Vaper’s Tongue and All You Need to Know About It

Wondering why you can't taste your vape this morning? We know exactly what's going on – Vaper's Tongue. The article details what it is, how it happens, and how to cure it.

8 min read

  • Have you been unable to taste your favorite flavor vaping recently?
  • Does your tongue feel numb?
  • Does your vape flavor taste strange?
  • Have you been worried about not being able to taste the e-liquid?

If either of these questions resonates with you, chances are you are experiencing Vaper’s Tongue. Fortunately, it’s not as serious as you think and passes quite soon. In fact, it’s a pretty common side effect of vaping.

What Is Vaper's Tongue?

In layman’s terms, the Vaper’s Tongue refers to a host of oral problems that are related to the loss of taste. Also known as Vaper’s Fatigue, in this condition, the vaper unexpectedly loses the ability to taste the flavor of their vape.

To understand Vapers Tongue, you must know a little bit about taste buds. Human beings have 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds in their mouths, which are kept active with the help of saliva. The taste buds regenerate every ten days and are heavily dependent on saliva; when drying components like vapor or smoke cause dry mouth, the lack of saliva renders the taste buds incapable of functioning.

Besides being unable to taste the e-liquid and unable to decipher your vape’s flavor, other symptoms of vapers tongue can also include a thick layer over your tongue without the presence of any other illness.

The olfactory (smell) system is also implicated in the Vapers Tongue condition. Together, the gustatory and olfactory systems make up the chemosensory system, which helps the brain to interpret signals coming in via nerves and vessels about the characteristics of an object; in this case, the smell and taste.

Vaper's Tongue and All You Need to Know About It

What Are the Causes of the Vaper's Tongue?

Some of the causes of vapers tongue are actually very common. They’re usually mild, treatable, and pass within 1-3 days.

Blame Dehydration

Vaping can actually dehydrate your body. It begins by drying your mouth, throat, and mucosal passages. Research conducted on e-juice and vape flavors have concluded that they absorb the moisture in the mouth, which ends up forming a thin layer of white substance all over the tongue, signaling dehydration.

Unfortunately, because of dehydration and dry oral passages, the lack of saliva produced and the tongue coating prevent vapers from being able to taste the flavor.

Flavour Fatigue Is a Real Thing

Using one flavor consistently isn’t a great idea. After a certain period of time, your taste buds and brain will begin to desensitize to the old flavor. What does this mean? Well, this psychological effect can lead to your brain blocking the ability to recognize the flavor.

In other words, change your flavor brand or flavor every now and then to avoid your body from adapting to it.

Susceptibility to Coughs, Colds and The Flu

This probably comes as no surprise to you. Whenever you contract a cough, cold or even a mild flu, it suddenly becomes difficult to taste food or smell anything. And unfortunately, these illnesses show their symptoms quite later on – so for a while, you’ll be confused about why your tongue is losing its taste.

When your sinus passages clear up, and the illness subsides, chances are, so will your vaper’s tongue. You’ll be back to tasting your vape – and other things – just like before. Some other illnesses that can cause issues are:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Strep throat
  • Respiratory infections

Damaged Taste Buds Can Be a Problem, Too

Recent health issues or habits may damage your taste buds. Infections, bad oral hygiene, tongue burns, dry mouth, dental infections, using cigarettes, and alcohol are common factors that damage taste buds. It becomes difficult to decipher tastes, let alone recognize the flavor of your vape.

But luckily, taste buds regenerate quite quickly, so your mouth will normalize pretty soon. However, taste buds can also be damaged by the following:

  • Spicy food
  • Extremely sour food
  • Certain medications (like antibiotics)
  • Cold temperatures
Vaper's Tongue and All You Need to Know About It

Some Other Causes of Vaper's Tongue

Some other pre-existing conditions can also increase the likelihood of developing the vaper’s tongue. Although nothing to be alarmed about, vaper’s tongue is a common issue, but by certain illnesses, the onset can be brought on more quickly.

