Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
Once healed: the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in—do not leave it empty.
Sleep with your head elevated in the beginning to minimize overnight swelling.
Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original, longer jewelry with a shorter post or barbell to avoid damage to the teeth and gums.
Because this necessary jewelry change often occurs during healing, it should be done by a qualified piercer. This information should have been given to you during the piercing. If not, consult with a professional piercer about your downsize.
With clean hands or paper products, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness. For threadless jewelry make sure there is no gap between the post (inside) to the top (outside). In case of a gap, place your index finger and thumb on both sides of the jewelry and press them together. Be sure to check that the gap is closed.