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Impaired taste means that your sense of taste is not functioning properly. Causes of impaired taste range from the common cold to more serious medical conditions involving the central nervous system.
Most people only experience impaired taste temporarily and only lose part of their ability to taste. It’s very rare to lose your sense of taste completely.
Read on to learn more about why you might experience impaired taste.
Impaired taste can refer to the absence of taste. It can also refer to an altered sense, such as a metallic taste in the mouth.
The temporary interruption of smell you experience during a cold or other respiratory illness can impair your sense of taste.
Many common conditions
- the common cold
- sinus infections
- throat infections, such as strep throat and pharyngitis
- salivary gland infections
- an infection with Covid-19.
Certain nutritional deficiencies can cause impaired taste.
Some medications can cause changes in the way that food tastes or
Certain types of medications
Medications that may lead to changes in taste include:
In addition to increasing the risk of chronic conditions and respiratory issues, smoking can also cause changes in taste.
According to the
Issues with dentures can also cause impaired taste. In fact, one study
Disorders of the nervous system
Other conditions that can cause impaired taste
The senses of taste and smell are closely linked. The flavors in food can be tasted because of a combination of your ability to smell and taste.
Sometimes, your taste buds may function just fine, but your sense of smell is the problem.
A doctor might send you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist, called an otolaryngologist, to determine if you have a smell disorder.
Treating the underlying condition that causes your impaired sense of taste can help restore your taste. Bacterial sinusitis, salivary gland infections, and throat infections can be treated with antibiotics.
Nutritional deficiencies that cause impaired taste can also be treated with supplements or changes to your diet.
A doctor may prescribe medications to minimize the effects of a nervous system disorder or an autoimmune disease that causes impaired taste.
Most often, lifestyle changes are all you need to improve your sense of taste. If you smoke, quitting smoking can allow you to taste your food fully. After quitting smoking, people usually begin to regain their sense of taste within 1 week.
Proper dental hygiene can also reverse an impaired sense of taste caused by gum disease.
You can eliminate plaque from your mouth, protect your teeth from disease and decay, and help regain your full sense of taste through brushing and flossing.
Here are answers to additional questions about impaired taste.
What does impaired taste mean?
Taste impairment means that there is an issue with your sense of taste. The term may be used to refer to changes in the way food tastes or the absence of taste altogether.
What causes impaired taste?
Impaired taste can be caused by smell disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and some medications. Smoking, gum inflammation, and certain types of infections or other health conditions can also cause impaired taste.
How do you fix taste impairment?
It’s important to treat the underlying condition that is causing impaired taste, which may require certain medications or lifestyle changes. A doctor can help identify the cause of impaired taste and determine the best course of treatment based on your needs.
Many factors can alter your sense of taste, including certain conditions, nutritional deficiencies, and medications.
If you’re experiencing changes in taste, a doctor can help evaluate the cause of your symptoms and the most appropriate treatment.
Taking medications as prescribed or making other recommended lifestyle changes may also help improve your sense of taste.