The Roof, The Roof, The Roof is on Fire!

We’ve all done it at some point: taken a sip of freshly brewed coffee, bit into the “fresh out of the oven” pizza, or popped that pizza roll in our mouth right from the microwave… and immediately regretted it! Right away, your brain signals that you have burned the roof of your mouth. The skin in your mouth can experience first, second and third degree burns. Typically our first reaction is to spit it out, leaving us with a mild, first degree burn resulting in redness and slight swelling. Sometimes that ooey gooey cheese sticks a little longer to the roof of the mouth causing a second degree burn, which can add pain and blistering. Third degree burns are more intense and cause the skin to turn white or black and even feel numb.

When you get any type of burn on the roof of your mouth, your body is going to send white blood cells to the site to try to heal it from below (meaning you’ll experience some swelling), says Susan L. Besser, M.D., a primary-care physician at Mercy Medical Center, tells SELF. “But the surface layer is dead,” she says, “[so] it’s going to slough of,” meaning it’s going to peel. If you have a first-degree burn, this is going to happen on a microscopic level, and you won’t notice it, she says. But if you have a second-degree burn, the whole top layer will peel off—and you’ll know it.


Professional Ways to Treat and Heal Mouth Burns

Dr. Reisman and Dr. Contrucci at C R Dental Group offer suggestions to help ease your discomfort in the event of a mouth burn. First of all put the pizza down, or whatever you’re eating or drinking ASAP to keep from continuing to damage the sensitive tissue in the mouth. Then, grab some ice water and swish it around in your mouth—this can help cool the tissue so the burn doesn’t go as deep. Taking ibuprofen may help with the swelling and pain. In the meantime, avoid hot liquids, acidic foods, and those with rough edges while your mouth heals to avoid aggravating it even more. Depending on the severity of the burn, it may take a few days to a week to fully heal. If you feel it isn’t getting any better, call your doctor or dentist; they may prescribe a topical medication and ensure that there is no infection.