We've all done this before: bit into a piece of pizza or taken a sip of coffee that's way too hot and consequentially turned the roof our mouth into a scorched palate of dangling skin.
Normally, the only remedy for this is to wait out the pain for a day or so. However, a group of researchers from the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas at Austin have designed strips that deliver benzocaine, a local anesthetic, along with a therapeutic polymer to offer some relief.
The strip can be applied directly to the burned area of the tongue, cheek or roof of the mouth and quickly dissolves to ease pain and promote healing.
"We found these strips to be non-toxic, which has huge potential for anyone who burns their mouth while eating and drinking hot foods -- and that's just about everyone," lead researcher, Dr. Jason McConville, said in a press release. "The strips look and behave similar to breath freshening strips that you might find at your local drugstore."
The team's research was presented this week at the 2012 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition, the world's largest pharmaceutical sciences meeting, in Chicago, Ill.
Further research will be conducted on the strips before they hit the market. Until then, wait a few minutes before you dig in or take a sip.
© 2012 Discovery Channel