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Tongue bifurcation, splitting or forking, is a type of body modification in which the tongue is cut centrally from its tip to as far back as the underside base, forking the end. In the late 1990s tongue splitting was almost unheard of, but is now considered a common alteration among body modification enthusiasts.
There are several methods used to spit tongues; cutting with a scalpel, cauterizing and tying off. It is performed by oral surgeons, plastic surgeons, body modification practitioners or done by the person themself, but only the oral and plastic surgeons are licensed. Before splitting with any method, some choose have a well healed tongue piercing where the back end of the split is intended to be. This ideally prevents the tongue from healing forward from the back of the cut, which would result in a split that is not as deep as desired.

The tongue generally heals in 1–2 weeks, during which time the person may have difficulty with speech or their normal dietary habits. Splitting is reversible but the reversal is even more painful than the tongue splitting procedure.

After the tongue is split and the sides healed, control over the individual sides can be gained with practice. The two halves can be raised up and down opposite each other, spread apart from the other half which makes the split quite apparent and some objects can be grasped onto and held. A spit tongue is an easy body modification to conceal with a little effort. Keeping the tongue in the mouth and the two halves pressed together when speaking can keep the split out of view. When the two sides are held together, it appears as tho there is only a deep crevice in the center of the tongue. Some people have found it more difficult to speak clearly after having their tongue split, but with a little practice most have worked past and overcome any speech issues the split may be attributed to.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

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