Stefania Fraccalvieri now knows that tongue piercing costs a lot more than expected. Just after she had a metal stud put through her tongue—a popular fashion trend among teenagers—Stefania began to experience sharp, stabbing pains in her face that lasted up to half a minute, 20-30 times a day. Doctors soon diagnosed her with trigeminal neuralgia, a condition more commonly known as "suicide disease" because of the intense pain it causes. The metal stud she had implanted was apparently rubbing up against a nerve that runs along the jaw and is connected to the trigeminal nerve (a large nerve in the human head).
Stefania's condition is just one of many complications due to tongue piercing. Those who opt for the extra hardware in their mouth can get a tetanus infection, heart complications, brain abscesses, chipped teeth, and receding gums.
So how did doctors cure Ms. Fraccalvieri of her condition? They first prescribed the usual array of painkillers. Then they moved on to stronger medications. Finally, they tried the solution that was seemingly most obvious: they removed the metal stud from the girl's tongue, and in a matter of a few days, all was well again.