenulum Piercing
Tongue frenulum – the thin flap of connective tissue connecting the underneath of the tongue to the floor of the mouth – renders itself to easy piercing and is known to be dental friendly in that it does not damage teeth and gum, unlike other oral piercings.
Anyone can get their tongue frenulum (or tongue web if you like) pierced so long as they have enough tissue. You can pierce yourself at home using one of the many commercially available piercing kits, but it is instead advisable to seek professional service at a board-certified studio to minimize the chance of complications.
As far as pain is concerned, most piercees describe the exact piercing time (when the needle or cannula goes through the skin) as the most painful moment. You are likely to feel sore for a few days or weeks, but it is not any worse than an ear piercing.
As with other oral piercings, tongue web piercings heal rather quickly provided that proper aftercare is taken and you avoid playing with it. It usually takes between 8 and 10 weeks for pierced frenulum to fully heal. It is however not surprising for some tongue web piercings to heal in as low as 2 weeks.
As you can see in the pictures below, a curved barbell or a captive bead ring (CBR; usually 16 gauge) is typically used for this piercing, but in case of a barbell, your piercer is likely to use a longer one to create enough room for the initial swelling.
If that is the case, you will have to change to a shorter one as soon as the swelling subsides. With proper aftercare, you should be ready for a jewelry change in about 4 weeks.
As with any body mod art, frenulum piercing is not without its fair share of risks, most important among them being infections, irritation, and allergic reaction to the jewelry metal.
Infection and these other problems can significantly prolong the healing time. In that regard, it is absolutely critical that the piercing best practices and aftercare measures outlined below are keenly observed throughout the healing process:
- Refrain from playing with the jewelry to avoid irritation of the piercing
- Avoid smoking and taking alcoholic beverages
- If you suspect a case of infected frenulum piercing, avoid the urge to remove the jewelry and instead seek the assistance of your piercer. Proper aftercare (comprising sea salt soak and non-alcoholic mouthwash is often enough to get rid of the infection, but in severe cases, the piercer may recommend that you seek medical help.
- Rinse your mouth with a sea salt solution prepared by dissolving ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt with 1 cup of boiled water 3 to 5 times a day, particularly after meals and in the morning and evening. You can also add non-alcohol based mouthwash to your daily regime. Just swish it in your mouth for a few minutes several times each day.
- Avoid oral sex and kissing during the healing phase.
Tongue Frenulum Piercing Pictures
You probably know our philosophy by now if you have been visiting our site often; pictures, pictures, and more pictures whenever necessary. We recognize the fact that a nicely captured image gives the best summary for any topic as visual as body piercings.
For that reason, we sought to find some photos of pierced tongue frenulum depicting piercees with a single curved barbell, multiple curved barbells, and a captive bead ring for jewelry respectively and we are including them below:
Frenulum 1, 2, 3
Frenulum Piercing Pain
Now that you have an idea what is involved with piercings of the frenula, you may right now be wondering, what is the intensity of the pain involved? It is first of all naturally expected that there will be some pain involved since a needle or cannula has to be stuck through tissues.
Pain is however subjective, varying from one person to another. What is more, the degree of pain also varies from one frenula location to another depending on the amount of nerve endings present in that particular location. For example, while lingual frenulum (tongue web) has very few nerve endings which essentially means lower level of pain, hand web has more nerve endings and is likely to be slightly more painful.
On a general scale, however, the pain generally involved with frenulum piercings is nothing more than a monetarily sharp pain as the needle goes through followed by slight discomfort as the jewelry is inserted, and then a tolerable slight soreness thereafter for about a week or more.
Frenulum Piercing Cost
As part of this research, we sought to find out the average price it takes to get your frenulum pierced. While it wasn’t an easy task, we were finally able to make a rough estimate of $30-90.
Factors such as geographic location, competition in your city, etc. have overbearing influence on the cost.
While price is an important consideration, you shouldn’t overlook other important factors such as level of hygiene and professionalism, and certification of the studio with the relevant board in your area (Association of Professional Piercers in the US, for example).
Upper Lip Frenulum Piercing
Otherwise referred to as smiley piercing or upper labial piercing, upper lip piercing ranks among the most and increasingly popular web piercings.
While it inevitably involve some pain, the pain is tolerable, and most people agree it is not any worse than getting your ear pierced. All said and done, it still deserves our acknowledgment of the fact that pain is a subjective matter and different people may have different experiences.
Captive bed rings and curved barbells remains the most preferred jewelry for piercings of the upper lip frenulum.
With proper aftercare, your piercing should heal smoothly. In case you suspect an infection, however, it is advisable to get immediate evaluation and help from a professional piercer; preferable the very same one who pierced it in the first place.
Some of the tell-tale signs of infection include yellowish-green discharge, red streaks spreading further away from the piercing spot, and increasing pain or swelling. In some cases, the piercer may recommend further medical help from your doctor.
To sum up, here are a couple upper lip frenulum piercing pictures to feed your imagination and inspire your thoughts on what you can expect should you decide to get one yourself:
Upper lip 1, 2
Lower Frenulum Piercing
As you have most probably picked up by now, you can as well choose to go for or add a piercing to the lower frenulum, that is, the thin flap of skin connecting the lower gum to the lower lip. This type of piercing can also be referred by a range of other names including lower labial piercing and frowney piercing.
You may right now be wondering, is it painful? Well, it also involves a bit of pain especially as the needle goes in, but it is nothing more than a slight to moderate tenderness thereafter; not any worse than an ear piercing in most cases.
Below are a couple lower frenulum piercing pictures for your visual and imaginative inspiration:
Lower frenulum 1/ 2, 3
Frenulum Piercing Jewelry
A person with a pierced frenulum(s) can choose between a barbell (curved or circular) and a captive bead ring (CBR) for the jewelry.
As the name suggests, a barbell is a bar (can either be straight, curved, or circular) with a ball on either side used to fasten it in place. On the other hand a captive bead ring is a metallic ring with a threaded bead on one end that moves back and forth to either come into contact with the other end of the ring to close or open the gap as needed.
In addition to the typical stainless steel and high carbon plastic rings and barbells, you can nowadays choose from a whole range of multi-colored and multi-patterned rings and barbells for that cool appeal.