Most of us have forgotten the temperature of a piping hot cup of coffee before sipping it or been too impatient to wait for food to cool before eating it. As a result, you might know the sensation of burning your mouth. If you consume foods or drinks that are too hot, you could scald and injure your tongue, mouth, gums, or lips.
Most of the time, these burns are extremely mild and superficial, affecting only the top layer of tissue. The injuries will go away on their own. But is there ever a time when a burn in your mouth is a larger problem?
Even minor burns can feel uncomfortable, and you might wonder how to relieve this pain. Discover how to manage burns in your mouth and when you need dental attention for this injury when you read on.
How Do I Relieve Oral Discomfort from Burns?
Your mouth features a variety of sensitive tissues that could prove susceptible to burns if you eat or drink something that is too hot. A minor burn in your mouth might appear red, feel tender or sore, and begin to peel as it heals.
Indulging in a cool beverage can feel soothing to these burns. If you drink milk, the liquid will coat your mouth as you consume it as well, adding further relief for a burn. You might also want to stick to snacks that are creamy, smooth, or chilled to relieve discomfort rather than aggravate it.
Steer clear of crunchy, sharp-edged foods that might irritate the healing tissue in your mouth. Acidic or spicy foods and drinks might also make your mouth hurt more after a burn. Pay attention to your diet to avoid further discomfort after burning your mouth.
You might want to try a saltwater rinse. While infections from a mouth burn are uncommon, this effort can further reduce the risk while also encouraging healing. If your mouth feels sore, you can also take over-the-counter pain medicine.
Do I Need to Call My Dentist If I Burn My Mouth?
A minor burn to the mouth will not require intervention from a dentist. The superficial damage to the gums, mouth, tongue, or lips will heal on its own. However, if symptoms grow unmanageable, you may need urgent care and you should call your doctor right away.
Major swelling and inflammation in the affected area or the formation of blisters can point to a more serious burn. If you feel severe pain rather than discomfort, you might suffer a second-degree burn. A third-degree burn involves even deeper damage to tissue and could harm nerves to the point you might feel numb.
In most cases, we know why what caused the burn to our mouths. But if you feel chronic burning in your mouth with no recognizable cause, this could point to burning mouth syndrome. It may develop as a side effect of certain medications or due to nerve damage. If these symptoms seem familiar, do not wait to contact a health professional.