How To Heal A Burnt Tongue: 10 Tips For Quicker Relief

how to heal a burnt tongue
how to heal a burnt tongue

What do you do when your tummy growls from hunger and you remember the chicken pot pie from the day before sitting smugly in the refrigerator? You pick it up, shove it into the microwave for a minute or two, and have a go at it. As soon as you sink your teeth into it, ouch! your tongue singes from the unexpected heat. A burnt tongue is the dinner table accident we are all familiar with. Microwaved pizzas, pies, and quiche are big villains as the temperature inside a microwaved food varies considerably from the temperature outside.1 Just as scalding for your tongue is a cup of piping hot coffee. In fact, a UK-based designer has come out with a smart mug that can detect the temperature of the content in it and indicate when it’s safe to drink it without burning the tongue.

What not to do when you have a burnt tongue



  • Don’t use burn creams or ointments. They are for topical use and not for ingestion.
  • Don’t eat acidic foods which include citrus fruits, tomatoes, or vinegar till the tongue heals.
  • Don’t have salty foods like chips till the burn is soothed.

Once you burn your tongue, you know you are not going to enjoy a meal for at least 10 days to follow. Depending on the extent of the damage, a burnt tongue takes anywhere from a few days to two weeks to get back to normal. And the effectiveness of the remedies to soothe a burnt tongue depends on the extent of damage. For instance, while placing ice on the burnt tongue is a good idea, if the burns have resulted in charred, blackened tissue, ice will only complicate the matter. What you need here is immediate medical care.2 Here are a few tips on how to soothe a burnt tongue.

1. Breathe Through The Mouth

Stick your burnt tongue out and breathe. Let the cool air do its job. You will find instant relief from burnt tongue by doing this.


2. Suck On An Ice Cube Or Popsicle Or Rinse Your Mouth With Ice Cold Water

Use cold to counteract the heat. Suck on an ice cube or popsicle or go for a mouth rinse with ice cold water. While rinsing your mouth, pay attention to the damaged area. Rinse for 30 seconds and spit the water out. Repeat it three or four times a day.

3. Apply Dairy Products On Your Tongue

If you have milk, condensed milk or yogurt in the refrigerator, apply some on the tongue.


4. Apply Sugar Or Honey On Your Tongue

Sugar is a good remedy for burns. Coat your tongue with a thick layer of sugar which will help it heal faster. You can also smear some honey on the tongue and let it sit for a while.

5. Apply Vitamin E Oil

Open a vitamin E capsule and empty the content on the tongue. Vitamin E oil works well in soothing a burnt tongue.


6. Apply Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel works well to soothe the burnt tongue if applied directly on the tongue. If you have time, you can freeze the gel in an ice cube and suck on the cube. Needless to say, it may not be the best tasting medicine for the injury.

7. Chew A Menthol Chewing Gum

Menthol has the ability to activate cold-sensitive receptors on the tongue. So chewing on menthol chewing gum or menthol candy can soothe your burnt tongue.


8. Apply Cold Sore Medication

Applying any cold sore medication or rinsing the mouth with an anesthetic mouthwash available over the counter is another remedy. They numb the tongue until it heals.

9. Try Cough Syrup Or Cough Drops

Cough drops with benzocaine, menthol, or phenol can act as a local anesthetic and help relieve pain.


10. Take Painkillers

If the burn is not minor and the pain is severe, you may want to try some pain medication available over the counter for relief. If the burn is very bad where at least some tissues have been charred, go to a doctor immediately.