Mouth Burns and What To Do About Them
The pizza you just cooked came out of the oven piping hot, smelling better than any pizza you’ve had before. Your stomach growls with anticipation. You know it’s a bad idea to bite into it right away, but of course, it’s the first thing most of us do anyway. However, giving into this temptation can have very painful results. A mouth burn not only hurts right away, but can have some long lasting issues as well.
Complications of Mouth Burns
Most of us in the above situation, whether we burn our mouth on hot pizza or hot coffee, only suffer from a burnt mouth for a few days to about a week. However, it can unfortunately lead to some agonizing issues.
Burns Can Develop Into Blisters, Mouth Ulcers or Worse
The majority of mouth burns don’t end up needing medical attention, and heal within a few days.This is considered a first-degree burn. At home treatment can help soothe and lessen the pain from this type of mouth burn. Using over the counter ointment from your local pharmacy can help greatly, especially with eating and talking while your mouth is healing. Be sure to check with your dentist to find the right type for you.
Some people, though, have received second- or even third-degree burns simply from trying to eat or drink something scalding hot. With second-degree burns the tissue of your mouth and tongue can blister, causing damage to multiple layers. Those with third-degree burns have damage that involves all layers of the tissue, which can leave it discolored and charred. Both second- and third-degree mouth burns need medical attention right away.
If you burn your mouth severely enough, as stated above, blisters can actually form. If not properly taken care of, these blisters can become infected. It is very important to see your dentist right away if you notice any blistering in your mouth where you were burned.
Tongue Burns Can Destroy Taste Buds
If you burn your tongue bad enough, it can lead to the destruction of some of your taste buds. Thankfully, it is commonly known that taste buds do grow back, and pretty quickly at that. However, the worse the burn is, though, and the more that are destroyed, the longer it will take for them to grow back. Don’t worry, though, as research shows you don’t lose your sense of taste from this. In fact, it stays strong even as we age.
Remedies for Your Burnt Mouth
If you have only slightly burned your mouth and do not think you have received second- or third-degree burns, try the tips below to soothe your pain.
Home Relief If Your Clinic Is Closed
- If you happen to burn your mouth, like with any burn, immediately put the burn into contact with something cold. If the burn is on your tongue, stick it under running cold water. If it is elsewhere in your mouth, suck on an ice cube or two (don’t chew them!).
- Avoid anything else that is hot, and avoid salty foods, as both will greatly irritate your mouth burn.
- As stated above, over the counter ointments, especially those with benzocaine, greatly help reduce discomfort.
- Over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help as well.
- Try using Vitamin E, which has been proven to help wounds heal.
A Burning Mouth Can Actually Be a Medical Condition
If your mouth feels like it has been burned on a hot beverage or hot food, but you actually haven’t consumed anything that could cause this, there may be another reason your mouth feels like it is on fire.
What Is Thrush?
There are a few types of infections that can occur in the mouth, but thrush is the one most commonly referred to as “a burning sensation in the mouth.” Caused by the candida fungus (yeast), thrush can occur in anyone when too much stress or illness offsets the amount of yeast already present in the mouth. Thrush develops quickly and feels exactly like you have burned your mouth. However, the best way to determine if you have thrush or if you simply burned your mouth (other than remembering if you did burn your mouth on anything recently, of course) is to look at the area of concern in a mirror. Most of the time, if you have thrush, you will notice a patch of tiny white bumps in a cluster all over your mouth and tongue.
When Should You Call Your Doctor?
If you burn your mouth on something hot and have only a small burn that is considered first-degree, you do not necessarily need to be seen by a doctor. Try home remedies at first, but if the pain persists, or if you see any blistering, call us right away. However, it is imperative to be seen for thrush or any infection of the mouth immediately, as it can spread to other parts of your body. If you feel you have any type of infection in your mouth, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible so your dentist can prescribe you the appropriate medication.