People often lose their sense of taste, which then has a negative effect on one's health. While this condition may not always be a permanent one, temporary loss of taste ultimately leads to decreased appetite and as a result health and general well being suffers. As to what causes impaired taste? There are many reasons for it. From minor causes to more serious conditions, here's a look at the factors which are responsible for causing you to lose your sense of taste.

What Causes You to Lose Your Sense of Taste?

What Causes You to Lose Your Sense of Taste?

Loss of Sense of Taste Caused Due to Common Cold:

The most common reason for impaired taste is a bout of the common cold. Food automatically becomes tasteless when overcome with a cold. This is because the sense of taste is closely associated with the sense of smell. So when you have a cold, your nasal passage becomes blocked by all that excess mucus which really makes you lose your sense of smell. Since the taste receptors in your mouth can't respond to the odors of food, everything you eat then becomes tasteless.

How Smoking Results in Loss of sense in Taste?

Health risks associated with smoking do not just extend to cancer and cardiovascular disease. The dangerous chemical compounds present in cigarette smoke can hugely interfere with the sense of taste. Smoking as a result dulls the functionality of the taste buds to recognize different tastes. Smokers therefore tend to suffer from a decreased sense of taste.

Effect of Medicine on Taste Loss

Medication is another contributor towards impaired taste. Too much medication tends to leave a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth, even hours after it has been taken. This leads to an altered sense of taste of anything that is eaten, making food less appetizing. Aged people and those suffering from thyroid or cancer are usually susceptible to a loss of palate, having to rely mostly on medication which distorts the sense of taste.

Oral Conditions Which Impairs the Sense of Taste

There are certain infections or diseases related to the mouth which also causes loss of sense of taste or alter one's sense of taste. Xerostomia or dry mouth is one such condition where the mouth is unable to produce much saliva. Saliva is what helps one to taste food. So when there is lack of saliva, the mouth becomes dry and the taste buds become flattened. Likewise, gum and tongue infections, mouth ulcers and poor dental hygiene also result in loss of taste due to bacterial growth which affects the taste buds.

Loss of Sense of Taste Due to Heartburn or Acid Reflux

Heartburn or acidity causes stomach acids to rise up to the esophagus which doesn't leave a very good taste in the mouth. For people therefore suffering from heartburn or acid indigestion, food becomes the last thing they want to eat.

How Nervous System Disorders Effect Loss of Taste

Nervous system disorders affect the transmission of messages from the nerves to the rest of the body. Organs therefore that are related to and that which control the sense of taste suffer as a result. Patients suffering from Bell palsy and multiple sclerosis are more prone to impaired taste.

Ways to Restore the Loss of Sense of Taste

The inability of the taste buds to work to their full potential does not usually last forever. Even it if takes a few months to a couple of years, getting back one's sense of taste can happen with either treatment or certain other remedial solutions.

Ways to Restore the Loss of Sense of Taste

Treating Impaired Taste with Antibiotics

Colds, flu, mouth and throat infections can all be cured with the help antibiotics, decongestants, even few natural ingredients from your kitchen. Garlic, ginger, lemon and cinnamon known for their strong flavours greatly aid in restoring taste to the taste buds.

Smokers Can Restore the Loss of Sense of Taste by Quitting Smoking

For smokers, food does not always taste as delicious as it should be. Since tobacco smoke dulls the sense of taste, the only way smokers can hope to enjoy the sense of taste and smell is to quit smoking. It's not such a high price to pay after all given that quitting has its overall health benefits.

How to Reset Your Taste Buds to Relish Different Tastes

Some flavours are strong enough to last till the next meal. Resetting your taste buds will not just get rid of the present taste but will also help you relish the next meal. It is therefore important to rinse your mouth or clean your palate after every meal so your taste buds are ready for the next. In addition to this proper dental hygiene will also ensure your taste buds are functioning as they ought to be.

Making Your Food Taste Better Can Help Restore Your Loss of Sense of Taste

When a person's sense of taste fails, it is common for them to either consume fewer calories or add more salt or sugar to their meals to make it palatable. Eating less than usual can only lead to nutritional deficiencies while adding salt or sugar in excess could very well result in health issues like hypertension or high blood pressure. The ideal solution is to prepare food with hot spices and aromatic herbs for added flavor. You could even include add-ons like cheese, butter, bacon, sauces to your meals if your health permits. This can help put some taste back into your mouth.

Welcome New and Different Tastes

The same food day in and day out can dull anyone's taste buds. A palate that is open to new and different tastes makes one's taste buds react positively to a variety of food. The best way to go about it is to try foods from different cultures. This not just sharpens the sense of taste but also helps you acquire a rich taste for all that smells and tastes good.

While in some cases, impaired taste is beyond one's control, sometimes all it takes is altering one's lifestyle to bring the flavor back in to the taste buds. Leading a healthy life, getting rid certain habits and eating a salubrious diet goes a long way in restoring and maintaining one's sense of taste.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: May 3, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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