How to Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy

Sour candy is a delicious treat, but due to its highly acidic ingredients, it can leave your tongue feeling sore and uncomfortable when you eat too much.[1] While there’s no miracle cure that will instantly get your tongue back to normal, there are several ways that you can ease the discomfort. If you’d prefer to use medicine, try using the recommended dose of over-the-counter benzocaine oral gel. If you’d rather let your tongue heal naturally, there are a few ways you can provide your tongue with some relief.


[Edit]Applying Benzocaine Oral Gel

  1. Identify the spot on your tongue that’s hurting the most. Wash your hands and use a clean finger to gently probe your tongue. Try and identify where the acid from the candy was affected your tongue most, so you can accurately apply the topical medicine.[2]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 1.jpg
    • For instance, if you kept the candy in the center of your tongue until it dissolved, that part of your tongue might be the most sore.
  2. Use a swab to dry the sorest part of your tongue. Take a cotton swab and use it to soak up any saliva on the painful areas of your tongue. If you want, feel free to dry off the entire surface—just be sure to focus on the spot where you plan to apply the gel. As you do this, try not to reach too far back in the mouth with the swab, as this might trigger an unwanted gag reflex.[3]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 2.jpg
    • Some oral gel packages come with swabs or special applicators.
  3. Apply the product to your tongue with another Q-tip. Dip a new cotton swab into the bottle of benzocaine oral gel. Use short, gentle dabbing motions to apply a thin coat of gel over the sore area. Don’t apply too thick of a layer, as this product will soak into your tongue gradually.[4]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 3.jpg
    • You can find this product at most pharmacies.
  4. Let the medicine dissolve over a period of 6 hours. Don’t swallow the medicine—instead, let it soak in your tongue and provide relief. If your tongue is still sore after 6 hours, feel free to apply a thin layer of the gel again. Overall, this medicine can be applied up to 4 times each day.[5]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 4.jpg
    • If the medicine is swallowed directly, phone a Poison Control Center or medical professional for advice.

[Edit]Soothing Your Tongue

  1. Place a pinch of baking soda on the sore part of your tongue. Lessen the pain naturally by layering your tongue with less than 1 tsp (4.8 g) of baking soda. Focus on the area that’s inflamed the most, and wait 2-3 minutes for any painful sensations to go away. After that, feel free to spit out the baking soda.[6]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 5.jpg
  2. Melt a small chip of ice on your tongue. Take a small piece of ice and set it on the most painful area of your tongue. Don’t chew the ice or try to swallow it—instead, let the chip dissolve on your tongue. While this isn’t a long-lasting solution, you can find some instant relief from tongue discomfort when you use ice.[7]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 6.jpg
    • Don’t use a huge ice cube for this. Instead, try using a piece of ice that’s close to the size of your injury.
  3. Provide some pain relief by gargling a salt water mixture. Dissolve ½ tsp (3 g) of salt into of warm water. Swish the solution around your tongue for several seconds before spitting it out. If you’d prefer, you use ½ tsp (3.5 g) of baking soda instead of salt to make the gargling solution.[8]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 7.jpg
  4. Reduce your discomfort by taking over-the-counter pain medication (NSAIDs). Use an over-the-counter medication, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to treat the pain and inflammation of your sore tongue. Read the bottle to see what the recommended dosage is, and take that exact amount. If the pain persists throughout the day, feel free to take additional doses later on.[9]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 8.jpg

[Edit]Avoiding Additional Irritation

  1. Try not to eat food that’s especially salty, crunchy, or spicy. Keep an eye on your diet over the next several days. While salt and vinegar chips might look tempting, they’ll be very painful for your tongue. You also want to steer away from especially spicy food, in addition to salty, crunchy, and sour snacks.[10]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 9.jpg
    • While your tongue is sore, stay away from extra acidic foods like pickles and citrus fruit.
  2. Don’t drink hot beverages that could bother your sore tongue. Try altering your routine so you aren’t drinking any hot coffee or tea throughout the day. If you don’t want to give up your favorite drinks, switch to iced varieties instead, like iced coffee and iced tea. If you’re looking for more variety in your drink menu, consider sipping on a smoothie or milkshake.[11]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 10.jpg
    • Cold drinks might be overwhelming to your sore tongue. If you’re looking to enjoy a glass of water or milk, try drinking it through a straw instead.
  3. Use a soft toothbrush whenever you brush your teeth. Unfortunately, you can’t go on strike from brushing your teeth while your tongue is sore. However, you can make the process a lot more soothing and comfortable by using a soft-bristled toothbrush! If you don’t have this kind of toothbrush on hand, look in the store for ones that are geared towards kids. Use soft, gentle motions as you brush your teeth, especially when going over the tongue area.[12]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 11.jpg
    • Don’t scrub or irritate your tongue with the brush, as this will only make the pain worse.
  4. Opt for a toothpaste that’s labeled sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)-free. Select a gentler toothpaste to use while your tongue is sore. If you want to take extra action to protect your tongue, switch to a new toothpaste until the soreness is completely gone.[13]
    Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy Step 12.jpg

[Edit]Things You’ll Need

[Edit]Applying Benzocaine Oral Gel

  • Benzocaine oral gel
  • Cotton swabs

[Edit]Soothing Your Tongue

  • ½ tsp (3.5 g) of baking soda
  • Ice
  • ½ tsp (3 g) of salt
  • of warm water
  • NSAIDs (ibuprofen or acetaminophen)

[Edit]Avoiding Extra Irritations

  • Soft toothbrush
  • SLS-free toothpaste


  1. Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or vaping while your tongue is sore, as the smoke and vapor can irritate your tongue.[14]


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