A man pouring hot coffee into a mug with a Pi Day design on it.

Burned Your Mouth on Coffee? Here's the Fix

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How to Heal a Burned Mouth

It’s safe to say, we’ve all experienced a burnt tongue from coffee—or felt a burn on the roof of our mouth—at one time or another. Let’s face it, we eat of lot of hot food (and drinks) every day. Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. You just can’t resist that pizza you pull right out of the oven topped with steaming-hot mozz—or Aunt Judy’s pie—the recipe that’s famous for its taste AND for the blisters it leaves on your tongue.

More importantly, what about your morning mug of that bold, smooth brew? Consuming that first sip of sanity is too enticing to put aside. Throw in a little foggy judgment pre-caffeine, and you’re left crying for some burnt tongue relief! The lesson to be had here: Don’t let the same flame burn you twice.   

A man pouring hot coffee out of a Chemex into a mug on a table surrounded by pies.

When we underestimate the temp of steam, hot food or liquids, we burn our tongues (the roof of our mouth or lips too, for that matter). That’s because the tongue is a super-sensitive part of the body. We need it to taste all those delicious flavors—especially the flavors in our coffee! Hot drinks like coffee are often served at temps between 158-185 F. Even a quick sip can scald the tongue and leave a bitter taste in your mouthquite literally.  

Patience, in this case, is the best virtue, but if you jump the gun and can’t wait to taste that delicious brew, then lucky for you, there are some home treatments to speed up the healing process and get you through these hard times. 

5 Home Remedies for a Burned Mouth

1. Eat cool, creamy foods.

Grab a cup of cold yogurt or get creative with a dairy-based popsicle to soothe the pain. Or better yet—bring on the ice cream. Nothing will heal that burnt tongue faster than sweet scoops of Death Wish dreams. Cool, creamy foods are your new best friend. Just don’t overdo it, people. Or do, whatever. Live a little.  

2. Rinse with cold water.

For better relief, hold the cold water in your mouth for a few minutes to help soothe the burn. It may seem reasonable to pop an ice cube or two in your mouth, but come on. We’ve all seen "A Christmas Story." That flagpole didn’t adhere to Flick’s tongue because it liked it. 

3. Rinse with salt water.

Salt is an antiseptic and will help to clean and disinfect the burned area. I know it doesn’t taste that great, but don’t be salty about it. Simply dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Rinse. Repeat. You’ll thank me later.

4. Use honey or sugar.

Honey is a natural antiseptic that will also deliver soothing results as it develops a coating over the area. Place the honey directly on the burn and let it sit for a few minutes. Then rinse with plain water. If you’re digging the sweet treat amidst the pain, you can use white or brown sugar too—whatever you have handy.

5. Coat with milk.

Got milk? Here’s an excuse to use it before it goes bad this time around. Rinsing with cold milk or coffee creamer will also provide relief as it forms a coating over the affected area. If milk makes your stomach turn, try a dairy-free creamer

Your tongue or mouth burn will likely heal in about two weeks or less, and you’ll be good as new in no time. Bottom line: If lingering over your coffee creates condensation on your lenses or skin, it’s too hot for you, bro. 

RELATED: How to Get Caffeine out of Your System