Is Burning Your Mouth Serious?

All of us have been too impatient when waiting for food to cool or forgotten the high temperature of a hot cup of coffee. When your mouth comes into contact with a food or beverage that is too hot, you feel a scalding pain right away. Then you notice that your mouth feels strange for some time afterward.

In most cases, burning your mouth results in a very minor injury. The hot temperature will damage only the surface level of the mouth, gums, tongue, or lips. You can heal from this on your own.

But in rare instances, a burn to your mouth could prove more serious and require urgent dental attention. Even a small burn might also feel unpleasant, so you may wonder how to manage discomfort while you heal. Read on to learn what you can expect when recovering from a burn in your mouth as well as how to relieve potential discomfort in the meantime.

Is Burning Your Mouth Serious

When to Seek Help for a Burned Mouth

For a typical, first-degree burn in your mouth, you might notice some mild discomfort. The mouth contains delicate tissue that can be more susceptible to burns than the skin on your body’s exterior. The burned area may appear red and irritated, it may feel sore or tender, and the tissue might peel when it heals.

These symptoms are normal for a superficial burn. But if pain or other symptoms feel unmanageable, you may need to talk to your doctor right away. A second-degree burn may need medical intervention. This can happen if the pain feels severe or if you notice blisters forming at the burn site.

A third-degree burn can be even more serious. It refers to deeper tissue damage that can reach the nerves. If the burn feels numb, reach out to a health professional.

In most cases, we know what causes a burn in our mouth and can pinpoint the food or drink that was the culprit. But if you notice chronic burning in your mouth with no known cause, you might have burning mouth syndrome. This may happen in the event of nerve damage, so tell your dentist or doctor.

Relief for Oral Discomfort When You Burn Your Mouth

Most burns in the mouth are mild and can heal in their own time. But you might want to find relief for the discomfort caused by this oral injury in the meantime.

A chilled beverage or snack can soothe pain from a burn in the mouth. Avoid spicy, crunchy, or sharp foods that could irritate the healing tissue. Instead, stick to colder, softer, or creamier snack options.

If your mouth feels constantly sore, try an over-the-counter pain medication that can reduce pain as well as swelling. You might also encourage healing in the injured tissue with a saltwater rinse. Learn more about treating and preventing oral health problems by contacting your dentist.