The tongue is one of the most important organs in the body. It is the articulator of speech and moves food around the mouth as we chew. Its biological function is to push food into our esophagus, so any pain or disturbance to it may affect our ability to eat. One condition that can cause us pain is a burnt tongue. It’s very uncomfortable to have a burnt tongue, so it’s important to have enough knowledge about what treatments are available to you.
What is a Burning Mouth?
A burnt tongue or mouth can spread pain through your lips, cheeks and other part of your mouth. It usually occurs if you eat or drink something that’s too hot. While bild burns are annoying, they will heal eventually. If your burn is more serious, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.
In some cases, you may feel a burning sensation without the appearance of an actual burn. This condition is called burning mouth syndrome, or idiopathic glossopyrosis.
What Causes a Burnt Tongue?
Underestimating the temperature of hot food, liquid or steam may burn your tongue, lips or mouth. Frequently consuming extremely hot food and beverages without checking their temperature first may put you at risk, too. There is also Burning Tongue Syndrome, which can cause you to feel a burning sensation even if there’s no particular reason.
There are two types of burning tongue syndrome: primary and secondary. In the primary type, there is actually no known cause. In the secondary type, though, it is more likely caused by some other medical condition.
Secondary burning tongue syndrome may be caused by:
- Grinding the teeth, brushing excessively, etc.
- Hormonal imbalance, such as that which occurs during menopause
- Endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism and diabetes
- Stomach acid that makes its way into the mouth
- Allergic reactions to various foods
- Nerve damage
- Depression and anxiety
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Oral lichen planus
- Dry mouth
Symptoms of a Tongue Burn
The appearance and sensation of a tongue burn depends on the degree of the burn:
- First-degree tongue burns involve the tongue’s outermost layer. It is normal to feel pain, and your tongue may turn red or swell up.
- Second-degree tongue burns will be more painful. This is because both the under and the outermost layer of the tongue gets injured. Blisters may form, and the tongue may appear red and swollen.
- Third-degree tongue burns may affect the deepest tissues in the tongue. This can cause the skin to whiten or blacken, and severe pain and numbness can occur.
Along with a burning sensation on the tongue, the symptoms may include:
- Feeling like you have a dry mouth even if there is a normal production of saliva
- Having a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth
- A daily recurrence of the symptoms of burning
- The tongue feeling normal in morning but worsening throughout the day
Treatments for Burning Tongue
Here are some of the most convenient and safest treatments for burning tongue:
- Apple: filling the mouth with ice-cold apple juice may help cool the burning sensation.
- Nutritional Diet: foods that are rich in iron like sesame seeds, bran flakes, dates and cashew nuts can help reduce the burning sensation. Additionally, aim for a diet rich in leafy vegetables, vitamin B2, vitamin B1 and vitamin B12.
- Baking soda: use this as an alternative to commercial toothpaste when brushing your teeth.
- Sugar-free gum: this may help temporarily relieve the burning sensation.
- Ice cubes: this may help reduce the pain in the burnt areas of the tongue.
- Aloe vera: applying aloe vera gel over the affected area may help relieve the burn.
Preventing a Burning Tongue
You may prevent tongue burn by testing the temperature of the food or drink that you are about to consume. When it comes to preventing Tongue Burn Syndrome, though, there is no known way, but you may be able to minimize the sensations by avoiding the foods or drinks that trigger it.