MOUTH BURNS

One of the most painful experiences is a burn in your mouth from hot food. The main culprits are pizza and coffee. The hot cheese is particularly bad because it’s hard to get off of the spot and burns the epithelium (lining cells) leaving behind a red spot. I am personally very sensitive to heat and frequently start drinking coffee when most people are ready to throw it out. Also, be careful when you microwave food – the food is not warmed uniformly and will have hot spots that can get you.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

So, what can you do about it once the episode has occurred? Sucking on an ice cube or a popsicle will give you some immediate relief. From the drug store there is a material called Orabase which is for soft tissue pain and will give some level of relief. If you injured an even larger area your dentist can supply an elixir which includes benzocaine or lidocaine, a numbing agent that you can swish around, and it will numb the soft tissues in your mouth. The problem with this is that your taste buds can be affected for a while, and your food won’t taste the way it’s supposed to. Traditional pain pills like Advil and Tylenol can help a bit but take longer to get into the bloodstream.

Healing usually takes 7-10 days. There are claims that Vitamin E capsules placed on the wound can accelerate healing. During this period it’s advised that crunchy or spicy foods be avoided as these can injure the area and cause discomfort plus an extended healing.

I want to make mention of a syndrome known as burning mouth syndrome. This is a condition that will not just go away and needs a medical or dental examination to find out the cause. This can be a nutritional deficiency, side effect of cancer or cancer treatment as well as many more.