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.
2. Primary Burning Mouth Syndrome
When you burn your tongue on a cup of coffee or a grilled cheese sandwich, you immediately know it. However, there is a condition known as burning mouth syndrome. This condition occurs when a person experiences painful sensations of burning in the mouth with no apparent cause. According to the Mayo Clinic, primary burning mouth syndrome has no known cause and may be related to nervous system issues. This rare condition most often affects women over the age of 50. Frequent sips of water, sucking on ice, and the use of special oral rinses may help with symptoms.
1. Secondary Burning Mouth Syndrome
Meanwhile, secondary burning mouth syndrome may be caused by dry mouth, oral fungal infections, allergic reactions, or a lack of certain vitamins and minerals. Painful burning may be linked to stomach acid backing up into the mouth in disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Diabetes, hypothyroidism, anxiety, depression, and stress are other issues that may result in secondary burning mouth syndrome. In these cases, treatment targets the primary medical condition that causes the burning mouth syndrome. Contact your physician if you experience chronic painful mouth sensations or tingling with no apparent cause.Related: All You Need to Know About White Film on Your Tongue