Taste Disorder

Around 15% of adults suffer from this condition. The impairment usually develops after an injury or illness has been sustained, and the sense of smell and/or taste is very affected. The disorder can occur as a partial loss of the ability to taste (Hypogeusia), a distortion in the ability to taste and smell (Dysgeusia), and in some rare cases, a complete loss of taste (Ageusia).

In the event that an individual is diagnosed with a taste disorder, their likelihood of experiencing vaper’s tongue increases by a large margin.

Dirty Coils

All Vapes contain an atomizer or coil, whether they come built-in, or you make them yourself.

The coil is the essential heating element which, along with its wicking material will soak up the juice, and heat it to the desired temperature to turn it into vapor.

However, in time, the coils become full of oxidized particles, gunk, and residue and become in dire need of changing. When this happens, the e-juice will have a strange taste as you vape.

Sometimes, the soiled flavor can be mistaken as vaper’s tongue. So make sure you replace or clean your coils regularly for the optimum flavor experience.

Having Quit Smoking Recently

If you’ve made the brave decision of altogether quitting cigarettes and moved towards vaping, be prepared! When you quit smoking, your body goes through an adjustment period.

During this time, you will likely experience vaper’s tongue, as your taste buds will take some time to adjust.

Vaper's Tongue and All You Need to Know About It

What Is the Cure For Vaper's Tongue?

There is no ultimate cure to fix the vaper’s tongue, but the effects of vaper’s tongue are luckily short-lived and temporary. However, unless you’re a professional food taster or vintner, there are ways to help reduce the effects of the condition – and possibly prevent it from coming back for a long time!

Take care of Your Oral Hygiene

It’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene. Any leftover debris from food, oral devices, vapes, etc., can open pathways for bacteria to breed, which can affect the gums, teeth, and even tongue.

It’s essential to make sure that your mouth and your throat are at their best. Using a tongue scrubber, gargling religiously, and keeping the mouthpiece of your vape clean are ways to start practicing this.

Try Palate Cleansers

Palate cleansers are a great way to reverse any taste-related issues. Consuming raw citruses like grapefruit and lemon, eating raw honey or pickled ginger, and even eating sorbet are great ways to cleanse your taste buds.

In no time, your tongue will be back at its baseline taste!

Check Your Vape For Maintenance/Repairs

Like any other gadget, a vape needs to be taken care of, too. Start by keeping an eye on the coils – if they’re old, worn out or clogged, that could interfere with the taste administration.

It’s also a good idea to check for leakages. A tank or pod stored improperly may begin to leak, which could potentially oxidize the flavor and compromise the quality.

Airflow is also crucial to take note of. If your vape has a restricted airflow, it will help to deliver a concentrated dose of flavor – with the wider airflow openings; the flavor may not be as strong.

Obviously, there are many other factors, like the wattage you are vaping at, whether you are inhaling mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung, but it’s always important to check the airflow hasn’t changed from your preferred setup.

Take a Break From Vaping

If all else fails, one way to avoid your body from adapting to the flavor or giving your tongue some rest is to stop vaping for a few days.

Flavor fatigue is normal – and sometimes it’s just best to give your taste buds a rest.

And Most Importantly, Stay Hydrated

Hydration is absolutely necessary. Not only is it healthy for your body to have an ample supply of water, but a healthy amount of hydration ensures a healthy mouth, too.

Remember, without saliva, the taste buds aren’t of much use. To produce saliva, your body needs to have ample resources— one of the most important ones being water.

Vaper's Tongue and All You Need to Know About It

If Vaper's Tongue Still Persists

A word of caution; if you’ve tried the suggestions above, but your vaper’s tongue persists for a long time, or even causes you some discomfort orally, it’s time to speak to your physician about it. For all you know, you may be allergic to a particular ingredient or flavoring in the eliquid.

Jules M
Jules M
Jules is our vaping font of knowledge. He has been a passionate vaping supporter since 2013 and spends his time trying to educate people with ‘facts’ on the safety and benefits of vaping.

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