i first had my tounge pierced in 1996, everything was fine for the first 24hrs at which point the majority of the swelling went down and most of the pain and discomfort was gone... then i started to eat. this moved the barbell just a tad too much and my tounge started to bleed a bit.. after consulting both my piercer and family doctor, i removed it and the tounge healed w/out a trace other then a small white dot on the bottom within a week. in 1998 i decided i wanted a 2nd go at it. had it done w/ no problems, healed just fine. about 3 weeks later though i noticed a slight "crack" forming from front to back around the piercing. fearing it had been torn a tad, i consulted my piercer and it was decided to stretch it up to a 10ga from the 12 that was in there to help prevent any further tearing. this started my tounge stretching... within 6 months i had a 4ga in and could nearly pull the balls thru it, and was ready to go to a 2... when i started to have gum problems. the backside of my bottom teeth were really sore... and from the looks of it, the giant balls on the 4ga jewelery were resting right on the gumline... actually pushing them down a bit. this was a very short barbell and i was still having the problems.. after dealing w/ the pain for about 2 days i decided enough was enough already and took it out. the next morning i could only fit my old 6ga jewelry in and by the 2nd day i couldnt get anything in healed! or so i thought... i still have a "crack" on the top of my tounge... anyone have an idea why that has yet to heal ?