Vaper’s Tongue: What is it and How Do you Treat it?
Anyone knew to vaping is bound to come across terms and phrases which may not be apparently clear at first.
That goes to show the evolution of vaping into a unique sub-niche of its own, complete with a rich vocab that noobs (as new vapers are referred to in the community) may have trouble picking up.
The good thing is that this vaping lingo is nothing like Greek, so it doesn’t take long before you get up to speed.
An example of one such phrase only common in the vaping community is vaper’s tongue.
You’ve probably seen it bandied around on various websites, but what does it mean exactly?
Understanding vaper’s tongue
By definition, vaper’s tongue is a condition where the vaper may experience a partial or total loss of taste out of the blue and is unable to taste e-liquid flavours.
The condition can last a few days, but there is nothing much to panic about. Of course, the inability to perceive vape flavours can be vexing, but the good thing is that there is are possible remedies for it.
Before we get to that, let’s first go through the potential causes of vaper’s tongue. The most common include:
- Vaping the same flavour too often – It is no secret that vaping offers an assortment of delectable flavours. They number in the hundreds such that even the most discerning of tongues won’t be short of options that work for them. Sometimes, though, we may be guilty of vaping a certain flavour too much that we find it hard to drop. This continued use without switching to a different flavour can cause vaper’s tongue.
- Dehydration – The ingredients present in vape juice – propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG) to be specific – can easily cause dry mouth. Prolonged vaping without hydrating properly can hinder the normal function of your taste and smell receptors, triggering vaper’s tongue.
- Stress/anxiety – It is not exactly clear why, but increased levels of stress and anxiety can have a bearing on the taste buds and smell receptors. When some vapers are suffering from stress or anxiety, their sense of taste and smell is the first to go; sometimes the only symptom.
- Cigarette use – Smoking affects your oral health in more ways than one. It can inhibit the closely-linked gustatory and olfactory systems (the systems responsible for taste/flavour perception and smell respectively). This explains why your sense of taste and smell improves when you quit smoking. If one system is affected, the other takes a hit – something you have probably observed when you catch a flu. If you are dual-vaping (smoking and vaping at the same time), this can result in muted flavour perception.
Common remedies for vaper’s tongue
Looking at the causes of vaper’s tongue, it doesn’t take a genius to know what you need to do to either cure or shorten the duration it affects you.
In truth, though, the best cure for vaper’s tongue is time. Yes, time. The situation can easily reverse itself if you take a break from vaping for 2-3 days. Obviously, that’s not ideal if you’re addicted to nicotine as it literally means powering through the horrific effects of nicotine withdrawal and managing cravings.
In the event you suspect that you’re suffering from vaper’s tongue and want to be proactive without waiting a few days, here are some possible remedies you can try out:
- Observing good oral hygiene – Good dental hygiene has always been emphasised since our formative years. Unfortunately, not everyone follows this advice. If you’re a vaper, skipping your oral hygiene routine can have its consequences. One of them is vaper’s tongue. That means brushing your teeth at least once a day, and as mum would say, ‘don’t forget the tongue!’
- Switch between flavours – We know, some vape flavours are just hard to put down. While you may be guilty of spoiling yourself, metaphorically speaking, you risk spoiling your taste perception too when you vape the same flavour too often. By all means, have an all-day vape, but make it a point of confusing your taste buds with a different flavour every now and then.
- Drink up – It’s recommended to drink your fair share of water every day. For vapers, that’s not optional because vaping can dehydrate you, something you can attribute to the ingredients in vape juice. This is why you may see some vapers walking around with a bottle of water. It’s a leaf worth borrowing. The idea is to keep your body hydrated, so diuretic beverages will serve the opposite purpose as you’ll want to ‘go’ more often. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea and soda should be consumed in moderation. Or at least drink enough H2O to make up for the water lost from frequent urination!
- Avoid smoking – As we mentioned earlier, juggling between vapes and cigarettes may lead to vaper’s tongue. If you want to quit smoking for good, vaping is a great alternative on its own. If you find yourself craving a cigarette as a vaper, try switching to nicotine salt e-liquids. These e-liquids replicate the smoking experience better than freebase e-liquids and should keep you away from cigarettes for good.
- Suck on a lemon – Lemon juice has many benefits to the body, and one understated benefit is its ability to cleanse the palate. Try sucking on a lemon slice or drinking freshly-squeezed lemon juice if you get vaper’s tongue. The bitterness can wake up the taste buds and make your tongue more sensitive to taste.
- Sniff some coffee grounds – Sniffing coffee grounds serves the same purpose as sucking on a lemon, only this time, it’s your nose getting the reset, not your tongue. You have probably seen small containers with coffee beans offered to customers shopping for perfume in person. The ground beans refresh the olfactory sense and this is actually a common method used by perfume testers and wine tasters. Try it if you have some coffee beans on hand and see if it makes a difference for you.
While vaper’s tongue is not something serious to get you concerned, nobody wants to be a victim as it only gets in the way.
The possible remedies for vapers tongue we’ve outlined here may or may not work for everyone. But they are definitely worth a try especially for nicotine users who may struggle going a day without nicotine; let alone a few hours.
In an ideal world, the best thing is to ensure you do not get vaper’s tongue by avoiding the triggers in the first place. Unfortunately, while switching flavours, hydrating and avoiding cigarettes are easy to do, causes like stress – and associated medication like antidepressants (another possible cause of vaper’s tongue) – may be inevitable.
That’s where these recommendations may prove useful.