What is a frowny piercing?

anti smiley

The frowny is the opposite of Smiley piercing which gained popularity in the 90’s. This piercing goes through your lower frenulum which is just the technical name for the web that connects your bottom lip and your gum line. Today we’re going to go over these risks, some common questions and concerns and touch on aftercare to help in your decision making process.


One of the first questions everyone asks is what type of jewelry is used? The starter jewelry will more than likely start out with a small BCR (ball closure ring) around 16 or 18 gauge and no larger than half an inch. The choice of jewelry is quite important, especially with the lower and upper frenulum. The way the jewelry sits in your mouth tends to rub against your teeth and gums.

How Much Does It Cost?

The price of a frowny piercing really varies on where you live. In my local area (Chicago) the price ranges from $50-$60. To get an idea of pricing where you live a simple google search will provide local piercing shops. Just load up Google and use this search term, including the quotations. “body piercing shop+ your city”

If you have some shops in your local area you will see them listed under a map. This is how google lists local businesses. If your area has a lot of shops you will see three listed and a link under them that says ‘more body piercing shop’. You can click the ‘more body piercing shop’ link under it to see all studios in your area.

Don’t rush take a look at all the piercing shops in your area. Look over their reviews, social pages and their website. I personally put a lot of weight to reviews and if their websites & social media sites are designed well and information is up to date. Keep in mind that spending a few extra dollars to get pierced in a professional shop will cost much less than a visit to the doctors or dentists office later.


Any professional studio will give you a quality printout or pamphlet with aftercare instructions. There are no crazy time consuming things you have to do, but it does take a commitment on your part for around four to twelve weeks.

You could probably guess, but one of the major steps is to keep up on your oral hygiene. You should be rinsing your mouth out before bedtime and after every meal.  The studio you have chosen may offer some non alcoholic mouthwashes for sale such as H2Ocean. H2Ocean is a high quality all natural mouth wash  for oral piercings.  They also have a spray, which is very good for taking care of non oral piercings.  You can also mix up your own mouth rinse. It’s quite easy and inexpensive to make.

Sea Salt Mouth Wash

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine free) sea salt.
  • One cup (8 oz) of warm distilled or bottled water

If you head to the store to pickup some mouthwash you want to make sure that it contains NO alcohol. Alcohol will cause discomfort and slow down your healing, so be sure to read the label! Also, dilute the mouthwash 50/50 with water (bottled or filtered).

Healing Time

The good thing about the frenulum is it heals quickly. On average you can expect to heal in around four to twelve weeks. This of course assumes that you follow your aftercare instructions and practice good oral hygiene.

*TIP While you’re at the store picking up your large bottle of mouthwash and some sea salt keep an eye out for a small travel mouthwash bottle. These are great to carry around and you can refill them. You will be rinsing after every meal and snack, so just slip this in your pocket or purse when you leave for the day, it will make your life easier.

Now come the changes that may drive you a little batty for the next few weeks. You want to stay away from chewing gum, smoking, alcohol, kissing, oral sex, sharing drink or food. In general don’t stick anything other than food or drink in your mouth. Chewing on pens, pencils stylus et cetera is not advisable.

Will There Be Pain?

Though every person reacts differently, the frowny piercing is fairly low on the pain scale. You will feel some initial pressure from the needle which may cause you to feel a little discomfort and then it will be over.

Is it Risky?

There is always a risk of infection any time you puncture your skin. There are some things you can do to mitigate this risk, such as making sure you go to a clean, quality studio that employees experienced professionals.

Research the studios in your area. Google is a great research tool. You should quickly be able to find local studios in your area and reviews. Spend some time on their websites, if you find that them or their social media pages are unkempt, outdated or just look like garbage that’s probably not a good sign. Don’t be afraid to take some time and go walk into some of the studios and look around at the cleanliness and overall appearance of the shop and employees.

Gum Recession is a serious condition that is caused by the gums soft tissue being worn away over time. Your jewelry rubs up against your gums and teeth. This continual rubbing on your gums over time causes them to recede. The recession of your gums can lead to the exposure of your tooth roots and this is very dangerous to your oral health and quite painful. If you notice any gum recession act immediately.

Don’t be heart broken yet though, there is jewelry on the market made from materials that will help you mitigate this risk, be sure to ask your piercer about them.

Tooth enamel wear is also caused by your jewelry rubbing against your teeth over time. Some jewelry will have a small rubber bumper in the design, this was put in to lower the risk of tooth wear and gum recession. Though helpful, it will not remove the risk, it merely slows it down. Be sure to be diligent with your oral hygiene and be very observant of your teeth and gums. Individuals do vary, however, you should notice recession with in a couple weeks to months.

Doing it yourself

I know some piercings may look easy and it’s tempting to just do it yourself. The frowny piercing may seems to be a great choice for a DIY, however, it is not. The reason is the placement is quite important because of the thin tissue and small area to work with. Trying to do this yourself you are not going to be very accurate and inaccuracy may lead to a quick mitigation and ultimate rejection. In the worse of situations you could get infected or tear your frenulum and you do not want that.


Mitigation and rejection are quite common as the lower frenulum tissue is quite thin and small in size. Your piercer will gauge whether your frenulum is large enough. If he or she tells you that your web is too small, your best bet is to move onto something else. I know the temptation may be to go pierce yourself, before you do that just realize that if you were denied it was for good reason.


Hey, the information I provide is based upon common sense and many hours of research. If you think that you have an infection see your piercer immediately. He or she should be able to determine if it is an actual infection or just part of the healing process. If they tell you it’s an infection please seek proper medical treatment. Your piercer may know doctors in your local area that are familiar with body piercing.