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How to Soothe a Burnt Tongue

Two Methods:Using Natural RemediesUsing Pain Relief

Everybody has done it at some point -- taken a sip of scalding hot coffee or bitten into a slice of pizza straight from the oven, resulting in a nasty burnt tongue. Luckily, there are several things you can try to relieve the pain and bring down any swelling. Just see Step 1 below to get started.

Method 1
Using Natural Remedies

  1. Image titled Soothe a Burnt Tongue Step 1
    Suck on an ice cube or ice pop. The most obvious way to soothe a burnt tongue is to counteract the heat with something cold. Try sucking on an ice cube or licking an ice pop -- even drinking a cold drink will help.
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    Eat yogurt. Yogurt is one of the best remedies for a burnt tongue, as it is extremely cooling and soothing.
    • Eat a spoonful immediately after burning your tongue and let it sit on your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing.
    • Natural Greek yogurt is recommended, but any kind of yogurt will do. You could also try drinking a glass of cold milk.[1]
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    Sprinkle sugar on your tongue. One unique home remedy for a burnt tongue is to sprinkle a pinch of white sugar onto the burnt area and let it dissolve. Let it sit in the mouth for at least a minute for the pain to go away. Any pain should quickly subside.
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    Eat a spoonful of honey. Honey is a naturally soothing substance that can be used to ease the pain of a burnt tongue. Not more than a spoonful is necessary
    • Simply eat a spoonful and allow the honey to sit on your tongue for a few moments before swallowing.
    • Be aware that you should never give honey to children under 12 months of age, as it can harbor toxic spores causing infant botulism, which can lead to death.[2]
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    Use vitamin E. Vitamin E oil will help to soothe a burnt tongue and will also speed up the healing process by helping the tongue tissue to regenerate. Simply open a 1,000 IU vitamin E capsule and spread the oil on the burnt part of your tongue.[3]
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    Breathe through your mouth. It may sound pretty basic, but simply breathing through your mouth (instead of your nose) can help to soothe a burnt tongue, due to the cold air that rushes over your tongue when you inhale.
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    Avoid acidic and salty foods. Until healing occurs, stay away from acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices and vinegar. If you really want to, water down orange juice so it is very weak but cold and that will soothe the area for the time you drink it. You should also avoid salty foods like potato chips, since these items will irritate the area.
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    Use aloe vera. The aloe vera plant is a popular natural remedy for soothing and healing burns. Apply a little aloe vera gel (straight from the plant, not from creams or store-bought gels) directly onto the burnt area of the tongue. Be forewarned -- it probably won't taste very good! Or freeze the gel from the plant into ice cubes and suck on them so they're cold and relieving the pain.

Method 2
Using Pain Relief

  1. Image titled Soothe a Burnt Tongue Step 9
    Suck on cough drops. Look for cough drops that contain benzocaine, menthol or phenol. All of these ingredients act as local anesthetic, numbing your tongue and helping to relieve pain. Anesthetic mouthwash which contains these ingredients may help as well.
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    Chew a menthol chewing gum. Chewing a gum that contains menthol can help to activate the cold-sensitive receptors on your tongue, making your tongue feel nice and cool. Both peppermint and spearmint flavor gums contain menthol derivatives.[4]
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    Take some pain medication. If the pain in your tongue is very bad, consider taking over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) or ibuprofen. This will ease the pain and help to bring down any swelling.
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    Avoid using burn creams or ointments. Most burn creams and ointments are designed for topical use only.
    • They should not be applied to the tongue, as they may contain ingredients that are toxic if ingested.
    • The only exception to this are burn creams and ointments that are designed specifically for oral use.
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    Consider seeing a doctor. If your burnt tongue remains painful or swollen for more than 7 days, it is recommended that you see a doctor. The doctor may prescribe stronger forms of pain relief or medication to speed healing.
    • If the burning sensation in your tongue arises on its own, without having physically burned it on hot food or drink, you may have a condition known as burnt tongue syndrome. This can be very painful and may affect other areas of the mouth.
    • If you suspect that you may have burnt tongue syndrome, it is recommended that you see your doctor immediately as it may be a symptom of a more serious underlying issue such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, depression or food allergy.[5]


  • Don't numb your tongue right before eating, as that might lead to you accidentally biting it, which will irritate your burnt tongue even further.
  • Put brown sugar on an ice cube and immediately place the side with sugar on it on the affected area.
  • If you don't have any Orajel, suck on a clove bit and it will numb your mouth just like Orajel.[6]
  • Put a ice cube and mint chewing gum at the same time.
  • Eat and/or drink cold things to soothe the pain. For example: eat ice cream and/or drink ice water.


  • If you use ice cubes, always wet the ice cube before applying it to your tongue. Never apply an ice cube directly to a burned tongue, as the ice cube could stick to your tongue and make the pain worse.
  • A common home remedy is honey. However, never use honey for a burnt tongue of a child 12 months old or younger.
  • Don't apply burn creams to oral burns. Most creams are meant for use on skin and not the mouth. It could make you sick and maybe fatal.
  • Don't try to deal with any serious injury on your own. When in doubt, seek medical attention.
  • Don't go overboard with the ointment. It can actually numb your throat enough that you can inhale regurgitated stomach contents or oral secretions.[7]

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