Burnt Tongue: Remedies and Treatments

burnt tongue

How many times do you not resist eating or drinking something too hot and regret it immediately? A burnt tongue can happen countless times if we eat hot food and drink beverages near to their boiling point.

Your tongue is very sensitive hence it will burn immediately.

Though it will also heal easily as long as as it is a mild burn.

If the burn is severe in nature, however, then you may have to consult a doctor soon.

Moreover, if you constantly feel a burning sensation then it probably is a condition known as the burning mouth syndrome.

Nonetheless, you would like to relieve the burns as soon as possible.

Don’t worry we have you covered! This article discusses how you can soothe burns and avoid them.

Keep reading to know more.

look of burnt tongue

How Does a Burnt Tongue Look Like?

Burnt tongue symptoms will depend on the severity of the burn.

Usually, every burn is classified into three types.

These include first, second and third-degree burns.

First-degree burns affect the outermost layer.

You feel some pain and the area of the burn becomes red.

Moreover, you may notice some swelling too.

Second-degree burns injure the underlayer as well as the outermost layer of the tongue.

Thus the pain is more than that in first-degree burns.

Plus, there are blisters on your tongue, swelling and redness.

Third-degree burns go the deepest my affecting the most deep layers of the tongue.

Your tongue changes color as the skin turns to black or white signaling a deeper burn.

The pain and numbness worsen.

Due to this, the papillae present on the tongue disappear.

When there are no bumps, the tongue looks smooth.

What’s worse is that there are taste buds between the bumps that are hurt by the burn.

Hence, if they are affected, you may lose your sense of taste.

However, this will only be a temporary side effect.

Usually, tongue burns will be of first-degree nature.

However, if they worsen or the pain does not go away then you should consult your doctor.


It could be actually a burning mouth syndrome where your tongue, roof of mouth and inside of cheeks sting.

Though, you will also feel other symptoms such as:

  • dry mouth when saliva production is normal
  • bitter taste in the mouth
  • tingling and numbing sensation alongside burning
  • symptoms repeat daily and never go away
  • the severity of the symptoms increases as the day proceeds and is present at waking up

burn from hot drink

Causes of Getting Your Tongue Burnt

The simplest reason why your tongue burnt was that you consumed something to eat it drink while it was very hot.

If you see steam coming out of your food and beverage then it is probably too hot for your tongue.

It may not only affect your tongue but also your mouth and lips.

A single bite can damage the outer layer of the skin giving you a first-degree burn.

It can cause the delicate tissues that also let you enjoy tastes to be damaged in an instant.

Hence, liquids that are entering their boiling point or extremely hot food that still has steam coming out will likely cause burns.

In fact, inhaling hot vapor can also cause these burns.

On the other hand, if you have Burning Mouth Syndrome then your tongue may not sting for a specific reason.

If there is no specific cause behind the sensation then it is Primary BMS which doctors cure by advising you lifestyle changes and home remedies.

However, BMS may also be a symptom of another underlying disease.

That is called Secondary Burning Mouth Syndrome.

It can stem from other conditions such as, vitamin deficiencies, geographic tongue, oral lichen planus, wearing dentures, injury or oral thrush.

Teeth grinding, hormonal imbalance, acid reflux, injury to the mouth, blood pressure medicines and endocrine diseases are also liked with this condition.

Hence, if you have any of these conditions, it can result in a constant burning sensation in your mouth.

If an underlying reason is present then it can be cured by treatment for that condition.

However, normal tongue burns because of consuming hot and cold food usually go away in 2 weeks.

Still, you would want to soothe it immediately. More on that below!

life hacks and remedies

How to Cure a Burnt Tongue: Life Hacks and Remedies

Drink Water and Suck on Ice Chips

As soon as you burn your tongue the first thing you should do is to sip water.

Preferably cold water because you would want to cool down the burn.

Just as you would cool down a burn on any other part of your body, your tongue needs coolness right now too.

