What is vaper’s tongue
Essentially, if you’ve been over vaping and you suddenly realise you don’t like what you’re vaping, or worse you can’t actually taste what you’re vaping any more, there is no cause for alarm (just yet). You simply have a case of vaper’s tongue.
Vaper’s tongue also goes by its other moniker - vaper’s fatigue, and it covers a range of taste related incidences from going off a single flavour, to losing the ability to taste completely.
Whilst the first one is more common and occurs quite regularly in life - if you’ve ever overindulged and put yourself off a food or drink group, you’ll know what we are on about, but the second, losing your sense of taste (albeit normally only temporarily) can be cause for concern, and indicative of potentially more serious issues (in which case go see the doc).
How your tongue works
Our tongues are miraculous muscles, capable of controlled movement and with between 2,000 and 10,000 taste buds, able to discern between the most subtle of flavours.
Our taste buds are constantly rejuvenating, with a life cycle of between 10 days to 2 weeks, which is great news if you should happen to find yourself suffering a complete lack of taste.
The taste buds themselves are able to differentiate between 5 different tastes:
However they don’t act alone.
The link between smell and taste
You may or may not be aware, but what we taste is closely linked to our sense of smell. If you’ve ever tried pinching your nose shut whilst eating, you’ll know how hard it is to figure out the flavour of your food.
That’s because when we eat, the taste of the food combines with the smell sensors in our nose to create a flavour experience.
And the weirdest part of all is that whilst our taste buds are continually evolving, so too does what we like and dislike. And even more peculiarly, our sense of taste can even be influenced by popular choice. Merely watching someone popular, a celebrity for example, enjoying a flavour we previously didn’t like, can be enough to alter our perception of the flavour, and change our mind about it.
So back to vaper’s tongue.
The condition became more widespread with the surge in popularity of e-cigs, with vapers describing what felt like a thick coating on their tongue, inhibiting their ability to taste properly.
One of the reasons for this is that vaping has a common side effect: a dry mouth, and our taste buds need saliva to extract maximum flavour from what they’re sensing; so not enough saliva = no taste.
How to get rid of vaper’s tongue
- Drink water. Staying hydrated is key to great health, and replenishing your saliva.
- Cut back on the diuretics. Known dehydrators such as alcohol and caffeine have a drying effect on the body. So not only do they start drying out your mouth the minute you take a gulp, once they’ve worked their way through you, they increase your need to pee and can dehydrate you further. Not cool.
- Clean your tongue. Tongue scraping may be more synonymous with the wellness brigade, but actually regularly cleaning your tongue is another way you can extract maximum flavour from your e-liquid. By scraping your tongue you are removing the layer of film that naturally coats it and is responsible for dulling your taste receptors.
- Quitting smoking. If you weren’t already aware of it, smoking has a profound effect on your ability to taste and smell. Recent quitters are renowned for crowing about the return of their olfactory and gustatory senses, not realising the detrimental impact all those years of puffing on the weed has had on their ability to taste properly.
- Don’t chain vape. If you’re known for never being without your e-cig, it may be time to take a break. Vaping constantly has been known to impact your ability to taste and smell fully, so extend the time between your vaping sessions and you should see a return to normal function. If you can’t go long between vaping, consider upping the nicotine level of your e-liquid to see you through.
- Mix it up. Switch up your e-liquid flavours to help prevent flavour fatigue. If you have a favourite e-liquid, don’t run the risk of putting yourself off it, try another one. We have a wide range of flavours you can choose from, if you’re in need of inspiration.
- Go naked. No, not you, we mean ditch the flavours for a while until your sense of taste returns. Not only will you fast track your tongue’s recovery, but because you are vaping flavourless e-liquid, it will benefit your wallet too, because unflavoured e-liquid is considerably cheaper than the flavoured varieties.
You know what we are going to say, but we will say it just in case: if your vaper’s tongue persists, despite your best efforts to remedy it, go and see your doctor, as it could be a result of an underlying medical condition.