Have you ever found yourself gazing at your e-cigarette with a furrowed brow, and not because the Clearomizer is dying or the battery’s shot, but because there is something else, something sinister, going on? It’s most certainly a wicked something that’s going on, but you can’t quite figure out what it is. Have you ever picked up your current e-liquid bottle and looked it over, reading the flavour and nicotine strength again just to make sure you ordered the right one, even though you know damn well you already checked it when you first opened it up? Has the vape you’ve been enjoying for ages simply just stopped being as enjoyable as it used to be all of a sudden?
If you’re answering yes to any or all of these questions then I hereby diagnose you with a severe case of Vaper’s Tongue. Sounds pretty nasty, I know. But it’s a much catchier name than Temporary Involuntary Loss of Taste Sensation, so Vaper’s Tongue it is.
What is Vaper’s Tongue?
You may have had it in the past, or you may be going through it right now. Sometimes you lose the taste entirely; sometimes a previously enjoyable e-liquid flavour just turns bad out of the blue. In extreme cases, it can even affect your ability to taste the flavours in food and drinks as well.
Although it isn’t the most pleasant experience in the world, it’s also not something you need to worry too much about. It seems to be something that most vapers experience from time to time, but it does pass and eventually your favourite e-liquid flavour will be as enjoyable again as it was prior to you boarding the Vapers Tongue train bound for What-the-hell-is-going-onsville.
What Are the Causes of Vaper’s Tongue?
There are a variety of potential causes, though none of them have been absolutely and scientifically proven as of the writing of this article. Take a moment to peruse the online vaping and e-cig forums and you’ll note many vapers report suffering from Vaper’s Tongue after vaping the same e-liquid for a long time, while others believe it is a direct result of having recently switched from smoking to vaping. Others still claim the condition, sometimes referred to as Vaper’s Fatigue, is directly caused by continuing to smoke after starting to vape.
It is also believed that external influences can cause Vapers Tongue (VT), such as illnesses and even the medications taken to treat such illnesses. Indeed, there are plenty of medicines known to cause a loss of taste, though this doesn’t account for the instances of VT where no medicines are involved.
What is Actually Happening During Vapers Tongue?
What we do know for almost certain is that Vaper’s Tongue arises from your tastebuds not functioning properly, which certainly seems to indicate damage caused by the act of vaping. This damage could be caused by the heat of the vapour being inhaled or a reaction to the liquid itself, should any alight in your mouth as it is occasionally prone to do. Any damage is temporary though, as our tastebuds are in a constant cycle of healing. It’s also the sort of damage you might do by eating an especially spicy meal or gulping down a mouthful of hot coffee before allowing it to cool to a more drinkable temperature. So Vaper’s Tongue is certainly not something entirely new to our spectrum of unpleasant things we have to put up with throughout our lives.
Each individual tastebud only has an average lifespan of about ten days anyway, so that should be the maximum amount of time you can suffer from Vaper’s Tongue. However, many vapers have discovered cures and treatments which can speed the process along, possibly even eliminating it immediately.
Cures for Vaper’s Tongue
The first thing you can try to cure Vapers Tongue is changing the flavour of the e-liquid you’re vaping. There’s a clue in the condition’s alternative name, Vaper’s Fatigue; so give your tongue something new to taste and it should respond positively. The flavours most commonly hailed as the best for refreshing your tastebuds are the minty or menthol e-liquid flavours, so it’s a good idea to keep one of those on standby should you need it.
Many vapers deal with their taste fatigue with a simple glass of water. Washing the mouth out can refresh the tastebuds and prepare them to go again. You will also find many e-cig users advising the use of a proper mouthwash and even a tongue scraper. The constant theme here is similar to the e-liquid flavour change: just give your mouth a makeover and something new to refresh it to help fight that flavour fatigue.
For more persistent cases of Vaper’s Tongue, you can try an old wine taster’s trick by inhaling the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans or sucking on a lemon. Both methods are said to refresh the palate. Also, anybody still smoking while vaping should use their experience of Vaper’s Tongue to take that final step to quitting smoking altogether. Smoking can massively affect the tastebuds so if you’ve got a touch of the VTs, then try knocking the smokes on the head completely and see how quickly you are enjoying your vaping flavours once again.
And remember, you’ll have a whole new set of tastebuds within ten days or thereabouts, so even if switching up your e-liquid flavours, sucking on lemons or standing on your head while reciting the alphabet backwards doesn’t help, then the curse of the Vaper’s Tongue will pass soon enough anyway.
Vaper’s Tongue Cure Checklist:
• Change your e-liquid flavour (mint/menthol is ideal)
• Drink water
• Rinse with mouthwash
• Give your tongue a good scrape or brush
• Smell freshly ground coffee beans
• Suck on a slice of lemon (accompanying tequila shot is optional)
• Chew flavoursome gum (mint preferable)
• Or just lock yourself in a small, dark room with ten days’ worth of food supplies while cuddling a large cushion, rocking back and forth, and relentlessly urging your tastebuds to “Grow, my pretties, GROW!”