Home Remedy, ER, or Emergency Dentist for a Mouth Burn?

I was starving and I picked up a pizza on the way home. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I was really hungry and I grabbed a slice while I was driving. It was hot. Really. Stinking. Hot. Molten lava could not have possibly been hotter than that pizza. I burned my mouth really bad and it hurts. I don’t even know what to do with it. It’s in my mouth, so normal methods for treating a burn are useless. Do I go to the ER? Do I see an emergency dentist? Can I treat this at home?


Dear Jake,

Ouch! Cheeses and other gooey, melted things are the worst. It sounds like you got a pretty serious burn, too. Whether you need to see an emergency dentist or not depends on the severity of the burns. If you’re in agony or have blisters, stop reading this and call one now.

There aren’t many home remedies for mouth burns. Cool (not super cold or frozen) drinks can help. A lot of people try to use ice, but this is a bad idea, as it can cause frostbite, and damage the already injured tissue further. Cool water rinses for about the first 20 minutes after the incident are most helpful, but they can also help it settle down in the coming days as well. Additionally, salt water rinses have been known to speed up healing. Try adding salt to warm water, holding in your mouth for as long as you can and then let it fall out. It’s probably best not to slosh it around at first if the tissues are causing you discomfort. You’ll have to do this several times a day for a week or so. Salt is believed to have antiseptic properties, so it may help keep an infection at bay, too. You may get more relief from the discomfort by using ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medication while your mouth is in its initial stages of healing.

Anytime you have severe pain, it’s a good idea to see an emergency dentist. He can help diagnose and treat burns, just as the ER can. However, the ER can’t assess problems with teeth very well, as it lacks the diagnostic tools, so doctors usually only prescribe pain medication there.

In short, if it hurts a lot, if you have blisters, if home remedies don’t relieve the pain, if the area doesn’t heal or seems infected, it’s a good idea to be seen by an emergency dentist.

This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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