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Loss of Taste

Causes, Possible Conditions, Questions & Related Topics

If you are experiencing loss of taste, please consider getting a COVID test. While a COVID vaccine is not available, a COVID test is the best path for medical treatment.

Top 7 Loss of Taste Causes

1. Smoking

Tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars contain a wide range of irritants, heavy metals, and carcinogenic molecules that can reduce taste sensitivity and cause loss of taste.[1] Smoking can also reduce blood supply to the taste buds to result in loss of smell or taste.[2] Loss of taste related to smoking is more common in those who smoke heavily, and can naturally reverse after a person quits smoking.

2. Certain Medications

Loss of taste is a side effect of many different types of medications, including antihistamines (e.g., prednisone), anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen), heart medications (e.g., propranolol, diltiazem), and antipsychotics (e.g., diazepam, bupropion).[3] Thyroid medications, lithium, and cancer drugs may also cause loss of taste.

3. Gum Inflammation

Gums that become inflamed on behalf of gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other oral health problems can lead to loss of taste or an unpleasant taste. Loss of taste and taste disorders caused by poor oral health usually occur due to damaged nerves and taste receptors.[4]

4. Injury

Injuries to the head, ear, mouth, and nose can lead to loss of taste on behalf of nerve damage to these areas or parts of the brain.[5] People who suffer the loss of taste due to an injury will usually recover their sense of taste naturally, as their bodies heal.

5. Surgery

Any surgery performed on the head, mouth, throat, nose, or ear can result in loss of taste if the surgery affects nerves in these areas. Anesthetic agents used to reduce or eliminate pain during surgery are also found to cause loss of taste for between 1 and 2 weeks following the procedure.[6]

6. Nutritional Deficiency

Certain vitamins and minerals such as zinc and vitamin B12 play important roles in taste perception. Therefore, being deficient in these nutrients can lead to loss of taste.[7] Improving nutrition and eating foods high in zinc and B12 can often help restore taste sensitivity.

7. Aging

Taste sensitivity usually decreases after the age of 60 on behalf of reductions in saliva production and the number of taste buds.[8] Taste buds also begin to shrink as part of the natural aging process to result in loss of taste. Sweet and salty tastes are often lost first, followed by bitter and sour tastes.[9]

Possible Health Conditions Related to Loss of Taste

1. Common Cold

21 Sources

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