Tongue Splitting

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The craze for tongue splitting (bifurcation, forking) has become a lot more popular in the last decade as many people hadn’t heard of this form of body modification in the 90s or before then. 

Above: Tongue Splitting
This type of body art is where an individual’s tongue has a snake like image with a split at the end. With the popularity of tongue forking, there has also been a lot of controversy, which has led to a number of places making it illegal. The most popular place where it is known to be illegal is Illinois, other than this many places have just made it illegal without consent or it has to be performed by a doctor or dentist. Some of the other places where there has been certain bans on tongue splitting include, Texas, Delaware and New York.

However great the controversy with tongue splitting, people are still adamant on having it done. This is because it has many benefits on the alternative fashion scene such as expressing individuality and showing that someone can challenge themselves. There are many different ways for a tongue to be split and they are all best done by professionals however many people still perform tongue forking themselves.


There are three extremely popular methods of tongue splitting and these include:
  • Cauterizing: This can be done with an argon laser and is done by burning the tongue down the middle. This method causes less bleeding and makes it easier to heal, however it does need to be repeated to achieve the desired depth.
  • Cutting with a Scalpel: This method is done by cutting down the middle of the tongue and then stitching the open wounds or suturing them. The benefits from this method is that the sides won’t be able to heal back together and the split tongue will have a more natural look.
  • Tying Off:  Unlike the other two methods, this can be performed by an individual themselves and was first done in 1996. This is done by getting a fishing line and putting it through an existing tongue piercing and clenching tightly, this may have to be done a number of times before the split is complete and can take from a few weeks to a few months. However, this method also heals easier and causes less blood loss.
All of these methods of tongue splitting create the same end effect and all take time to heal. Once healed individuals can learn to move the two sides separately and control each one, they can also conceal the split by pushing the sides together. A very painful process for body modification and many people find difficulty speaking clearly after; however, tongue splitting is one of the most popular types of body modification known today.

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