(HealthyResearch.com) – Ouch! Food hotter than you expected? Maybe that coffee or tea was still scalding? A burnt tongue is a major nuisance and, let’s face it, a painful one at that. While the tongue generally heals itself quickly, it’s still important to treat your burnt tongue to reduce your pain and speed up the process.
Wondering how to heal a burnt tongue quickly? We’ve got you covered!
Identifying Tongue Burns
First-degree burns usually present on the tongue with redness, swelling and pain. Second and third-degree burns are not common from food but may include blistering, extreme swelling and white or black patches on the tongue. These symptoms may be accompanied by severe pain and/or numbness.
At-home treatments should be limited to first-degree burns. Be sure to see a doctor for assessment and treatment if you suspect a second or third-degree burn.
Treating a Burnt Tongue
Treating a tongue burn quickly will minimize the damage and reduce your pain levels. It’s important to remember to:
- Drink a glass of cold water. This may not seem pleasant at first, but drinking cold water right away will reduce your tongue’s temperature. It will also promote saliva production, which will keep harmful bacteria away from the burnt tissue.
- Sip ice water. After you’ve finished your initial glass of cold water, continue to sip ice water. Holding the water in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing will help to cool your tongue even more. Sip ice water for at least a half-hour, but you can continue to do so throughout the day for pain management.
- Try a saltwater rinse. Do this after your initial cooling first aid. Mix ⅛ tsp of salt into an 8oz glass of warm water, rinse and spit. Be gentle as you rinse. The salt will act as a natural pain reliever and may help reduce swelling.
- Use traditional pain relievers. Standard over-the-counter meds work well to reduce pain and inflammation. Follow your doctor’s guidelines for which are safest for your personal needs.
- Put a little bit of sugar or honey on your tongue. Both can act as natural pain relievers.
What Not To Do For Your Tongue
What you don’t do after a tongue burn is just as important to the healing process. Keep the following in mind:
- Never put ice directly on the tongue. Just as with any other burn, your tongue needs to be protected. Applying ice directly to the tongue may result in the ice cube getting stuck, which can lead to further pain.
- Avoid hot foods and beverages. Heat will cause continued irritation. Avoid foods that are likely to cause another burn, such as microwaved pizza. Stick to a diet that’s cool and relatively bland until your burn heals. Try fruit, yogurts, puddings, gelatins (Jell-O), popsicles, Italian ice, cold soups and other foods that are cooling and easy to eat.
- Avoid burn creams and ointments. The average minor tongue burn will turn red, but it should not need an ointment or cream. Remember that most aren’t made for consumption.
There’s nothing pleasant about a burnt tongue, but taking quick action can put you on the path to relief almost instantly, with full healing in a matter of days. Seek medical attention immediately if the redness or pain gets worse, if the swelling doesn’t go away, if you develop blisters or pus or if you develop a fever. Otherwise, keep sipping those cool beverages and your tongue will heal on its own.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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