You’ve just picked up the same old e-liquid you always use and love, except this time it’s different. The same great flavour is no longer there. This sudden loss of taste is called ‘vaper’s tongue’, or ‘vaper’s fatigue’ - a common occurrence with vapers (especially unaware first-time vapers). Although only temporary, it can last anywhere from a few days for most people to a couple of weeks if not resolved.
Below we explain why it happens, as well as the different quick fixes to stop vaper’s tongue in its tracks, which have worked for many vapers in a similar situation.
What Causes Vaper’s Tongue?
1. Using the Same Vape Juice Repeatedly
Whether you've just started vaping or are a seasoned veteran, we’ve all been there. You just can’t get enough of the same flavour and don’t feel like changing anytime soon. And why would you? As the old proverb goes, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.
But in this case, you need to, or face vaping tasteless e-liquids. It's important to sustain good consistent flavour with each draw to prevent any smoking relapses.
It happens because we like what is familiar and satisfies the taste buds. However, once the body and mind get used to a certain flavour for so long, the vaping flavour can often go.
This is one of the most common reasons for vaper’s tongue. The body is roughly 75% water, so if you starve yourself of it, it will start to shut down. How you taste and enjoy different flavours is affected when you consume less water. That parched feeling doesn’t just exist on a hot summer's day!
It can just as easily happen when you vape because of the key ingredients in your e-liquids - Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine.
PG in particular leads to dry mouth because it is hygroscopic, meaning the molecules from PG bond with the water molecules in saliva, drawing the moisture more from your mouth, leading to thirst. Nevertheless, it can still happen when you vape pure VG e-liquids too, so always keep water handy to hydrate between vapes.
3. Cigarettes Dull the Senses
If you have recently given up smoking, good for you, as multiple studies show how quickly your body can change for the better once you stop smoking. It’s a tough task to remove from your life completely, because of the high level of nicotine you’ve consumed since you started smoking.
Nevertheless, vaping can help in multiple ways, including the ability to help reduce your nicotine levels. As we know, cigarettes, due to the inclusion of tobacco, impact sense and smell massively, affecting how your vape tastes.
Nobody is free of illness, especially during the cold winter months when our immune systems are weaker. Common colds, sinus issues and sore throats not only affect day-to-day life, but the vaping experience. With sore throats, they can even happen if you do not have the right mixture of VG and PG or simply dry hit - which is when you try vaping on a low e-liquid level.
When illness occurs, your sense of smell often struggles with a cold, leading to blocked airways that impact flavour.
5. Poor Dental Hygiene
You can get all sorts of problems if you do not take care of oral hygiene. It can lead to issues such as bacteria in the mouth, teeth decay and mouth ulcers if not looked after. Not only could it cause pain and alter the physical appearance, but also significantly reduce taste levels based on several studies, in particular among older people.
Other reasons for potentially getting vaper’s tongue include:
- Drugs - either prescribed medically or illegal recreational could impact your senses
- Old and expired e-liquids
How to Get Rid of Vaper’s Tongue Fast
- Change your vape juice often. And don’t swap for something similar. If you’re vaping tobacco and suddenly lose the taste, switching to a completely different flavour - even if just for a day or two - will bring back the familiar favourites you prefer. However, remember to clean out your tank thoroughly before changing from Coffee to IVG Blue Raz Cherry, or you will notice the difference!
- Drink more water. It sounds obvious, but it will allow you to feel more hydrated between each vape, as well as compliment the bases of your e-liquid, PG and VG, which play a key role in carrying the flavour of your vape. Keeping that dry throat at bay is important to enjoy the experience, meaning you will be less likely to return to vaping and achieve consistently high flavour.
- Give up cigarettes as soon as possible to not just improve your long-term health but ensure the taste from your vape pod or mod is not compromised. Switching to vaping will improve your mental health too, reducing tension and anxiety.
- Take your time between vaping. Chain vaping is common because people sometimes need a nicotine fix repeatedly. However, the last thing you want to do is damage your senses. If the flavour begins to go, put down your vape for a few hours or even a few days if possible and the taste will quickly return.
- Reset your olfactory senses, and in particular your nasal passage, by smelling fresh coffee beans or sucking lemons, which offer similar results. If it works for wine and perfume tasters, it’s good enough for the vaping industry!
Is There a Scientific Explanation for This Common Issue?
We have five key taste receptors, which activate our palette differently. These are:
- Umami (commonly known as savoury)
Each person’s tongue is layered with little bumps called papillae. They have hundreds of taste buds, so depending on how many papillae you have, that can mean between 2,000 and an astounding 10,000 taste buds.
Your nose also features heavily in your ability to taste e-liquids ranging from Tobacco to Lemon Tart Shortfills, with taste and smell senses working together closely to ensure you achieve maximum enjoyment from things like food and aromas in the air.
This is because of the olfactory sense, divided into two sections - the main system, which recognises substances in the air and the accessory system, attributed to fluid-phase stimuli.
Any problems with this, such as blockages to pathways that go between your olfactory and the brain, will lead to four smell disorders:
- Parosmia - any changes to smell i.e something nice suddenly smelling bad.
- Hyposmia - the ability to smell reduced due to factors such as age.
- Phantosmia - the sensation of an odour that doesn’t exist.
- Anosmia - somebody who can not sense smell at all. This could be due to a problem since birth.
If you find you tick some of the boxes below and the list of fixes still doesn’t solve the problem, it may be something medically wrong, meaning you should speak to a doctor.