Burning the roof of the mouth is a common problem that people can often treat at home. Some natural remedies include yogurt, milk, aloe vera gel, and honey.

In this article, we look at some natural remedies for burns on the roof of the mouth. We also describe how to help prevent burns in the mouth and when to contact a doctor.

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A person’s mouth contains delicate tissues that are susceptible to burns. Consuming hot foods or drinks can scald the roof of the mouth and cause superficial burns, also known as first degree burns.

First degree burns are the most minor form of burn and often do not require medical treatment. They commonly occur when a heat source damages the top layer of a person’s skin. Sun exposure and electrical currents are also common causes of first degree burns.

Burns can damage tissue and kill skin cells. As the roof of the mouth heals, the dead cells will fall away and reveal new cells underneath. New skin can be tender initially, though it will quickly toughen up. A first degree burn takes around 1 week to heal.

If a person has a first degree burn, they can typically treat it at home. Taking immediate steps can limit the damage, and natural remedies can promote healing and help prevent infection.

Cool water

Taking immediate action after burning the roof of the mouth can curb the extent of the damage. Immediately cooling the area can help prevent the burn from affecting the inner layers of the skin.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that anyone who experiences a burn submerges the area in cold water for at least 10 minutes.

When the burn is in the mouth, a person can fill their mouth with cold water. When the water is no longer cool, spit it out and replace it. People should avoid using ice to soothe a burn, as it can stick to the skin and cause further pain and damage.

Yogurt or milk

Milk proteins can assist in wound healing, according to a 2021 review. However, many studies assessing their efficacy used concentrated topical solutions rather than applying pure milk.

People may still find eating some cool natural yogurt or drinking a glass of milk may help ease the discomfort of a mouth burn.

Aloe vera

The topical application of aloe vera can help treat various wounds, including burns. Plant compounds in aloe vera can reduce inflammation and discomfort, retain skin moisture, and promote healing responses.

However, the consumption of aloe vera can lower blood sugar. This means oral application may not be suitable for some people, such those with diabetes.

Honey

Honey can help a burn on the roof of the mouth to heal. Gently coating the burn with honey keeps it moist, which can help with healing.

Some research suggests that honey has antimicrobial properties. This means that it may kill harmful organisms or slow their growth, helping prevent infection and speed up the healing process.

Saltwater rinse

One of the skin’s essential jobs is to be a barrier against infection. Damage to the skin, such as burns, can make it vulnerable to infection.

Washing wounds with a saline or saltwater solution is an effective way to clean wounds at home. To clean burns to the roof of the mouth, a person can rinse their mouth with a saltwater solution.

A person can make a saltwater mouth rinse at home by:

  • warming some water
  • stirring in a one-quarter teaspoon of table salt
  • swishing the mixture around the mouth then spitting it out

Learn more about saltwater rinses here.

Look after the skin

As the skin heals, the area may be delicate and sore. Minimizing interference with the wound or the new skin forming beneath it can help the natural healing process.

Some simple steps to protect the healing skin include:

  • being gentle when brushing the teeth
  • refraining from wearing a mouth guard until the area has healed
  • avoiding picking at loose skin
  • avoiding hot drinks until the burn heals

Doctors classify burns by the amount of damage they cause. More severe burns affect deeper layers of skin, while minor burns cause only superficial damage.

  • First degree burn: This type of burn affects the uppermost skin layer, the epidermis.
  • Second degree burn: This type of burn damages the epidermis and the lower layer of skin, the dermis.
  • Third degree burn: This type of burns destroys the epidermis and dermis. It also damages subcutaneous tissue, a layer of fat, connective tissue, and blood vessels beneath the skin.

The following table details common burn symptoms by degree.

Burn degreeTissue damagePainSwellingBlistersNerve damageBlood vessel damage
first xxx
secondxxxx
thirdxxxxxx

Learn more about the different types of burn here.

If a child burns the roof of their mouth, their parent or caregiver should provide immediate treatment as they would to themselves.

For first degree burns, helping the child soothe the area with cool water and providing paracetamol and ibuprofen may help reduce pain.

If a parent or caregiver suspects second or third degree burns, they should seek emergency assistance immediately.

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) can cause a burning sensation without heat damage.

There are two types of BMS.

Primary BMS

Primary BMS occurs without an underlying medical condition or outside causes. It may be the result of nerve damage in the mouth.

Secondary BMS

A person may experience a burning sensation in their mouth as a side effect of another condition or medication. This is secondary BMS.

Causes of secondary BMS include:

Learn more about burning mouth syndrome here.

A person can treat most burns on the roof of the mouth at home. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce inflammation and pain.

An individual may have a first, second, or third degree burn. People with second or third degree burns should seek urgent medical attention.

A person may also need treatment if the wound becomes infected. Signs of infection include:

  • fever
  • discoloration around the burn
  • swelling around the wound that does not go away
  • lasting pain

Being aware of foods that hold heat for long periods can help prevent burns. Oils, fats, and liquids can reach and hold very high temperatures.

Waiting until foods and drinks have cooled can help prevent burns on the roof of the mouth.

Parents and caregivers may wish to test the temperature of food before giving it to a child. They could also teach children to do the same, and to gently blow on their food to cool it before eating.

Hot foods and drinks can cause burns to the roof of the mouth. These are often superficial, and a person can typically treat them with home remedies. These include soothing with cool water, applying honey or aloe vera to the affected area, and rinsing with a saline solution.

People should seek medical assistance if their burn causes significant pain, blisters, or becomes infected.