Vaper’s tongue is when you suddenly lose your ability to taste e-liquid out of the blue. Don’t worry, it’s not just you. It’s actually a worldwide phenomenon, and vapers come across it every now and then. It should only last for a day or three, but it can also affect you for a fortnight.
Some time ago, the term was coined to refer to that experience when the tongue feels like coated blocking vapers’ ability to enjoy the flavors. This condition has no effect on vapor production or nicotine absorption, but it can certainly destroy the experience.
When does it happen?
A tongue can have between 2,000 and 8,000 taste buds which regularly regenerate after 10 days. The gustatory, or taste, sense needs saliva to work properly. Sometimes vaping makes the tongue too tired and the production of saliva is greatly reduced. Without enough saliva, it’s quite hard to taste.
Aside from tongue fatigue, there’s also flavor fatigue. The olfactory, or smell, sense is assisted by taste sense to fully taste the food. It’s an established fact that 70% of sensed flavor is attributed to smell sense. The tongue may distinguish among the 5 tastes: salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami, but it’s through smell that flavors are discerned. If you take out the sense of smell, an apple is not different from pear in terms of taste.
This means that smell sense is a receptor for the aroma that makes us taste food better. But if we are exposed to the same aroma for a long time, our smell sense will grow immune. Flavor fatigue means you have grown immune to the flavor that’s why the flavor isn’t as vivid as you first tried it.
The culprit for vaper’s tongue phenomena is possibly because of smoking. If someone has just recently quit smoking or still continue to smoke, it will have an effect on how you taste. This might be disappointing, but if so, you’ll have to wait for around a month for it to go away by itself.
Smoking can impair your ability to smell and taste, but fortunately, it’s temporary. You will recover after giving it some time.
9 TIPS TO BOUNCE FROM A VAPER’S TONGUE
- Take less alcohol and caffeine. You can avoid products that contain alcohol and caffeine for the meantime. They dry out your mouth, and they’re actually diuretics. Diuretics are foods and drinks that make you empty your bladder more frequently. You don’t want to be dehydrated whose symptom includes a vaper’s tongue. Instead of having your usual booze and cup of coffee, you might have to stick with water for now.
- Increase your water intake. Stay hydrated not only for your general wellbeing but to also help you enjoy vape juice flavors. There can be a lot of reason behind a dry mouth but the solution is always water. Again, if you’re properly hydrated, a dry mouth would go away.
- Use a tongue scrapers. Oral hygiene is very important, and don’t forget to clean your tongue, too. You can brush it, or better yet get a tongue scraper to get rid of the thin layer that develops on the tongue.
- Use oral hydration products. There are Biotene and the likes that can help you. You can find these products on the market, and they are actually designed to alleviate dry mouth. Some are in forms of spray, toothpaste, overnight gel, and mouthwash. Oral hydration items are alcohol-free. Brands like Biotene interestingly have familiar ingredients, VG and PG, which are also found in vape juices.
- Spacing between vapes. You might be abusing your smell and flavor receptors if you don’t take breaks between your vape sessions. You might want to increase the nicotine strength instead of vaping more. If your nicotine craving is satisfied, you won’t have to keep vaping. Or just simply put longer breaks in between. Put your vape down for some time, and it should taste better when you get back to it.
- Stop Smoking. You’ll be doing yourself a lot of favors when you drop cigarettes for good. It will also improve your taste sense. If you have recently quit, there’s no other advice but to wait. It might take a month at most, but don’t let that be your excuse to resume smoking.
- Try a cooling flavor or a mentholated one. Maybe you don’t like menthol, but at this point do it to cure that vaper’s tongue. Menthol isn’t like other flavors that need taste or smell to be sensed. Menthol will activate your thermoreceptors that is responsible for sensing it even on your eyes and skin. Menthol flavors can reset your flavor receptors and it might also be a welcome change from your usual dessert and fruity flavors.
- Try unflavored vape juice. This one is a clever tip to help you get over that vaper’s tongue. It’s flavorless aside from the slight sweetness. It’s similar to abstaining from vaping without actually putting your vape down. They are also cheaper than flavored ones, and since there’s no flavor, you’re not missing out anything.
- Change your juice. If you stick with just one flavor, you’ll soon get used to it making your vaping experience dull. If it’s about curing flavor fatigue, go try different flavors. You may also need this opportunity to discover new flavors you haven’t even heard of. Set your regular flavor aside for a moment. Other vapers have what they call rotations which refers to their collection of flavors.
Persistent Vaper’s Tongue
If it persists even after trying the tips above, it might be something else. Around 70% of people in the US are on prescription medicines and one typical side effect among others is dry mouth. Typically prescribed meds for allergies, anxiety, depression, cold, and other general illnesses cause dry mouth. It might be that your meds plus you vaping has worsened it. Consult your dentist or your doctor if it doesn’t go away.