When you eat something too hot all of a sudden, you tend to burn the roof of your mouth better known as the palate. The palate is the most sensitive part of your mouth.
The palate has a very thin lining of tissue and no insulation because of the absence of fat cells. Hence, it is an easy target for food burns.
It is impractical to run to your dentist every time you burn your palate. Therefore, through this article, you will come to know the home remedies for this issue. First and foremost you need to be careful while eating or drinking hot substances.
Once, you have burnt your palate. You need to change your eating habits. More soft and soothing foods and beverages will promote healing.
You can go for NSAIDs and benzocaine gel to alleviate the pain and burning. You need to swish your mouth frequently so that the damaged palate does not harbor additional infections.
Anti-septic mouthwash helps a lot in this process. If all methods fail, you may reach out to your dentist for professional help. So, let’s dive into a detailed overview of these methods to soothe your burnt palate.
How might you end up with a burnt palate or roof of your mouth?
Your palate or roof of your mouth is the most heat sensitive area of your mouth. The palate has a very thin covering of tissue. It is entirely devoid of fat cells.
Fat cells or adipocytes act as insulation to heat. But the roof of your mouth lacks these cells. Hence, when you suddenly eat or drink something hot or extremely spicy, it damages the tissue over your palate.
Thus, you get a feeling that you have burnt your palate. Although clinically you can see no exaggerated signs of burning or scalding per se. You may also feel immense pain and discomfort for a duration of 2 to 3 days because of this.
The discomfort and pain eventually go away. A food burn may leave your palate numb for several days even after the burnt feeling goes away. (1)
Symptoms and appearance of a burnt palate
The following are some classic symptoms that come with a burnt palate –
- Burning sensation in the roof of your mouth
- Excessive salivation
- Redness in the burnt area
- Heightened tendency to touch the palate with your tongue
- Diminished taste perception
Treatment – Symptomatic relief at home
The treatment for a burnt palate is smooth and practical. You may not need to see your dentist if you go through the following guidelines –
Change your eating habits
First and foremost, you must cut the hot sauce and salsa from your list of food items. Spicy food exaggerates the burning sensation and delays healing.
Also, try to avoid chips, wafers, fried food, and hard food substances when the roof of your mouth feels burnt.
Turn to smoothies, cold Greek yogurt, and juices for one week. Smoothies and cold beverages hasten the healing process and also soothe your palate.
NSAIDs for the pain
NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help soothe the swelling and pain. You can get Ibuprofen or Diclofenac sodium gel from any drug store easily and even without a prescription.
Take the medication once or twice daily after a meal, depending upon the degree of your pain. Wean off the drugs slowly, once the symptoms alleviate. (2)
Benzocaine gel for additive pain control
Benzocaine or Lignocaine gels are useful in numbing the burnt area. These can be used as a first aid immediately after you burn the roof of your mouth.
These are readily available at any store, and you can apply it to the burnt area without any side effects.
You need to maintain proper oral hygiene when any part of your mouth is inflamed. Burnt and dehydrated mucous membrane attracts bacteria and fungus.
During this period your mouth becomes susceptible to opportunistic infections like Candidiasis or Bacterial infections.
Therefore, you need to brush twice daily, use floss and swish your mouth after every meal. Also, when you swish your mouth, often it soothes the burning sensation.
Use antiseptic mouthwash
Antiseptic mouthwash containing Triclosan is a handy aid that may come in handy when you have a burnt palate. Use this mouthwash twice or even after every meal for fast healing and infection control.
Avoid clove oil, or any other plant-based home remedy because they may irritate your palate even more. Do not experiment with gels without testing for hypersensitivity reaction if you are about to use them for the first time.
How can your dentist help?
When you have burnt the roof of your mouth on a massive scale, you see scalding. In such cases, see a dentist. Also, if none of the home remedies mentioned above seem to help, consult a dentist.
Your dentist may help you with prescription steroidal painkillers in such cases. These drugs reduce your response to a burnt mucous membrane and hasten to heal. In all the burnt feeling goes away in a few weeks irrespective of how severe it may have been.
A burnt palate may become very painful in the course of a few hours. You may not understand its severity, but it gets worse when you avoid it.
Take proactive measures to control your diet. Avoid spicy and hard food substances which may worsen your condition. Switch to smoothies and yogurt instead. Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated.
NSAIDs and numbing gels like Lignocaine and Benzocaine help with the symptoms and act as a first aid. Wean them off slowly once the healing starts.
Swish your mouth after every meal, maintain good oral hygiene and use antiseptic mouthwash to avoid opportunistic infections.
Do not hesitate to see your dentist soon enough if the home remedies do not work in a few days. A burnt palate may be painful, but it is entirely curable.