All About Vaper's Tongue
If you've ever experienced the dreaded vaper's tongue, you can understand what a bummer it can be. For those that haven't, vaper's tongue is when a habitual vaporizer user suddenly is unable to taste while they are vaping, or has a change in taste from their usual vape. Total party foul, right? Good news: it isn't permanent and we can show you the ins and outs of the dreaded vaper's tongue and how to get back hitting your favorite flavors in no time.
What is Vaper's Tongue?
Vaper's tongue is a tongue and taste related malfunction in which the taste buds stop working (in a nutshell). The term covers a wide spectrum of taste related ailments and is noticed when a user is unable to enjoy familiar tastes and flavors. Though rare, advanced vaper's tongue may affect a users ability to taste any type of food or drink and can be a cause of a more serious issue like illness, amino deficiencies, or dehydration. Vaper's tongue is not permanent and we're here to give you some tips on getting your palette back to normal.
How do Taste Buds Work?
Taste buds or gustatory calyculi, are designed to interpret sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitterness tastes. People are equipped with 2-10k taste buds, and everyone has different interpretations of how a food taste depending on their individual amount of taste buds. Cells in taste buds die off and regrow constantly, and the entire cycle takes 10-14 days to complete.
Smell also plays a huge role in how tastes are interpreted, so when a person is sick they can have a change in taste. How a person perceives a food, drink, or vapor depends on cells in your nose combined with input from your taste buds. Don't believe it? Take a bite of food, then take a bite of food while holding your nose. Typically, you'll notice less taste with your nose plugged. We know you want to try this while vaping-- go for it! Just be careful, it might make you cough!
Tastes change through time and experience. What you liked when you were younger may not necessary carry over into adulthood. Different factors attribute to this change in taste, like people you are surrounded with and expectations of a flavor.
What Causes Vaper's Tongue?
We've compiled a list of factors that may contribute to vapor's tongue. Don't worry-- we'll tell you how to fix it in a minute!
1. Damaged Taste Buds: If you drink something extremely hot (spicy or temperature) or sour, smoke, have an infection, or drink a lot of alcohol, you may damage your taste buds. Taste buds weaken with age, which partially explains the difference in childhood and adult likes/dislikes. Damaged taste buds can take up to two weeks to repair as we learned earlier.
2. Switching from Smoking to Vaping: Although not well documented, some people swear they get vaper's tongue when they switch from smoking to vaping, or if they consistently do both. We're not buying it completely, but thought we'd offer it up for the sake of completeness of this guide.
3. Vaping the Same Flavor: If you vape the same flavor for too long, you may experience vaper's tongue. Not much documentation for this explanation, but plenty of experience. We notice a bit of vapor's tongue after the same flavor for extended amounts of time.
4. Mouth Dryness/Dehydration: Dry mouth can lead to loss of taste. Dehydration can be a serious ailment, but also contributes to vaper's tongue. See a doctor if you have dark urine, headaches, and fatigue due to dehydration.
5. Nasal Congestion: Because our noses enhance our sense of taste, having a stuffy nose can affect your tastebuds.
6. Medication/Illness: If you are taking medication, check the side effects. Some are known to adversely affect your taste. Check your meds to see if they are the type to change taste. Additionally, some illnesses can change your taste perception. If you have had a recent head, mouth or nose injury you may experience some tasting difficulties. Gingivitis, specific vitamin deficiencies, and even Alzheimers can impact tastebuds.
7. Old Eliquid: As your eliquid ages, the flavor can change. Make sure to replace your juice if you taste something peppery or you have had it longer than 6 months!
Vaper Tongue Cures
Stronger Flavor: Stray away from the subtle flavors and try something bold for your eliquid.
Change the Flavor: Try something new, even if it is briefly. We've had great luck with this solution, and when we return to our old favorite in a few weeks, it's golden!
Smell Fresh Coffee Beans: Many professional smellers/tasters use this technique to cleanse their senses and get a fresh perspective.
Hydrate: Drinking water cleanses the palette and rehydrates.
Wait It Out: Remember that taste buds can take two weeks to replenish. Give it some time and try again!
Mouthwash/Tongue Scraper: We've had mixed reviews, but might be options to try if nothing else cures your vaper's tongue.
Stop Vaping/Smoking Together: Several readers have had good results curing their vaper's tongue by quitting smoking and vaping full time. This may be a great incentive to kick the smoking habit for good and vape full time!