Keep rinsing that area so that it brings down the temperature.

Drinking water will not only decrease the temperature but also keep your mouth hydrated.

It will regulate the flow of saliva so that no bacteria attack the burn and irritate it further.

Another way to bring the temperature down is to chew ice chips or even a popsicle.

Do it quickly as it will increase the time the heat gets to reach the tissues.

Rinsing with Salt Water 

A saltwater rinse can lower your chances of getting an infection.

It is a natural antiseptic hence it can reduce swelling and redness.

Saltwater can relieve the pain and the irritation as well.

Mix about 1 by 8 teaspoons of salt in a glass of water and then rinse with it.

Take Dairy Products 

Milk has a cooling effect and can coat the tongue. So do milk products.

Therefore if you burn your tongue, simply drink a glass of milk or eat yogurt.

Eat Only Soft and Cold Food 

Following the injury, only eat food that is soft and cold.

This will not cause irritation and will soothe your mouth.

Your palette will already be a little tender hence you want to avoid exacerbating the pain.

Thus, you should go for eating yogurt, applesauce or fruits.

You can also try applying honey or springing some sugar onto the burns.

Though, there is less evidence to support if that works.

woman holding tongue

What You Should Avoid?

Drinking and Eating Hot 

If you are still eating and drinking hot then take small bites and sips.

However, ideally, you should not consume them for a while.

Thye can further irritate your tongue and delay the healing time.

Hence, eat only soft and cold food till your tongue feels better.


Hot food and drinks are also irritants and so are the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Spicy Foods

They can exacerbate the discomfort.

Specifically, alcohol can delay wound healing.

Spicy food on the other hand can make result in sore tongue.

Hence, both of these along with hot foods should be avoided.

In fact, you should keep your oral hygiene on point during this time but you need to avoid using alcohol mouthwashes.

So beware of anything that will further delay healing and cause more pain.

Do Not Brush Your Tongue

You can ski brushing, scraping or clean your tongue with the burn.

Currently, it is healing from the burn, hence you should be avoiding anything that can further irritate it.

Since the tongue is very sensitive and brushing can cause more pain, hence, it is better to wait till it heals and then brush it properly.

These remedies can help heal the tongue within 2 weeks, however, if the irritation and pain remain or increase then consult your doctor.

You should also visit a doctor if you have a fever, drainage of pus, notice poor healing and swelling.

These could be signs of an infection.

Since the bacteria can attack the burn, you should keep drinking water to stimulate the salivary flow and prevent infection.

Your doctor can simply look at the redness, swelling and blisters to identify your concern.

Next, they can prescribe medications so that you avoid an infection.

medical treatment

Medical Treatments and Tips

You should immediately go to your doctor for second or third-degree burns.

If the pain is severe then your doctor will recommend you to take a topical ointment or numbing cream.

The topical anesthetic contains benzocaine and is also popular in use for numbing pain caused by toothache and mouth sores.

Moreover, your doctor will recommend you to take over-the-counter medicines to deal with pain.

The likes of acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good to eliminate pain.

It can reduce your pain and irritation.

Moreover, they can recommend you an antibiotic ointment that keeps your mouth hydrated and protects it from bacteria.

Other measures that you can take include keeping good oral hygiene and using petroleum jelly on the lips and corners of the mouth.

Keeping good oral hygiene during this time will protect you from getting an infection.

Since there is an open wound and a blister, there are chances of bacteria attacking it.

However, brushing and flossing properly but sparing the tongue can help control the bacteria inside the mouth.

Furthermore, applying petroleum jelly hydrates the outside of your mouth.

Moreover, it keeps your lips and corners of your mouth comfortable while your tongue heals.

Using these tips and treatments you can make the healing more comfortable.


If you have a burnt tongue then follow with these remedies.

Unless it does not heal, then you should consult your doctor as it could be an infection or BMS.






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