How to revive your taste buds if vapers tongue should strike
You may have heard about vapers tongue and never thought much about it. Maybe you’ve even experienced the sudden loss of taste from your own favourite vapour mix, or noticed that the intensity of your chosen e-liquid just isn’t there any more. If any of this sounds familiar, you could be suffering from what is known as vapers tongue. Before you start panicking, or rush off to see your GP, however, relax: vapers tongue is not uncommon and is unlikely to last very long. Nor is it anything to worry about. In fact, there’s plenty you can do to put things right again, but before we get to that, it’s worth understanding what vapers tongue really is.
Vapers tongue explained
Contrary to what the term suggests, vapers tongue isn’t a condition that afflicts only the taste buds, but something that affects the interaction between your sense of smell, or olfactory senses, and the sensors on your tongue. The overall effect is a loss of flavour, and a feeling that your e-liquid has somehow lost its mojo.
Why it happens exactly – and it doesn’t happen to all vapers by any means – is harder to pin down, but here are some things to ask yourself if you think you have vapers tongue:
Are you dehydrated?
Thanks to the numerous solutions in e-juice, whether VG or PG, vaping is actually a pretty dehydrating activity as it absorbs moisture from your mouth. This can result in a thin protective film forming on your tongue, which can prevent your taste buds being stimulated by the e-liquid in the usual way, leading to a loss of flavour.
Have you recently quit smoking?
As well as all of its other side effects, traditional smoking is well known to deaden the taste buds so if you’ve recently changed to vaping, your senses may still be recovering from years of being regularly numbed by a cocktail of chemicals found in cigarettes.
Do you have a cold, allergy or sinus condition?
Your sense of taste and smell often goes awry or disappears altogether when you come down with a cold, or have a sinus infection. The effects can last longer than you think and it may be a while before you can fully appreciate your favourite e-liquid again.
Do you vary your flavours often enough?
It’s easy to keep using the same flavour once you find one you really enjoy, but your taste buds can get so accustomed to a particular flavour that they become a bit desensitised after a while.
How to cure your vapers tongue
If you’ve lost the all-important sense of pleasure you get from your e-liquid flavour, there are a number of steps you can take to try and re-boot your taste buds.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water, not only to stay hydrated – which is always a good idea – but to help keep your palate cleansed. The cleaner your palate, the more prepped your taste buds will be to savour the flavour of your preferred e-juice, however subtle they may be.
- Try some new e-liquid flavours. As the saying goes, a change is as good as a holiday, and trying out a new flavour may be all it takes to revive your fatigued taste buds. When it comes to flavour, be bold in your choice and go for something robust, such as menthol or a mint flavoured e-juice to help bring your taste buds back to life.
- Good oral hygiene is important at all times and also helps to intensify your vaping pleasure. If you eat a lot of spicy food or other pungent dishes, it can take your taste buds time to re-balance, so rinse your mouth after a meal and before you start vaping. On top of that, follow your dentist’s advice and brush, floss, and rinse your mouth regularly.
- Do what professional wine tasters do and smell fresh coffee grounds to animate your olfactory senses. This is a tried and tested way of also stimulating the palate, and is definitely worth trying if your sense of taste has become a bit jaded.
- Try and avoid overloading your taste buds and olfactory senses. Drinking tea, coffee, alcohol, or fizzy drinks at the same time as you vape can befuddle your palate. Vaping is best when enjoyed when your palate doesn’t have to compete with other flavours, or sensations.
Bide your time
Vapers tongue is almost certain to be a temporary condition, and the pleasure you’ve experienced from your e-liquids in the past will soon return. If you’re relatively new to vaping, especially as an ex-smoker of traditional cigarettes, you can expect there to be a transition period and you may have to experiment with a variety of e-liquid flavours to find the ones that work best for you. Even when you do find the flavours that seem to give you the maximum return, go on exploring; there are so many wonderful flavours and combinations to try, and new ones coming out all the time.
And finally, a note on shelf life…
Some e-liquids contain numerous different flavours and this can affect the shelf life of the product as well as the flavour notes. In other words, before assuming you have developed a case of vapers tongue, make sure your e-liquid hasn’t gone a bit stale. If the e-liquid has a sediment that doesn’t mix when you shake it, if there’s a bad smell, or if it’s well past the use by date, it has probably gone off and is best not used. Most e-liquids will keep for one to two years with some even lasting up to five years, provided they are properly stored.