Vaper’s tongue… it doesn’t sound too pleasant, does it? The good news is it’s not a medical condition. The bad news is, it still isn’t that pleasant to have.
So what exactly is it? Well, it’s basically a situation where you stop sensing the flavour in whatever e-liquid you are using. Let’s say you’ve bought a nice mint e-liquid to use. At first you can taste it fine, but after a while you realise you can’t actually taste anything at all. This is vaper’s tongue.
Except that isn’t actually an accurate name. The proper name for the experience is olfactory fatigue. As you may or may not know, olfactory relates to our sense of smell. This means it’s your nose that has the issue, not your tongue or mouth.
Is it dangerous?
No – just a bit frustrating. The effect can last for anything from a few days to several weeks. Even though there is nothing actually wrong with your tongue, your nose’s temporary inability to smell the particular flavour you like to vape with means you won’t be able to taste much either.
Who is most likely to get it?
New vapers are particularly prone to being affected in this way. Remember, you’re coming from smoking a certain number of cigarettes a day. Smoking reduces your ability to smell and taste things to the same degree non-smokers do. As such, it won’t be any surprise to find you might have trouble identifying the milder flavours used in some e-liquids.
You might also get it if you like a particular flavour of e-liquid and you never change to anything else. Your senses will get used to that same flavour time and time again, and you’ll suddenly realise you can’t taste it like you used to.
People taking various types of medication might also be affected. For example, drugs that treat depression, high blood pressure and thyroid problems can all contribute to vaper’s tongue.
Can you avoid it happening to you?
You may not be able to avoid it completely, but you can certainly reduce the odds of this affecting you.
For example, we mentioned that it can happen to people who vape the exact same flavour all the time. If this includes you, you might want to try experimenting with a few different flavours. Some people have one flavour for first thing in the morning, one for during the day and another one to enjoy after dinner. This is just an example of course, but you get the idea. As you switch from one flavour to another, you’re giving your taste buds and senses something different to experience.
You should also make the effort to drink more water. This is always a good idea for your general health anyway, but it helps to rinse out your mouth and you’ll avoid dehydration too. Surprisingly, it’s the latter that can lead to vaper’s tongue, since vaping can dehydrate the parts of your body that inhale the vapour. If you can avoid this, you can hopefully avoid vaper’s tongue as well.
Trying different flavours, drinking more water and even brushing your teeth twice a day (if you don’t already) is all going to help you. But if you are still experiencing problems, you should consider whether any medication you are taking could be having a side-effect you are not aware of.
Trying to avoid being ill is a good move to make too. You can’t always avoid it of course, but colds and illnesses can deaden your senses more than you might believe. Try and think back to the last time you had a cold. How many foods did you really enjoy eating? Chances are you lost your appetite completely – and not just because you didn’t much feel like eating anything. If you lose your senses of taste and smell because you’re feeling poorly, you won’t get any enjoyment out of your food.
If you do suffer from vaper’s tongue, don’t just try swapping flavours. Swap to something stronger than you would normally vape with, too. Many people recommend menthol to help things start moving along again. A stronger tobacco flavour or even cinnamon can also work. If you want to steer clear of tobacco flavours because you’ve left those behind, stick with menthol and cinnamon and see how you get on with those.
Sometimes you might be afflicted with vaper’s tongue even when you have done everything possible to try and avoid it. If so, keep on repeating all the steps and suggestions given above. These should at least help keep the period of ‘suffering’ to a minimum, and get you back onto vaping you can taste and enjoy again in the near future. Most importantly of all, don’t give up and go back to cigarettes!