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So You Burnt Your Tongue, What’s Next?

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A group of women enjoying a nice, hot cup of coffee.

So You Burnt Your Tongue, What’s Next?

Foods and drinks are a huge part of our daily life. Not only do we need them to live, but meals are a huge part of every culture. Let’s paint a scene for you. You are out with a group of friends at a pizza parlor. The aroma of wood baked pizza fills your nose and makes your stomach gurgle with anticipation. You order your favorite type of pizza and patiently wait for it to come out.

After some time passes, you eye your waiter heading towards your table with your pizza. As he sets it down in front of you, he warns, “Careful, this just came out of the oven.”

Overcome with excitement, you ignore his cautionary advice. You bite down–

The cheese is scalding hot. At this point, you inhale and exhale repeatedly to try and cool the bite of pizza off. You debate if you should spit it out, but you don’t want to be gross in front of your friends. It’s too late. The damage to your tongue is done.

What To Do After You Burn Your Tongue

Now that your favorite pizza parlor has implemented a scorched earth strategy on your tongue, it’s time to find ways to soothe the damage done.

  1. Just like if you burn another part of your body, applying something cold as soon as possible can help mitigate pain. Sucking on an ice cube will help.
  2. Put granulated sugar on your tongue and press it on the roof of your mouth. These instructions might seem ironic coming from a dentist, but this trick will help with the pain. But no, this doesn’t give you an excuse to eat a Snickers bar. That’s on you.
  3. Don’t add inSALT to injury. Seriously, avoid eating hot, salty, acidic, or spicy foods. These foods can irritate your burn, and hot foods can add to the injury as well. Until your tongue heals stick with cold pizza.
  4. If your tongue still hurts after these remedies, consider taking medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These will help with swelling and pain. If you are unsure if you can take these, make sure you check with your doctor first.
  5. If your tongue is still in pain after about 7 days, seek medical attention from your local doctor or dentist.

 

Degrees Of Burns On Your Tongue

While this blog offers solutions to help burnt tongues, if you believe you have a second or third degree burn, please go seek medical attention to ensure you have the best possible care.

First-Degree: Minor damage, tongue may look a little red
Second-Degree: Blisters may form on the tongue and is typically more painful
Third-Degree: White, blackened, or charred tissue, may be numb or have severe pain

Unless your pizzeria uses a blast furnace, thankfully you are unlikely to get a third degree burn on your tongue.

Additional Information about Tongue Burns

  • Depending on the severity of your burn, you may have a metallic taste in your mouth. Do not worry; this should go away as your burn heals.
  • Taste buds can be burnt off, but will grow back within 10-14 days.

 
While having a burnt tongue isn’t particularly dangerous, it can be a nuisance for some time. The best way to prevent burns is to be wary around hot items; test nibbles and sips will do you wonders. When the inevitable burnt tongue does happen, use the remedies above to make your time with a burnt tongue a little more bearable.