Once in a while, in the excitement to eat or drink something, we have all made the mistake of eating food while it is still piping hot and have, needless to say, ended up with a burnt tongue.
Though a burnt tongue is only a burn of the first degree, it still hurts a lot, being one of the most sensitive parts of the human body and it doesn’t actually take all that much heat to burn it.
In most cases, only the epidermal level of the tongue’s skin is burnt causing various degrees of pain, redness and in some cases swelling as well causing the affected area to feel numb and making it look unusually smooth and shiny.
Although a burnt tongue is like the burn in any other part of your body, being a sensitive organ, it needs certain special considerations while healing. For instance, normally if you burn yourself, the first thing that would come to mind is to rush and place the burn area underwater or apply some ice cubes to it.
But when it comes to the matters of the tongue, placing it under a running stream of water might not actually do the other than of course, making you look quite ridiculous.
Even placing an ice cube on a burnt tongue would be a very bad idea since the ice has the uncanny habit of sticking to a warm tongue and then pulling that out would mean a lot more of pain that would put the pain of your burnt tongue to shame.
But there are actually certain things that you could do to heal that burnt tongue.
Unlike cold water and ice, chilled yogurt has been known to work wonder on a burnt tongue. Eat a spoonful of Greek yogurt and feel the pain lessen in no time but make sure to let it sit on your tongue for a while before swallowing.
2. Chilled Milk or Juice
If you do not have access to some yogurt, you can always opt for some chilled juice or milk, it helps the same.
Sugar also helps a lot, with the pain sensation. Just sprinkle a pinch-full on the affected area and let it dissolve on the tongue, the pain will be gone in no time.
Even honey(1) has been found to be quite a soother in case of burnt tongue. Place a spoonful on the affected area and let it sit for as long as possible. The pain is bound to subside soon. But remember not to use honey on a child of less than 12 months as this can be dangerous for them.
5. Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E Oil has been known for its regenerative properties and is also good for speeding up the healing process. Apply half a capsule of the Vitamin E oil on your tongue, spread and leave it on for a while.
6. Aloe Vera Gel
Natural Aloe Vera Gel(2) is a great soothing agent and when applied directly on the affected area, not just provides some cooling but also helps with relieving the condition to a huge extent.
7. Cough Drops
Cough drops that contain benzocaine or menthol can be used in case of a burnt tongue since they act as numbing agents, thereby relieving the pain to a certain extent. Suck on a few to see the difference for yourself.
8. Chewing Gum
Even a chewing gum strip with menthol in it will work great as well. Just remember to get the peppermint or the spearmint flavours and remember not to rub the chewing gum against the affected area.
Pain medication is the last resorts that you should follow but if the pain is unbearable or causing you great discomfort, try to take some over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen to ease the pain.
You can also opt for certain ointments that help in easing the pain of a burnt tongue but make sure not to use huge quantities since they have been known to induce nausea.
There are a few other things that you should remember in case of a burnt tongue and during the healing process.
- Consider breathing through your mouth for a while since the suction of the air will help soothe the pain to a great extent.
- Avoid any kind of spicy, acidic or salty food since they have been known to make matters worse.
- Do not in any case use normal burn medication on the inside of your mouth since they might be harmful for health when ingested. Instead stick to ointments and gels like Orajel that are for treating mouth related issues.
- Make sure that your tongue is not feeling numb when you sit to eat and that might result in you accidentally biting on your tongue.
- If the injury is severe, consider going to the doctor as things might get worse is not treated on time.
- Make sure that you are not suffering from the burnt tongue syndrome due to some underlying disease such as Diabetes or Hypertension. Even certain food allergies have been known to have this kind of an effect on the tongue where you feel the burn pain without even burning your tongue onto anything hot.