If you’ve ever taken a shockingly hot gulp of your morning coffee or eagerly bit into a piping hot slice of cheesy pizza, you may have experienced the pain of a burned tongue. The tongue is a muscular organ that is strong for its size and well able to aid in chewing tough meats or crunchy vegetables. Yet it is highly sensitive, and the soft tissues can easily be damaged by steaming hot liquids or foods. Follow these steps to protect your tongue and allow healing if you find yourself with a burn.
10. Drink Cool Water
Immediately after that first taste of a scalding hot beverage or food that burns your tongue, head for a glass of cool water. It may be tempting to go straight for ice, but the extreme temperature of ice can cause further damage to burned tissues. Instead, drink a glass of cool or lukewarm water to bathe your tongue, soothe the tissues, and wash away any food particles that could irritate the burn. Following a glass of water, you may want to try drinking some milk, which will coat the tongue and may be soothing.
9. Grab a Popsicle
Tongue burns, like other burns, fall into one of three categories. A first-degree burn involves the outermost layer of the tongue. This minor burn is the one most frequently experienced when eating hot foods. It results in painful swelling and redness. Once the tissues have calmed down, it should be safe to soothe the tongue and numb the pain with a popsicle or piece of ice. Second-degree burns affect deeper tissues of the tongue and may result in blistering. A third-degree burn is the deepest type of burn. Symptoms are a tongue that is blackened or white in color and either extreme pain or numbness of the tongue. Seek medical treatment for second- or third-degree burns.