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Lip Piercing Nesting: Is it Normal?

lip piercing nesting

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Nesting is common for piercings in soft tissue such as in the tongue or mouth. It’s not dangerous as long as it doesn’t begin to embed. Nesting is when your jewelry settles into your tissue. It may create a dent or “crater” under the jewelry. Piercings nesting into lips isn’t as common as nesting into lips – but it’s also not very unusual. If you do notice your piercing is nesting, keep an eye on it to make sure skin doesn’t begin to grow over your jewelry. If it does, visit your piercer as soon as possible.

Why Is Your Lip Piercing Nesting?

Your lip piercing may nest because your healing jewelry was too small to accommodate initial swelling. While usually we would recommend visiting a different piercer if you were given the wrong size jewelry, nesting is a different story. For oral piercings, piercers have to make their best judgement on keeping jewelry long enough to accommodate swelling and short enough to minimize potential damage to your teeth. They may decide to air on the shorter side to protect your teeth – which is probably the right decision.

How to Prevent Your Lip Piercing From Nesting

To prevent your lip piercing from nesting, you’ll need to make sure your jewelry is plenty long enough. If you know you tend to swell a lot from piercings, you can let your piercer know you’d like longer initial jewelry. Keep in mind that they may deem it too dangerous to give you any longer jewelry due to potential tooth damage and they may refuse your request. Trust your piercer that they know what’s best for you.

How Do You Know If Your Lip Piercing Is Embedded?

Unfortunately, sometimes nesting is a stone’s throw away from embedding. Embedding also occurs when your jewelry is too short. Embedding is a medical emergency and if you begin to notice the signs, you should visit your piercer or doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, your body will attempt to pull your jewelry into your body, which you will potentially need to have cut out. If your piercing is already nested, you need to keep a careful eye on it to make sure it’s not becoming embedded. After nesting, the first sign of embedding is skin beginning to grow over the jewelry. On lip piercings, it most commonly occurs on the back of the jewelry, or the side that’s inside your mouth.


Nesting is not uncommon in lip piercings. Nesting occurs because the initial jewelry you were given for healing was not long enough to accommodate your initial swelling. Your piercer likely selected a shorter jewelry size to minimize potential tooth damage. To prevent nesting, you will need to be pierced with long enough jewelry to accommodate swelling. While nesting itself isn’t dangerous, you do need to keep a careful eye on it to make sure it doesn’t begin to embed. On lip piercings, the first sign of embedding you’ll likely experience will be skin growing over the back of your jewelry on the inside of your mouth. If this occurs, visit your piercer or doctor as soon as possible to prevent further damage.