There are few things as painful and startling as a mouth burn. You think that coffee is farther away in your travel cup or that your burrito couldn’t have gotten that hot in the microwave, but then it hits you! And the most frustrating part of the whole experience is the after-burn.
Unfortunately, there isn’t really a cure for mouth burns. Chances are, you’ll experience some soreness and food may lack flavor a little while if your tongue sustained any burns. The good news is there are several ways to ease the discomfort while it heals.
• Cool it: Just like when you burn your hand, apply ice or cold water as soon as possible. This can reduce the inflammation caused by the burn, and even lessen the amount of tissue damage a burn can cause. Try to keep the cold applied for at least a minute. My recommendation is a bowl of ice cream!
• Numb it: If the burn is still bothering you, numbing gel, sore throat spray or even a cough drop that contains benzocaine can help block the pain. Be sure to read the directions of any products you use to make sure you don’t use too much.
• Avoid irritants: While your mouth heals, be sure to avoid foods and drinks that could cause more discomfort. Acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes, spicy foods like salsa and chili, or hot drinks like coffee should be avoided.
While these methods will help ease the discomfort, time is actually the best cure. Fortunately, mouths generally heal pretty quickly, so it should feel normal after a day or so. And remember, if the burn is severe, be sure to seek professional medical attention.