We have all been the victim of a pizza burn and if you haven’t at some point in your life you will be. It usually happens when we are absolutely starving, we see a piece of pizza or some other food and want nothing more then to eat it is as fast as possible. Our hunger instincts take over and we forget that this food might be fresh out of the oven or microwave. At this point it is usually too late, we have that piece of pizza in our mouth and that molten lava cheese or steaming black been burrito is stuck to the roof of our mouth, we yank the piece of pizza out of our mouth along with part of the roof of our mouth and want nothing more than to scream at the top of our lungs. This is a pizza burn and is one of the most common sores I see as a Dentist in Tigard, Oregon. So if and when this happens to you here are 7 ways to care for a pizza burn.
1. Just like any injury, apply ice. Ice will sooth the area and can minimize the long term problems associated with a pizza burn. Fortunately ice is usually readily available in the soft drink or beer that accompanies these foods.
2. Rinse with salt water. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a warm cup of water and rinse or hold in the area of the burn. This is a great natural way that has been used for centuries to treat sores in the mouth. Do this as often as you can and as many times as possible.
3. Rinse with milk. As soon as the burn happens if milk is available rinse the area or drink milk. This also helps with really spicy foods.
4. Use Anbesol or some other topically numbing agent. Apply gently to the area and you will almost feel immediate relief. You can apply Neosporin with the Anbesol, but read the directions carefully as Neosporin is usually for extra-oral use.
5. Stay away from spicy foods for a few days. Any spicy or hot food will make that area extremely uncomfortable and might irritate the area more.
6. Avoid the area. Keep your tongue away. Your tongue is very curious about the things that go on in your mouth. Keeping it away will improve and make healing quicker.
7. It will heal and let it heal naturally. Everyone heals differently and there is not better way to heal then to let the body do it’s own magic. You can expect that is will take some time to heal usually 5-7 days for a pizza burn. If it doesn’t go away after one week consult your dentist. A burn on the roof of your mouth can mimic other more serious conditions. So check with your doctor if you have concerns.
My last bit of advice is check the temperature of the food item you are eating before you take a bite. If you don’t you might regret it!