What are the causes of Taste Disorders?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 25, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Taste happenswhen the tiny molecules released while release while chewing.
  • We are born with 10,000 taste buds, but lose them eventually.
  • An injury can very well cause taste disorder to you.
  • Bad oral hygiene is also another factor.


The ability to taste is a great gift of life. To taste different types of foods, to taste your own tear, to taste from with the help of your tongue is bliss. But what if you cannot taste?

We are able to taste when the tiny molecules which we release while chewing, drinking, or digesting the food happens to stimulate special sensory cells in the mouth and the throat. The so called taste cells or what we call gustatory cells happen to be clustered within the taste buds of our tongue and also on the roof of the mouth, and along the lining of our throat. Those tiny little bumps that you see on the tip of your tongue contain taste buds, and we have about 10,000 taste buds at birth, which we start to lose after the age of 50.

taste disorder causes

The most form of taste disorder is known as phantom taste perception. This basically means that a lingering, and unpleasant taste happens to come over your taste buds even though your mouth is actually empty. There would be a reduced ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. You should know that while some people are born with such taste disorders, others happen to get them after an injury.

The Causes of Taste Disorder

Here are some common causes of taste disorders:

•    An infection in the upper respiratory area and the middle ear.
•    If you have experienced radiation therapy for cancers of your head and neck.
•    If you get exposed to certain chemicals such as insecticides, and also certain medications which include antibiotics and antihistamines.
•    If you experience an injury to your head.
•    If you go through surgery of the ear, nose, and your throat. Your wisdom tooth or the third molar can very well cause this.
•    If you have poor oral hygiene and dental problems then you may face the same.

causes of taste disorder

Your taste disorder will get diagnosed by an otolarygologist and it is extremely important to identify and treat the underlying cause of this disorder. Many times it is seen that certain medications are causing this problem in which case you should put a stop to them after consulting your doctor. It has also been seen that correcting the general medical problem can often restore your sense of taste. If you have respiratory infections then resolving this can take care of your taste buds. Lastly, proper oral hygiene is very important for a well functioning sense of taste.

Read more articles on Taste Disorders.
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