How To Handle Mouth Burns Without Making Them Worse

by Terrence Mills

That fresh out of the oven pizza looks so tempting and tasty, yet you end up with a painful burn on the roof of your mouth or side of the gums. When melting cheese or scalding coffee leaves you in pain and watching a part of your mouth blister, your attempts to soothe the pain can slow down the healing process. Follow these suggestions for taking care of a burned mouth the right way.

Cool It Down

While a quick sip of ice water won't reverse the damage from biting into an overheated cinnamon roll, cold ice cream and ice cubes are good ways for relieving the pain and swelling. Let the ice melt a little first so the frosty surface doesn't stick to the burn and further damage the gum tissue or palate skin. Gargling with cool salt water also soothes the damage and can keep food debris out of a badly blistered or peeling burn.

Carefully Coat the Burn

Don't put antibiotic ointment or thick layers of petroleum jelly based oral gels over damaged gum tissue and cheek lining. Too much coating actually slows down healing and encourages infection. If the surface is very raw and rubs against your teeth or tongue, try drinking milk for a safe coating of fat, or rubbing a little natural honey on the area. Both prepare the area for healing and wash away quickly with just saliva.

Avoid Irritants

Very few people suffering with a painful mouth burn grab another freshly fried prawn or slice of steaming pizza. However, some other types of foods and drinks increase the pain of the burn and prevent proper healing. Avoid mouth irritants like

  • Citrus juices and other acidic drinks featuring pineapple and sour grape
  • Spicy foods with chilies and peppers
  • Crunchy snacks that break into sharp pieces that cut your burns, like potato chips and sunflower seeds

See a Dentist

Check the burn in a mirror, preferably with a flashlight, to determine the severity of tissue damage. If you see extensive blistering, thick layers or white and brown skin, or excessive peeling and puffiness, make an appointment with your dentist. They need to examine the burn and help you fight infection, especially since the veins carrying bacteria from the mouth are so close to the brain.

Most burns only cause one or two blisters at the most, and these should heal up fine with only basic home treatment. Don't wait to visit the dentist when the damage persists for more than a few days or the pain worsens.

For more information, visit a dentist like Dr. Frank Longo.