A labret piercing (also known as a tongue pillar) is found on an individual’s face, below the lower lip but above the chin. There are forms of labret piercings that can be found in various positions, even though they are more commonly found centred on the face. The term “labret” is frequently mispronounced. Contrary to popular belief, the term is not derived from the French language and so, the “t” should be pronounced. Traditionally, the labret piercing was a representation of a person’s status within their particular society. In ancient cultures for example, specifically the Aztecs and Mayans, labret piercing could only be worn by the males in that particular society to emphasise the fact that they were from a higher place on the caste system.
Similarly, whenever a mask was made within the society of the American Northwest Coast Indians, a labret form was crafted into the piece if that mask was a representation of someone from a high status. This form of body jewellery is often worn as an expression of one’s personality in this country. Whilst a labret piercing can hold a stud or a ring, aesthetically, most people seem to prefer to wear a stud. Another reason for this could be due to the fact that labret studs are a deal more practical and easier to change than rings.
With the variety of studs available nowadays, by choosing to wear a labret stud you will be given more opportunity to be creative and versatile with your body jewellery. Once the piercing has healed, it is arguable that wearing a labret stud is the most comfortable of all piercings. This is down to the fact that labret studs have a flat disc that sits comfortably against your gums, therefore causing you no irritation. This also means that labret studs are suitable for use in many other body piercings. They would be ideal to use in ear piercings for example, as their flat backs means that the studs are less likely to be caught in clothing or hair.
The materials that can be used to make labret studs are titanium, coloured titanium, stainless steel and plastic retainers. Thanks to their almost invisible appearance, plastic studs are ideal for use during situations where you would prefer your piercing to be more discreet, such as during work hours or when you attend a job interview. Depending on the positioning on the face, various types of labret piercing are available. In a vertical labret piercing for instance, a curved barbell protrudes from the top of the lower lip and the centre of the upper chin. A snake bite piercing is where two studs are used to resemble snake fangs, thanks to their position on the face.
Similarly, spider bite piercings are so named because of how they are represented on a person’s face; they consist of two labret studs that are placed next to each other on the same side of the face. The final type of labret piercing, a lowbret, is located as low as possible on a person’s face. With the wide range of labret studs available and the ability to now design your own piece of body jewellery, you can really be creative. With Valentine’s Day coming up, you could wear a heart stud to show off your sensitive side. Or maybe you could choose to incorporate your favourite gem stone into your labret stud.