I burned my mouth and it's driving my crazy.
March 4, 2005 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I burned my mouth on some very hot chicken about a week ago and Wednesday night, after eating some very good, but very spicy jambalaya, the burn on the left side side of my palate is so raw and irritated. Does anyone have any remedys to stop the pain?

I've googled a bit and rinsed my mouth before meals with Baking soda and water, which is the only advice I found. Still, there is a constant ache. Does anyone have any other remedys?
posted by renyoj to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Neosporin, Ambesol and Campho-phenique all make products that are topical analgesics for use inside the mouth. Campho might sting a burn a bit, but will eventually numb it. Ambesol (Anbesol? Can't remember the spelling) will probably provide the relief you need. It's usually used for teething babies, so it might be in a different area in your grocery store or pharmacy. Neosporin will probably numb it and speed healing, but I can't remember the name of the specific product they make that you can use inside your mouth.

Good luck!
posted by annathea at 8:36 AM on March 4, 2005


I'm a particular fan of ice: nature's numbing agent.
posted by googly at 8:42 AM on March 4, 2005

I've found that Anbesol will keep the pain (and inflammation) down enough for the injury to start healing; unless it's a huge spot of damaged tissue, it should be noticably better in a few days. It's also mildly antiseptic, which probably contributes to the healing process. Be forewarned, though: if it's a particularly raw and painful spot, Anbesol will make it hurt like ever-loving hell for a few moments before half your face goes comfortably numb.

Try to keep the Anbesol off your tongue; it sure will make it feel funny for awhile, and doesn't taste particularly great. ;)
posted by bwilliams at 9:01 AM on March 4, 2005

Powdered alum works for mouth cuts, might do the trick. It's in the seasoning section at the grocery.
posted by sixpack at 10:21 AM on March 4, 2005

Powdered alum helps bleeding cuts, acting as a "styptic". Don't use it on a burn. Ice and time are what you need. Try not to eat anything sharp.. like chips, etc for a few days. The mucuous membrane that lines your mouth heals pretty fast.

I do want to know how eating something spicy could actually cause a burn on one part of your mouth. Most spicy foods are hot because the "heat" comes from hydrochloric and/or sulfuric acid, but if that was what burned you, the whole interior of your mouth should be affected. Was it heat-hot or spicy-hot that caused this?

Again : ice and time.
posted by reflecked at 11:00 AM on March 4, 2005

Thanks for the advice. I've been drinking lots of very cold water and that seems to help.
reflecked, I had burned my mouth last Saturday. It was starting to heal, but the spicy food Wednesday seems to have opened the wound up. I'm guessing that maybe something abrasive (sausage?) rubbed against the top layer of skin and exposed the layer underneath. Then the spices took their action. The food was mildly heat hot, but very spicy hot.
bwilliams, I feel I will be picking up some ambesol on the way home. I still remember the sting from using it after having my wisdom teeth out, but at the moment it still sounds better.
posted by renyoj at 12:06 PM on March 4, 2005

I do want to know how eating something spicy could actually cause a burn on one part of your mouth. Most spicy foods are hot because the "heat" comes from hydrochloric and/or sulfuric acid...

Actually, the molecules that cause the "spicy" sensation trigger production of a compound called "substance P", which itself is a neurotransmitter involved with conveying the sense of pain to the rest of your body.

You do not get a literal chemical burn from spicy foods, and the "burning" is probably just from remaining capsaicin molecules floating around in your mouth, triggering substance P and subsequent pain sensation.

Capsaicin is nonpolar, i.e it has low water solubility, which is why drinking mik—something with fat in it—helps make spicy foods wash down easier, but water doesn't work as well.

Still, overdosing can damage nerve cells.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2005

AlexReynolds.. your'e stating one theory of pain sensing as fact. There is something that MAY be "substance P", but there are other theories with just as much veracity. It's a very tricky subject, and i've had to take classes every 3 months just to keep up with the latest research on pain and its relief, as part of my work.

Also.. i have seen actual chemical burns in a person's mouth from unwise ingestion of extremely "hot" peppers .. one of those stupid drunken bet exploits that so endear people to the ED/Trauma unit people. They were hospitalized for 4 days; most of the skin in their mouth sloughed off, and they needed airway management until the rawness and swelling went down.

You're right about the water not working well. Bread/carb food works as well as milk, if not better.

renjoy, i hope you get better soon; it does sound like you made a mechanical injury on top of irritated mouth flesh, and it will just have to heal.
posted by reflecked at 2:39 PM on March 4, 2005

Oh my god, I recently found the best stuff in the world for this sort of thing. Its called 'Rincinol' and I found it at CVS, but it looks you can get it at Drugstore.com. Honestly, this stuff works so much better than any other product I've tried. Best of all, it doesn't sting, burn or taste bad at all....
posted by spilon at 3:20 PM on March 4, 2005

I can't think of any reason why it would be a bad idea, so here it is (the standard oral healer / painkiller): warm saltwater. Encourages healing and dulls the pain. Anyone care to elaborate--or recommend against?
posted by mireille at 8:07 PM on March 4, 2005

Maybe the drinkable aloe vera juice from the health food store. Hold it in your mouth.
posted by Feisty at 4:59 PM on March 5, 2005

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