It’s the kind of thing we do from time to time – each time vowing we will never do it again. You bite into that dangerously hot slice of pizza, do little song and dance and summarily burn the living daylights out of your mouth. You don’t tend to feel the effects immediately, but give it a day or so and it feels as if your mouth is falling to pieces.
Mouth burns are exactly the kinds of things that prove just how painful the tiniest little injuries in the wrong places can be. It might only be a small speck on the roof of your mouth, but boy does it hurt! To such an extent in fact that eating, drinking and generally getting by for a few days at least can be nightmarish.
The real kicker being that once you’ve done the damage, there’s really no miracle cure for reversing it. Even with the most advanced electric toothbrush or best antiseptic mouthwash available, to a certain extent you just have to ride it out. On the plus side, the vast majority of mouth burns are not considered serious and will sort themselves out given time. In the meantime, you might want to think about doing whatever you can to at least minimise the pain and discomfort you’re probably feeling.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of seven simple tips from the experts on how to avoid making things worse than they already are:
- Don’t Play with It
First of all, one of the worst things you can do when dealing with any kind of sore within your mouth is to keep on touching and playing with it. The temptation to do so is enormous, but what you might not realise is that your tongue is technically quite revolting. At least in terms of harbouring the kinds of germs and bacteria you’d be wise not to rub into the sores in your mouth. It’s not that doing so is likely to make things worse, but is at the same time pretty much guaranteed to slow down the healing process.
- Avoid Hot Foods
When dealing with a mouth burn, you only need to take one mouthful that is overly hot to realise what a big mistake this is. It really isn’t rocket science – the fact that it hurts so excruciatingly should give you the right message. When dealing with burns of any kind, excessive heat needs to be avoided at all costs. So while it might mean making a few lifestyle changes for the time being at least, you are going to need to think carefully about what you eat and drink. On that note, overly hot drinks can be just as bad.
- Avoid Anything Sharp
Sharp foods can also be pure hell for those with painful mouth burns. You might not knowingly eat anything particularly sharp, but when you actually think about it, there are quite a few entries to this particular list. One of which being crisps – especially those covered in salt, vinegar and various other acidic ingredients. Introduce one of these to your mouth when dealing with a burn and you’ll know about it! But it’s not just about the immediate pain and discomfort – prodding and slashing a mouth burn with any kind of sharp food whatsoever only stands to prolong both the pain and the healing process.
- Keep It Clean
As is the case with all wounds, the key to speeding up the recovery process lies in keeping the affected area as clean as possible at all times. Along with resisting the urge to play with it, you also need to keep tabs on your oral hygiene. Arm yourself with a high-quality antiseptic mouthwash and use it on a regular basis, in order to help keep it as hygienically clean as possible. That said, you need to be careful when it comes to the rest of your daily oral hygiene regime, so as not to risk damaging the affected area even further with overly aggressive scrubbing. If in doubt, ask your dentist or pharmacist for a recommended product.
- Keep It Cool
Whereas heat can be the worst enemy of mouth burns, anything that’s cool can be quite therapeutic. This is definitely the kind of time when you have a good excuse for sucking on ice lollies, eating ice cream and enjoying a nice cool drink to keep things cool. Not only does the application of cold offer a certain amount of immediate pain relief, but it can also actively help reduce inflammation. That said, you don’t want to get carried away and run the risk of damaging your teeth and gums with too much of a good thing. Likewise, dentists comprehensively recommend against chomping ice cubes, which is known to be one of the worst thing you can do for your teeth and gums in general.
- Treatment Gels
If things are particularly painful and bordering on the unbearable, don’t overlook the effectiveness of the various treatment gels and similar products available. Just as is the case when suffering from a mouth ulcer, there are plenty of products you can pick up to provide a certain amount of temporary relief. They might not do much to speed up the healing process, but can certainly make things more bearable in the meantime. Once again, simply ask a pharmacist which products they recommend.
- Ask the Experts
Last but not least, when it comes to any burns within the mouth that appear to be rather on the serious side, you might want to think about consulting with the professionals. Make an appointment with your dentist and ask them to take a look, if only for your own peace of mind. The reason being that while the vast majority of mouth burns are in no way serious, there may be some cases that cross the line into something more severe. If this is the case, you may benefit from professional treatment.