How to Heal the Roof of Your Mouth After You've Burned It

Dr. Puneet Madan    07-04-2021 Consult

You know the feeling: You accidentally take a swig of scalding hot coffee or go for an aggressive bite of just-delivered pizza and immediately regret it. The roof of your mouth (a.k.a. the palate) is covered with skin.
And, just like skin on any other part of your body, the skin in your mouth can experience first-, second-  and third-degree burns.

First-degree burns are the most mild and they impact the outer layer of skin (the epidermis). These burns usually just cause redness, Dr. Puneet says. Second-degree burns are more severe and impact the epidermis and dermis (the lower layer of skin). These burns can cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering. Third-degree burns are the most intense. They go through the epidermis and dermis and impact tissues below that. These burns can leave your skin white or black, and can even make it feel temporarily 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).

There's only so much you can do to treat a burn on the roof of your mouth, but there are ways to reduce your suffering.

-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.

-Unlike the skin on your arms and legs, you can't put lotion on the roof of your mouth. But the fact that it's in a moist environment works in your favor. Steer clear of hot liquids, anything acidic, and foods with rough edges while your mouth heals to avoid aggravating it even more.

- Mouth Rinse: Saltwater rinses can help with mouth pain and have been shown to promote wound healing. 

-But, if you're really struggling or your burn isn't getting better, check in with your Dermatologist. They may prescribe a more heavy-duty topical medication and will check to make sure you haven't developed an infection.

Don't worry, you'll be back to living your melty, cheesy dreams soon enough.