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Dos and don’ts of tongue burn
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Dos and don’ts of tongue burn

Experts say some attempts to get relief from tongue burn can sometimes be counterproductive

Hot foods during winter, comfort and satisfy soul. However, at times, they can cause a sudden sting, which is referred to as tongue burn. This mishap occurs when we fail to pay attention to the temperature of the food we eat.

Tongue burns can also happen due to other reasons like consuming very spicy foods and chemicals. However, this is a rare scenario.

Symptoms occur according to the severity. It depends on how intense the heat of the food is and the duration of exposure to the heat.  The symptoms generally range from redness and swelling to blisters in severe cases.

An evident stinging/ burning sensation follows immediately after a tongue burn. Eating, drinking, and speaking may become difficult due to sensitivity and intense pain.

“After a tongue burn, the affected area may appear whitish at first and then develop a white or grayish coating as it heals,” says Whitney DiFoggio, a registered dental hygienist and cofounder at Teeth Talk Girl, US.

On getting a tongue burn, we might often ponder about the possible remedies. However,  sometimes desperate attempts to get relief can only be counterproductive as they may cause more pain or discomfort, say experts.

For instance, using mouthwash immediately after a tongue burn can worsen the burning sensation as it contains essential oils that can be a bit strong.

Moreover, they often contain alcohol which can delay the healing process. According to the American Dental Association, mouthwash that contains alcohol can cause dry mouth. Experts say that a wet environment is ideal for wound healing.

Dr Zaeem Jafri, London-based dentist and founder of online dental care platform Nova Smiles, says, “Attempts like sucking on ice straight out of the freezer can also be a menace as the ice can stick to the tongue causing more damage.”

To manage tongue burns efficiently, oral experts share these dos and don’ts.

dos and don't of tongue burn
Illustration by Dr Ananya Krishnan | Canva

 

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