What to Do When Your Mouth Is Burning

Have you ever taken a bite of something spicy and felt an intense burning sensation in your mouth? It’s a feeling that can be quite uncomfortable and even overwhelming. But fear not, because there are steps you can take to find relief.

What to Do When Your Mouth Is Burning
What to Do When Your Mouth Is Burning

Understanding the Chemistry

When your mouth is on fire, it’s important to understand that the heat you’re feeling is a result of a chemical reaction with nerve receptors in your mouth. This reaction is perceived by your brain as heat, causing that fiery sensation. Unfortunately, once the heat sets in, it’s here to stay. There’s no quick fix to make it disappear completely.

Avoid the Common Missteps

You might think that chugging a glass of milk or spooning up some ice cream will bring you instant relief, but that’s not the case. While these dairy products may provide temporary relief, it is short-lived. As soon as your saliva breaks down the carbohydrates in these foods, the burning sensation will return. In fact, consuming more carbs will only perpetuate the cycle of heat.

The Power of Citric Acid

If you want to tackle the burning sensation head-on, consider using citric acid. Citric acid is found in fruits like pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, and lime. When you swish some citrus juice in your mouth, it can help break up the oil that holds the capsaicin, the compound responsible for the spiciness. Initially, it may intensify the heat, but ultimately it will remove the capsaicin from your mouth, providing relief. You can either spit it out or allow it to travel down your throat.

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Citrus Fruits


How long does the burning sensation last?

The duration of the burning sensation can vary from person to person. In general, it should subside within a couple of hours.

Can drinking water help?

Water might provide temporary relief, but since capsaicin is not water-soluble, it won’t be as effective as citric acid in washing away the heat.

Is there any way to prevent a burning mouth?

To prevent a burning mouth, you can try deseeding peppers and removing the white membrane, as these parts contain most of the capsaicin. Additionally, eating foods that contain fats, like bread or rice, before consuming spicy food can help create a barrier in your mouth to reduce the intensity of the heat.


Experiencing a burning mouth sensation can be quite distressing, but with the right approach, you can find relief. Remember to avoid consuming more carbohydrates, as this will only make the heat persist. Instead, turn to citric acid found in fruits like pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, and lime to break down the capsaicin and alleviate the burning sensation. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be better equipped to handle the heat when your mouth is on fire.

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