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Vaper’s Tongue

Vapers Tongue & How to Fix ItEveryone who vapes – whether they be newbie or veteran – can expect to encounter what is known as “vaper’s tongue” at some point. Having encountered it myself when I initially started vaping, the first thing you’ll likely do is wonder if your vaporizer is working right or if your juice has gone bad.

Save yourself the time fiddling with your equipment because bad gear is not the cause of vaper’s tongue. What causes that lack of taste isn’t mechanical, it’s physical and it can have a few different causes.

What Is Vaper’s Tongue?

The name is a bit of a misnomer. The issue isn’t with your tongue, it’s your sense of smell. To be precise about it, vaper’s tongue is actually olfactory fatigue. Before you panic, it’s not a serious medical condition nor is it a permanent thing. The taste you get from e-liquids comes from two sources: your sense of taste and your sense of smell. While experiencing olfactory fatigue, you can still faintly taste the flavors but much of the taste is lost due to the lack of smell. There are multiple causes and also various ways to reduce or prevent olfactory fatigue.   

What Are The Causes?

You Used to Smoke Cigarettes: like a lot of people I switched to vaping from smoking traditional cigarettes. Smoking causes a reduction in your senses of taste and smell. Because of this, it can take your brain a while to level off. I found that my ability to taste my favorite e-liquids came and went seemingly at random as my senses recalibrated over the passing weeks.

Overuse of One Flavor: it’s easy to become over exposed to a flavor. If you find yourself no longer able to taste your favorite flavor, you may simply be overdoing it. Switch to a different flavor every so often to prevent overexposure. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from!

Dehydration: vaping uses up plenty of moisture and a lot of it comes from your mouth. If you find your mouth is dry and you’re thirsty, then a glass of water can help.

Taste Bud Damage: while your nose is more important for your ability to taste e-liquids, you still need your sense of taste to get a full experience. Things such as overly spicy foods, sour foods, alcohol, illness, and some medications can damage your taste buds. The good news is that damaged taste buds regrow, but the bad news is that this process can take up to two weeks.     

Illness: sometimes vaper’s tongue is nothing more complex than a stuffed-up nose. Colds, allergies, and the flu can greatly reduce your sense of smell, which in turn reduces your ability to taste flavors. Other conditions such as bad oral health can also play a factor, so keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy.

Random Chance/Who Knows: sometimes it’s hard to pin down exactly why your sense of taste isn’t as sharp as it once was. It’s a pain, for sure, but there’s not much left to do aside from trying the following solutions.  

How to Fix Vaper’s Tongue

Change Flavors: too much of a good thing is an old saying to keep in mind. Switch up your flavors every few weeks and you greatly reduce the chance of becoming over-exposed to one. Also, have some variety in your e-juice selection. Everything shouldn’t be all sweet or all sour, as having a range of flavors helps prevent olfactory fatigue.

Use Stronger Flavors: sometimes the best solution is to use something with a little more punch. Menthol flavors are notably strong and even if you have vaper’s tongue you’ll still taste it. Plus, it can help in recovering from olfactory fatigue.   

Hydrate: as noted above, dehydration can cause vaper’s tongue, so drinking water helps solve this problem. A good rule of thumb is to drink water regularly while vaping as it helps keep you hydrated. Vaping won’t cause dehydration, but a dry mouth can certainly ruin the taste experience.  

Oral Health: taking care of your teeth is just good advice in general. More specifically, it can help prevent olfactory fatigue. Residue from e-liquids can build up on your tongue, which affects your sense of taste. Regular brushing helps remove any build up. Mouthwash and gum also help as they both cleanse the palette and also prevent dry mouth due to lack of saliva.  

Shock to The System: another method to keep in mind is trying to give your olfactory system a swift kick. Strong smells such as inhaling the smell of coffee beans (or grounds) or sucking on a lemon can help reset your sense of smell.

Give It Time: as I learned, in some cases all you can do is wait it out. As noted above, damage to your taste buds can take up to two weeks to heal. If you’ve recently quit smoking, all you can do is to wait for time to pass as your senses adjust. The same is also true of illnesses such as colds or flus that reduce your sense of smell. Not to worry though, as your sense of smell will return!