Most commonly referred to as Vaper’s Tongue in the vaping community, it is a term that is used to describe a wide range of taste / scent related issues from something as simple as no longer enjoying a flavor you loved to completely losing your ability to taste all foods or drinks.
The first scenario is quite common whereas the second can be more serious, sprouting from sickness, dehydration and vitamin deficiency—in common cases; the dreaded Vaper’s Tongue is temporary and fixes itself in no time. Below, we’ll also let you in on a few things that you can do to speed up your recovery time.
How Your Taste Works:
Did you know that your tongue could be covered with anything from 2000 to 10000 taste buds (or papillae—if you want to be nerdy ;) ). If you find that you are sensitive to flavors, not just with vaping but especially with food, you may be a supertaster lying on the upper end of 10000 taste buds.
If you find that you are a supertaster, you may want to consider a career in wine, spice, or tea tasting or maybe you can become an ejuice reviewer, as a special tongue like that would certainly be prized in the tasting circles. This difference in being a regular taster versus a supertaster may also be why some people prefer their eliquid steeped before use and while others cannot tell the difference
What Your Tongue Tastes:
- Umami (savory)
Remember that tongue map they taught you in grade school indicating specific regions of your tongue and which flavor it could pick up? Well it’s a myth! Recent scientific data has proven that each of your taste buds has the ability to pick up on any of the five known tastes listed above.
But it’s not just your taste buds that you need for taste!
Don’t forget about your olfactory cells! These important guys live up in your nasal cavity and you can think of them as the taste buds of your nose as they operate much like your taste buds. They hang tiny hairs in the space of your nasal cavity and when an odor molecule comes into contact with them they instantaneously send a signal to your brain via the olfactory nerve, which tells you what you smell around you.
But unlike the papillae in your tongue, your olfactory cells can identify several thousand different odors! Some are nutty, fruity, fishy, grassy, floral, and burnt—like when you fail to prep your carto before taking your first drag (nobody likes that burnt carto taste!)
10 Things That May Have Caused Your Vaper’s Tongue:
1. You just recently made the switch to Vaping:
Although we have gotten more reports that new vapers are ecstatic that suddenly they can smell the flowers they’ve been walking past every morning on their way into work—there may still be the few who have the opposite effect after making the switch to vaping. It may just be that your taste buds need a little time to adjust to the shock. Smoking can wreak havoc on an individual’s sense of taste and smell and quitting may throw that off balance. You may go into a sort of sensory overload and to compensate, your brain tells your tongue and nose to take a break from suddenly being able to smell and taste everything around you.
2. Vaping the same flavor for too long:
Reports from other ecig sites and from local vapers that they find if they vape the same flavor for too long, suddenly they can no longer taste it—or it doesn’t taste as strong as it used to be.
3. Clogged Nose:
Your nose plays a very important roll in your sense of taste and not just smell. So if you have been having allergies recently, or you caught that cold from the guy who sneezed in the elevator—suddenly you may not taste things like it was before you got sick.
4. You are Dehydrated:
A glass of water will help, but when you are dehydrated that also means that your body has lost a lot of salt. You may want to drink a Gatorade or even Pedialyte (yes not just for children, as it is a great hangover cure!) as both of these contain the salts and electrolytes to get your body back on the right track.
5. Mouth Dryness:
- This you will experience from time to time especially as you get older. This simply means your mouth is short of saliva and this can also lead to loss of taste.
6. Other Illness:
While a cold or the flu can block up your nose and lead to loss of taste, there are also other illnesses out there that can mess up your vape experience.
7. Stress & Anxiety:
Because you need your brain for everything, when you are under a lot of stress and anxiety—your brain trying to cope with the situations around you can lead to other changes in your body/bodily functions. Bizarrely, you can experience changes in your taste even when you do not even realize that you are suffering from anxiety. While scientifically we do not know yet why your taste buds can change when you are stressing out, here are some causes that can affect your ability to taste when stressed.
- Your taste buds themselves rebel and just don’t work
- You breathe through your mouth. When people are under high stress they tend to breathe through their mouths as a response to trying to get more oxygen into your body. This may affect your salivary glands and even the bacteria inside your mouth.
- You suddenly have acid reflux.
- Increase in sensitivity—sometimes when you are stressing, your body is just more susceptible to bad things, situations, and tastes.
- When you are taking medication, be sure to read the label properly for the directions and also for the side affects you may experience. As loss of taste may be one of them.
9. Your eliquid is past its expiration date:
- As eliquids age (especially if left out in the light or with the cap left off), their flavors can and will degrade over time. In this case, your tongue and nose may be totally fine and you just need to switch to a new bottle!
Does your eliquid actually have an expiration date? Read here to find out: eLiquid-ology: Does eLiquid Expire?
10. Your carto is dirty and/or needs replacing:
- Using an old or dirty carto may also cause Vaper’s Tongue. So if it happens to you, switch yours out for a new one and see if it solves your issue.
Ways to Cure Your Vaper’s Tongue
1. Change your flavor.
- This simple solution has worked for plenty of people. Yes, we all have our favorite go to flavor, but if you find one day that it just isn’t as strong anymore or worse you can’t taste it anymore, just switch to a different flavor for a while so that your tongue can sort of “reset” allowing you to go back to your old favorite.
2. Drink Water.
- Drinking water will clear your palate and it will also rehydrate you. The components of e-liquid are humectants and humectants pull moisture out of its surroundings. So it is very important that you are constantly rehydrating while you vape.
3. Shock your senses.
- It may not hurt to try out a flavor that is stronger than your usual light & fruity choices. So revive your tastes buds with flavors that have a minty, menthol, or cinnamon flavor. It may be enough to give your palate the jumpstart that it needs.
4. Smell some fresh coffee.
- Did you ever wonder why perfumeries and those perfume sales women at Macy’s have containers of coffee at their counter? It’s because coffee clears your nostrils of a scent allowing you to be able to fully smell another perfume when trying to choose the right scent for you. And as explained above since we know that smell plays a huge role in your sense of taste, smelling coffee beans is a perfect way to try and reset your senses.
5. Drink some homemade lemonade.
- Or just eat a lemon. If you can’t handle the sour, try some lemonade. The acidity is supposed to reset your taste buds.
6. Vape only steeped eliquid.
- If you use eliquid that has been steeped the flavor has a deeper and much more enriched flavor. Using only steeped eliquid may help in avoiding future Vaper’s tongue.
7. Eat some pickles.
- This has the same idea as the lemon. Its acidity can also help reset your taste buds, plus it’s way easier than trying to eat a lemon!
8. Use some good oral hygiene.
- Take that trusty plastic tongue scraper you got from your last visit with your dentist and scrape off the thin film that has built up on your tongue. Then brush your teeth and rinse out with mouthwash! This may be enough to do the trick.
9. Give it time.
- As with all things in life, time seems to be the cure-all. If nothing above has solved your Vaper’s tongue, you may just have to wait it out, as it is bound to happen to you at some point. But luckily the human body is a wondrous thing and does heal itself. And with a little patience, waiting, and lots of water –the taste of your favorite eliquid flavor should come back just as strong and delicious as you remember.