What is it and how do you fix it?
Vaper’s tongue is when you experience a loss of taste while vaping. It usually happens suddenly and without warning.
BUT do not panic it is not permanent and will resolve.
The tongue has on average between 2000 and 8000 tastebuds covering its surface, the cells that make up the tastebuds are fast replicating cells meaning they die and are replaced every 8 – 10 days. These super sensitive cells are responsible for defining different categories of taste such as salt, sweet, bitter, and sour.
Vaper’s tongue is often described as the inability to distinguish any form of flavour from a juice when vaped as if something is coating the tastebuds. Your go to everyday vape flavour may go from tasting amazing to suddenly having no flavour at all. Although frustrating this loss of taste is generally only temporary lasting only a couple of weeks until the tastebud cells rejuvenate themselves.
It is worth noting that even though you may have lost the taste from the juice if you have nicotine in your mix the uptake of this is not affected, meaning you will still receive the same hit as before providing you can persevere through the tasteless episode.
Potential Reasons for Vaper’s Tongue
To maintain our tastebuds health, they require a warm moist environment. Dehydration can lead to a decrease in the production of saliva resulting in a dry mouth which can subsequently hinder their performance. Staying well hydrated is the best way to preserve and nurture the tastebuds.
Olfaction is the art of smelling, considering our mouth and noses are connected it comes as no surprise to know that our nose further fine tunes and refines the flavour experience detected by our tastebuds. Therefore, any sniffles or allergens which may hinder the free flow of vaper through the nose may also result in a dampening or muted taste.
Cigarette smoking has long been associated with causing a decrease in taste and smell. Although part time vaping along side smoking is still better than full time smoking it can affect the flavour intensity experienced with some flavours. Decreasing and stopping smoking will allow your tastebuds to recover allowing you to enjoy a world full of amazing smells and tastes.
Ensuring a good oral health routine will not only keep your teeth pearly white but also maintain a good balance of the right bacteria in your mouth. Brushing your teeth regularly is just half the job, brushing your tongue helps shred old cells from the tongue thus allowing the fresh new tastebud cells to be exposed.
What is the Fix?
There is no definitive fix as such, but the following suggestions can assist in the resetting of the tastebuds.
Drinking plenty of the right fluid will keep you hydrated but some fluids may seem hydrating but have a diuretic effect making you pee more and become dehydrated an example of this is tea and beer.
Strong aromas or smells can assist in resetting the olfactory component. By overwhelming or flooding this sense the dominance can be redefine to that area of the tongue and the tastebuds associated with it. For example, the aroma of coffee beans holds a strong bitterness that cannot be mistaken by the other areas of the tongue.
To really get your salivary glands working and stimulate your tastebuds into overdrive have a bite of a fresh lemon and see how your tongue becomes awash with so many sensations and flavours your eyes will water. But if the thought of biting down on a fresh lemon is too much to handle finding a strong citrus flavoured juice can also have the same effect at a much less dramatic level.
A Change is as Good as a Rest:
Mix it up and go out on a limb. Find the opposite type of flavour profile to what you would normally choose and see if the contrast in usual flavours is enough to bring back your tastebuds. You never know you might even find something you like.
Mint is well known as a palette cleanser so throwing some minty / menthol freshness into a tank might just do the trick. Of course, if all else fails you can always try vaping unflavoured mixes of PG/VG with your desired strength of nicotine and entertain yourself with clouds of massive vapour while waiting for your tastebuds to rejuvenate themselves.
**If symptoms of vapers tongue persist for longer than 3 weeks it is recommended to seek medical advice from a health professional**