There are fewer things out there that are more painful than burning your mouth. Perhaps you thought your cup of coffee had a chance to cool properly before you put your travel mug up to your lips or you believed that your breakfast sandwich didn’t nuke for all that long in the microwave, but then all of the sudden, it hits you! While the burn itself can be a terrible experience, the pain you experience afterwards is sometimes even more frustrating. Find out what you can do about these mouth burns and how you can prevent them in the future.
Easing the Pain and Discomfort of a Mouth Burn
Unfortunately, there is no real cure for painful mouth burns, but there are certain things that you can do to ease your discomfort:
• Cool it off. Similar to when you burn your finger, the quickest way to get relief for a mouth burn is to apply cold water or ice immediately. For your mouth, popping a piece of ice in can be the best solution, as this can reduce inflammation that may have been caused by the burn. Placing ice onto the burn could also reduce tissue damage, so be sure to keep the cold item applied to the burn for at least one minute.
• Take a pain reliever. Once you’ve provided immediate relief to the burn, if you are still experiencing pain, over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be beneficial. Other products like Orabase can also be applied to the burn to serve as a film in order to soothe the area temporarily.
• Numb it. If your mouth burn is continuing to bother you, consider using a cough drop or sore throat spray containing benzocaine to help numb the area and block the pain. However, if you are going to use this method, be sure to properly read the instructions of any product before using it to ensure that you aren’t applying too much. You should also review the ingredients to ensure that you don’t have an allergy, as this could cause additional mouth irritation.
When left to its own devices, the burn in your mouth should be able to heal completely in only about a week.
What You Should Avoid after a Mouth Burn
If you have burned your mouth, you may want to take certain steps in order to avoid making the burn worse or exacerbating the symptoms. For a few days, be sure to steer clear of hot beverages. If you want to drink coffee or tea, allow them to cool down to only lukewarm before you take a sip. You should avoid hot and spicy food that could irritate your damaged skin, and avoid foods that are especially hard or crunchy. Crusty bread, potato chips, apples, and raw carrots could all scratch your burn as it heals, making the pain and healing process start all over.
Preventing Future Mouth Burns
To avoid a burned mouth or tongue in the future, it is important to employ a common sense strategy. If foods and beverages appear to be extremely hot, if they are coming right out of the oven or off the stove top, don’t pop them in your mouth immediately. If you aren’t sure about the temperature of something, test it on your hand, which is less sensitive than your mouth, and remember that taking small bites or sips can prevent you from experiencing larger and more painful burn.
Do you have burns or sores in your mouth that don’t seem to heal or want to go away on their own? Please contact our office to set up an appointment.