Dr Prav Solanki, a 16-year veteran of the medical industry and owner of a dental clinic in Manchester, has sounded the alarm about the potential side effect of vaping known as ‘vaper’s tongue,’ which can result in the loss of taste function.
This condition manifests as a sudden and unexpected decrease or loss in the ability to taste vape juice and other food and drink items. Dr Solanki explained, “This phenomenon is common among vapers and can occur unexpectedly. Individuals often describe it as having a coated tongue that impedes the ability to differentiate flavours. It’s important to note that while taste may be affected, vapour and nicotine absorption remain unaffected. Various factors, including prolonged use of a single type of vape flavour, dehydration, vitamin deficiencies, or illness, can trigger a vaper’s tongue. Typically, it resolves independently and can last from a few hours to several weeks.”
The doctor outlined three primary causes of vaper’s tongue:
Dry Mouth: Dr Solanki stated, “Vaping can lead to dry mouth due to increased mouth breathing, which reduces saliva production. Since saliva is essential for proper taste bud function, its scarcity can impair taste perception, leading to vaper’s tongue.”
Flavour Fatigue: He elaborated, “This occurs when the olfactory senses are exposed to the same aroma for an extended period, leading to a decreased ability to perceive flavours. Given that the sense of smell significantly influences taste perception, flavour fatigue can contribute to vaper’s tongue.”
Smoking: Dr. Solanki cautioned, “Individuals who have recently quit smoking may experience impaired taste due to the lingering effects of smoking, which may take up to a month to resolve after quitting.”
In addition to the impact on taste buds, Dr Solanki warned of other adverse effects that vaping can have on oral health, including gum inflammation, plaque buildup, dry mouth, receding gums, tooth decay, bad breath, and more. He emphasized the importance of maintaining meticulous oral hygiene and being aware of these potential risks for individuals who vape.
While vaper’s tongue is a condition commonly experienced by most vapers at some point, Dr Solanki offered advice on how to manage its unpleasant effects. He suggested increasing water intake to alleviate dry mouth, a common issue associated with vaping. Rigorous oral hygiene, including regular brushing and mouthwash, can help prevent the buildup of a film on the tongue that can impede taste. Taking periodic breaks from vaping can also assist in resetting taste buds. For those looking to reduce vaping, he recommended considering nicotine replacement products or other medications as potential alternatives. Dr Solanki underscored that these strategies can help address the immediate issue without necessarily requiring complete cessation of vaping. However, it’s crucial to consider vaping’s overall impact on one’s health.
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