5. Use Pain Medications
For burn pain that isn’t relieved by honey or salt water rinses alone, you may want to use an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. A first-degree tongue burn usually heals in around two weeks, although some burns take up to six weeks to heal. If your tongue burn does not improve with time or if the burn becomes infected, contact your doctor. Your tongue may be infected if redness increases, pain increases, the burn doesn’t seem to heal, or swelling continues. Fever and pus draining from the wound are other signs of infection.
4. Be Gentle with Brushing
While recovering from a tongue burn, be gentle when brushing your teeth. Avoid brushing your tongue while you brush your teeth during the healing process. You may want to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid accidentally scraping or irritating the burn. Colgate has a soft toothbrush designed for sensitive teeth that may be beneficial while your tongue is healing.
3. Avoid Future Burns
While tongue burns are generally minor and treatable, the best defense against mouth burns is to prevent them. Allow steaming foods to cool before digging in. Hot soups, hot beverages, and foods with gooey, piping hot cheese are common culprits in tongue burns. A cup of hot chocolate can be deceiving when it is covered in a mountain of snowy whipped cream. Give beverages a stir to release steam, take your time, and enjoy.