How to treat a tongue burn - dr chauvin lafayette la

How to treat a tongue burn

Did you get a little too excited about your piping hot latte? Did that excitement turn into pain when you sipped it too quickly and burned your tongue?


Burning your tongue or mouth with hot food or liquid is often painful, but it’s also pretty common. If it’s not too serious, you can most likely treat the problem at home. 

Here are some things you can do to alleviate the pain: 

  • Rinse your mouth repeatedly with cool water, especially for the first few minutes after it happens. 
  • Try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Tylenol will work well for pain, while Advil will work well for inflammation. Don’t take them both. 
  • If the cool water isn’t helping as much as you’d like, try adding salt to it and rinsing with cool salt water. 
  • Pour a few sprinkles of sugar or a dab of honey on the spot that’s hurting in your mouth. 
  • Suck on ice chips, or eat a popsicle. 
  • Don’t drink anything warm or hot while you’ve got the burn. It will only irritate the spot more. 

A typical tongue burn will usually heal itself within about two weeks, though doctors say it could be up to six weeks for more severe burns. 

How do you know if you need to see a doctor about your mouth or tongue burn? 

If you’ve tried some or all of the above remedies and you’re still in excruciating pain, or you’re showing signs of infection, it’s time to see a doctor.

These symptoms include: 

  • Fever
  • Pus draining from the wound
  • Swelling
  • Increased pain 

Have you heard of Burning Mouth Syndrome? 

In some cases, the sensation of a burning tongue doesn’t come from an actual burn. Burning mouth syndrome is a condition that will make your tongue feel like it’s burning, but for no reason. 

Pain, numbness and tingling without an identifiable cause are all symptoms of burning mouth syndrome. There’s no known cause for the condition, and it most commonly affects people between 60 and 69 years old. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with BMS, here are some things you can do to alleviate the mysterious pain: 

  • Topical prescription pain meds, like lidocaine. 
  • Oral prescriptions, including gabapentin, SSRIs or amitriptyline. 
  • Alpha lipoic acid treatments
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Meditation and relaxation 


Do you still have questions about tongue burns? You can ask your favorite dentist when you schedule your cleaning and checkup at Dr. Tim Chauvin’s office. Contact his office today for an appointment!