man rinsing teeth with a glass of water

4 Tips to a Soothe a Burnt Tongue

Burning your tongue is a common nuisance that usually occurs when you don't notice how hot your food or drink is before taking a bite or sip. It may even cause the bumps on your tongue (called papillae) to temporarily disappear. An oral burn calls for a swift response if you want to ease the pain.

1. Sip Cool Water

As with any minor burn, cold water can help soothe the tongue's irritation. Drink a glass of cool water to bring down the temperature of your burning tongue and to keep your mouth hydrated. Saliva flow is key to ensure germs don't further harm the area. Stay away from hot foods and drinks, which will only irritate the burnt tongue until it heals.

2. Eat Soft, Cold Foods

Over the next few days, while your tongue or roof of your mouth feels tender, you can eat soft and cold foods to help the stinging sensation. Reach for refrigerated food that is easy to eat, like a fruit cup, yoghurt, or some apple sauce — all of which can help calm the burning sensation. Also, be sure to drink a glass of water at the same time to wash away any of the food debris left behind that could still hurt your tongue. If you do start to eat hot foods with a healing burn, take small sips and bites.

3. Rinse with Salt Water

Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water, rinse your mouth gently, and then spit it out. Salt is a natural antiseptic that can reduce swelling and pain; and relieve your burn symptoms.

4. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

If you still feel pain after trying the above tips, over-the-counter pain medication can help. Check with your dentist or doctor about the right medication for you.

If you're unsure of the cause of your burning tongue symptoms, or they don't go away, check with your dentist to rule out burning mouth syndrome, which is a chronic problem.

A tongue burn eventually goes away, but in the meantime, it's comforting to know you can try some simple burning tongue remedies that work. And if your tongue burn does not improve, visit your dentist or primary care physician.