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Burnt Tongue

How to Deal with a Burnt Tongue?

No one wants to burn their tongue but the truth is that such things happen. Often times, we do not wait for our food or beverages to become cold. We drink our coffee scalding hot and we taste our food just as it is ready. Unfortunately, it is not that pleasant to have a burnt tongue. If you have gone through such an experience recently, be sure to try out the remedies suggested in this article. Keep in mind that, as soon as the burnt tongue has occurred, the standard first aid treatment will do.

Natural Remedies to treat Burnt Tongue

burnt tongue
These are the most common natural remedies that you can try for the burnt tongue:

  • Ice cube/ice pop
    • Sucking on an ice cube or an ice pop can be quite useful when it comes to a burnt tongue
    • Soothing effect on the recently burned tongue surface
    • Alternative – drinking a cold beverage (milk is perfect, as it has a soothing effect on its own)
  • Yoghurt
    • Excellent remedy for the burnt tongue
    • The yoghurt has a cooling effect, soothing the surface of the tongue
    • Do not swallow the yoghurt immediately, let it sit on the tongue, so as to soothe the burned tissues
    • Recommended – natural Greek yoghurt
  • Sugar
    • Recommended – sugar sprinkled on the tongue
    • Make sure that the sugar is placed on the burned surface of the tongue
    • Excellent remedy, helps you deal with the pain
  • Honey
    • Natural soothing properties
    • Can reduce the painful sensation caused by a burnt tongue
    • Keep the honey on the tongue for a short period of time, before swallowing it
    • Remedy not recommended in children under one year of age (toxic effect)
  • Vitamin E
    • Soothing effect on the burnt tongue
    • Faster healing process
    • Helps the tissues of the tongue to regenerate
    • Vitamin E oil applied directly to the tongue (from vitamin E capsule)
  • Mouth breathing
    • Soothing effect on the burnt tongue
    • Constant stream of air to the tongue (colder than the oral temperature)
  • No acidic/salty foods
    • Acidic foods to avoid – vinegar, tomatoes, citrus fruits, acidic fruit juice
    • Allowed – orange juice diluted with water (preferable cold, so that it has a more soothing effect)
    • Salty foods to avoid – potato chips (further irritation of the burnt area)
  • Aloe vera
    • Natural remedy – soothing effect on the burnt tongue
    • Can also promote a faster healing process
    • Recommended choices – aloe vera gel or natural aloe vera juice
    • Alternative – freezing the aloe vera juice in the form of an ice cube (ice cube sucking – cold application, delivers the necessary pain relief)
  • Baking soda
    • You can dilute the baking soda with water and swish it around the mouth
    • Soothing and calming effect, plus it has antibacterial properties
  • Tabasco sauce
    • Dilute the Tabasco sauce with water and rinse your mouth with the solution
    • Pain relieving effect, due to capsaicin, the active ingredient in the Tabasco sauce
  • Glycerin
    • Direct application to the burned surface of the tongue
    • Reduces the intensity of the burning sensation
  • Echinacea
    • Herbal drops applied directly to the tongue
  • Lavender oil
    • Applied directly to the tongue, with the help of a cotton dab
    • Pain relief and faster healing.

Methods for Pain Relief

Apart from that natural remedies that you can use, there are also specific methods to try out for pain relief:

  • Cough drops
    • Sucking on cough drops can reduce the discomfort or pain caused by the burnt tongue
    • Recommended cough drops – those that contain substances with soothing effect, such as menthol, phenol or benzocaine
    • Cough drops have an anesthetic effect on the tongue, thanks to the above-mentioned substances
    • Alternative – mouthwash (anesthetic effect – numbness and pain relief)
  • Chewing gum
    • Recommended – chewing gum with menthol (peppermint, spearmint)
    • Soothing and cooling effect on the tongue
  • Pain medication
    • Anti-inflammatory medication recommended – acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen
    • Pain relief and reduction of inflammation
    • This medication should be taken with caution by those who suffer from chronic liver disease (processed through the liver)
  • No burn cream/ointment
    • Such products are designed exclusively to be used on the skin and not on the oral mucosa or the tongue
    • May contain ingredients that have a toxic effect upon ingestion
    • Only exception – cream/ointment designed intentionally for oral usage.

Pictures of a Burnt Tongue

burnt tongue pictures

burnt tongue pictures 2

When should you consider going to the doctor?

In the situation that the burns at the level of the tongue do not disappear within one week, you should consider seeing a specialist. The doctor might prescribe pain medication or other drugs, in order to speed up the healing process and improve the symptoms you are experiencing. In the situation that you present a burning sensation, without having an actual physical burn, you might be suffering from what is known as the burnt tongue syndrome. This medical problem can cause a lot of pain, especially since it is not restricted to the oral mucosa. A visit to the doctor becomes more than essential in this case, as you might also be suffering from an underlying condition, such as depression, hyperthyroidism or food allergies.


Even though it may sound like the obvious thing to do, if you do not want to burn your tongue in the future, you need to be more careful. Avoid drinking beverages when they are too hurt, as they can hurt not only your tongue but also your esophagus, increasing the risk of esophageal cancer. The same goes for hot foods, as it can have a similarly damaging effect. If you cannot help it, then at least try to take small sips of your drink or, respectively, small bites of the food. In this way, you will reduce the risk of thermal burns at the level of the tongue and you will be able to enjoy your food/drink at the same time.

Future solutions

A team of researchers at the University of Texas have developed dissolvable oral strips that are recommended especially for the burnt tongue. According to the researchers, the strips will be available for application not only on the tongue, but also on the roof of the mouth or inside of the cheek. The oral strips contain benzocaine, a local anesthetic, which is released as they begin to dissolve.

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