It took ages for the swelling to go down, at least a week IIRC. Did your piercer tell you when you could put a smaller bar in? That will give you an indication of when he thinks the swelling should be gone.
Be prepared for your dentist to make loud clucking noises of disapproval at your next appointment by the way. Ever since I had mine done, my dentist has been telling me horror stories about chipping all the enamel off the back of my teeth.
I've only just taken mine out after 4 years because I'm about to start applying for graduate jobs and I've had negative comments at past interviews.
I've only bitten my ball a few times but would recommend getting a plastic ball and bar set when your piercing is properly healed. Something like these as it lessens the chances of damaging your teeth.
I think I went back in after a week and had the smaller bar put in so it must have just about gone down by then.
Eating does get doable really quickly but I am another person that took mine out after cracking a tooth whilst eating - I now have a nice gap where one of my pre molars should be.
You can also get a clear plastic bar that has a small flat top and a black elastic type thing at the bottom to hold it in if you need to hide it for any reason - like an interview, I can't think of the name of it but they should sell them in the place you had it done.
Yes should be down by 1 week after. I had my small bar put in after a week too. Not all dentists disapproving btw, my dentist is fascinated by mine I took it out before my last appointment and he was disappointed, asking where it was cos he wanted to show the other dentist! I don't think he'd seen one before lol
jofe - I think I remember being told (t'was 10 years ago now ) to rinse my mouth with a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide - yes the stuff used to bleach hair. You can buy it in most chemists and it has instructions on the back for making up as a mouth rinse. Tastes foul but seemed to do the job.
I also second the tongue brushing - it gets furry!
I can't think of any reason that you couldn't use something like ansebol (sp?) on it to ease the pain.