No injury can be as surprising, or as annoying, as a burnt tongue. This is a very common, accidental injury but it is one that can come with lingering pain and discomfort. Whether you burn your tongue on a hot cup of coffee, a bubbling bowl of soup, or a spicy pepper—when you burn your tongue, there is no denying how much pain it can cause.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to a burnt tongue, it will not magically heal itself in an instant. However, there are ways that you can speed up the recovery process and help soothe your burnt tongue…beginning almost instantly. While you can try these treatments at home, if the pain persists be sure to see your doctor.
Luckily there are a few ways that you can treat your tongue burn and soothe your pain so you can get back to eating your favorite foods (or any food!) quicker than ever.
Treating a Burnt Tongue With Natural Remedies
There are a few ways to treat and sooth a burnt tongue by using natural remedies. These approaches can help expedite the healing process and provide some much-needed relief to burnt, sore, and sensitive tongues.
The great thing about taking a natural approach to soothing your burnt tongue is that you don’t have to worry about side effects with these treatments. Here are a few natural remedies that can help.
Honey is known for its natural soothing properties and can be a huge help when it comes to healing a burnt tongue. Allow it to sit in your mouth for at least 10 seconds and allow it to soothe the burn, before swallowing.
It should come as no surprise that when you are dealing with a burnt tongue, ice can be your best friend. It is the most obvious way to soothe the tongue and counteract the heat. Apply ice by sucking on an ice cube, drinking a glass of ice water or licking a popsicle.
This may surprise you, but plain white sugar can actually help with tongue burns. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar right on the burnt area and allow the grains to dissolve completely. This may take around 60 seconds. It will help the pain go away and help expedite the healing
Most people know that Aloe Vera is a great plant for sunburns, but it also works for soothing tongue burns as well. In order to use this plant on your tongue, you need to get the gel straight from the source- do not use Aloe Vera gel bought from the store, or an Aloe Vera cream. Apply the natural gel directly to the tongue. While it may not taste great, it will provide almost instant soothing relief and is completely safe to digest when it is all natural and comes straight from the plant.
This healthy snack is also one of the most common remedies for a burnt tongue. It can both cool the burn and sooth the pain away. Use natural Greek yogurt, which will also help with the pain and healing process. Eat a spoonful of yogurt immediately after you burn your tongue, let it sit on the burned area for 10 seconds before swallowing.
This is a surprising suggestion because following a burn, it is typically best to avoid salty foods. However, saltwater can actually help provide relief. It will also help safeguard your mouth against infection. Take a teaspoon of salt and mix it in with a cup of water. Swish it around the mouth and hold it in your mouth for at least two minutes so it can really go to work. Then, be sure to spit it out to avoid ingesting any additional salt.
Vitamin E oil is a fantastic remedy for all types of cuts, scrapes, and burns and can actually help with tissue regeneration—especially in the tongue. If you burn your tongue, bite or cut open a Vitamin E capsule to reveal the oil inside and spread it along the burnt portion of the tongue to soothe the pain and help speed up the healing process. It is completely safe to digest so don’t worry about swallowing any.
What to Avoid When Trying to Fix a Burnt Tongue
In order to heal properly, you not only need to soothe your burnt tongue, but you need to make sure that you are avoiding certain irritants that could make the burnt tongue worse. The wrong food and beverages can actually make your burnt tongue more irritated and delay the healing process. In addition to avoiding piping hot foods and liquids, here are some other foods you should avoid.
- Acidic foods like tomatoes
- Orange and Grapefruit juices
- All citrus fruits and citrus drinks
- Potato chips and fries
- Salty foods
- Pepper-flavored foods
- Hot sauces and spicy food and drinks
Stay away from these items until your tongue heals so you can get on the road to recovery faster. You should also avoid burn creams and ointments as they are typically only meant for topical use.
How to Fix a Tongue From a Spice Burn
A tongue that is burnt from spicy food is completely different than a tongue that has been burnt from hot temperature food. Here are a few thing you can do to fix a burnt tongue that has been exposed to spicy food.
A swig of milk can go a long way in helping your tongue recover from a spicy meal. The protein in the milk will help dissolve the capsaicin that is responsible for the burning sensation that stays in your tongue receptors.
If you are planning on eating something spicy, it might be a good idea to make sure you have some bread on hand. It can act like a sponge, soaking up all of the spice that is irritating your mouth and help you get relief.
Munch on Sugar or Chocolate
It may seem strange to eat something sweet right after you eat something spicy—but it can help. Chocolate is filled with fat which can help remove that spicy capsaicin from your mouth. You can also try sugar, which helps absorb the spicy oil remnants that leave that burning feeling in your mouth.
Drink Some Alcohol
While it may seem like a strange remedy, alcohol actually dissolves the capsaicin that is lingering on your tongue and causing the spice pain. Use a high-proof alcohol like vodka, gin, rum or tequila and hold a bit in your mouth to help dissolve the capsaicin. Beer and wine won’t help as they have a lower alcohol content. In fact, they may actually make it feel worse.
Pain Relief Treatments for Burnt Tongues
While natural remedies can be great for a burnt tongue, in some situations, you may want to try over-the-counter pain relievers to give you the reprieve you are looking for. Here are a few ways you can safely use these pain treatments to help with your burnt tongue and to get rid of some of the discomfort.
A cough drop can be a huge help when attempting to relieve a tongue burn. Look for drops that have phenol, anesthetic properties, benzocaine, or menthol in them. These are all ingredients that will actually numb your tongue so you feel less pain.
While it isn’t exactly a medication, you can also try chewing on a piece of gum with menthol in it. It will active the cold-receptors in your tongue and leave your mouth feeling cool. Look for spearmint or peppermint gums to take advantage of menthol.
Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can also help ease the pain and bring down swelling. However, as with any pain medication, it is always recommended that you consult with a medical professional first before taking them.