Can Snake Eye Piercing Paralyze You?

Can Snake Eye Piercing Paralyze You
Image credit: Nikki Lyanna / YouTube

Body modifications are some of the most popular cosmetic procedures done worldwide.

From dangerous plastic surgery to risky piercings and tattoos, more people elect to switch up their appearance.

They do this for many reasons, like self-expression, aesthetics, remembering someone or an event, or even for no reason. But at what cost? 

Today, we look at the question of can snake eye piercing paralyze you? and whether or not this is worth the risk.

What is a Snake Eye Piercing?

A snake eye piercing is a horizontal tongue piercing that passes through the tip of your tongue.

Imagine a curved barbell placed horizontally across your tongue. That’s what a snake eye piercing looks like. 

While it may look like two separate piercings, it is not. The curved barbell gives that impression. Then, the two ball ends of the barbell resemble eyes, making your tongue look like a snake.

This type of piercing is quite popular in the United States, and a survey shows that 28% of people between 18 to 29 years like tongue piercings.

Can a Snake Eye Piercing Paralyze You?

No! A snake eye piercing cannot paralyze you, but that does not mean it is a safe procedure.

Tongue piercings are an exciting way to express yourself, but they come with serious consequences. 

Like carbonated drinks with heavy doses of sugar can lead to bad health and dental situation, tongue piercings are bad for your oral health.

Experts recommend against this procedure because creating holes in your tongue or having metal in your mouth will have dangerous long-term effects. 

We respect people’s right to do what they want with their bodies, but if you’re considering body modifications in your mouth, consider these consequences:

1. Permanent Nerve Damage

The procedure for inserting the jewelry into the tongue involved creating an oral incision that can cause pain.

Your tongue has two muscles connected by the piercing, restricting independent movement and causing permanent nerve damage.

Like any puncture wound, a snake eye piercing may cause swelling, pain, and more serious complications like a lingual abscess, scar tissue, and keloid formation.

If the piercing punctures an important vessel, you may experience prolonged bleeding or unusual discharge.

2. Prolonged Healing Times

The recovery period for snake eye piercing takes about four to eight weeks for the swelling to go down and two to three months to heal completely.

While this is not the longest healing time associated with piercings, it can feel like forever inside your mouth. 

Regular tongue piercings are much easier to care for because they are in the center of the tongue.

So, there is less contact between your teeth and the inside of the mouth. Swellings go down in about two to four weeks. 

3. Chipped Teeth and Possible Gum Damage

If you have an oral piercing, you may need to be extra careful. But, most people forget and may play with the jewelry or bite so that it comes in contact with teeth. 

This can chip or crack your teeth or fillings. Constant contact between your gum and oral jewelry may cause your gums to recede and pull back from your teeth.

Over time, it can make your teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. The recession of your gum also exposes the roots of your teeth, making them vulnerable to food acids and bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

4. Risk of Swallowing or Inhalation

There is a chance that your oral jewelry can come off. Like any loose object in the mouth, this can cause you to choke if it falls into your windpipe.

You may even swallow loose jewelry by mistake, causing damage to your digestive system.

These situations may be life-threatening and require intubation to secure your airway or surgical intervention to remove the jewelry.

5. Speech Difficulties and Stinky Breath

Nobody wants to talk to anyone with stinky breath. That is why there is a variety of toothpaste in the market, promising fresh breath and healthy teeth. 

Tongue jewelry creates a safe environment for plaque to build up, leading to bad breath, and there’s not much toothpaste can do here.

These tongue jewelry are often hard to clean, so you must ask yourself if it’s worth it.

Stinky breath is not the worst consequence because tongue piercings can affect how you speak.

A bad tongue piercing can cause excess saliva to build up in your mouth, changing your speech pattern. It’s not a fun experience. 


Reputable piercers consider snake eye piercing unsafe and often refuse to do it. The health risks associated with this procedure are enough to put anyone off.

So we do not recommend getting this form of piercing, especially as the long-term effects are still unknown.

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