In the food industry where I am, it is important that you have a good sense of taste. My sense of taste not only allows me to appreciate the taste of each food that comes into my mouth but also identifies the ingredients that are in it. I could not be a food critic if it were not for my keen sense of taste.
Unfortunately, not all people have the normal sense of taste that many of us enjoy. Some people are suffering from taste disorder, causing them to have reduced or total loss of ability to taste different flavors. Some also have temporary or permanent lingering taste such as metal taste in mouth, sweet taste in mouth or salty taste in mouth.
Any type of disorder affecting our taste is something that we cannot easily neglect. Food is part of our daily life and it is vital for our nourishment. An abnormal taste can greatly affect a person’s appetite and overall health; thus, it is a condition that needs immediate medical attention.
There are various reasons why you can suffer from taste disorder. Some of the most common are listed here:
- Dental Problems and Poor Oral Hygiene – Gum disease as well as infections and inflammation in the mouth and inability to brush teeth at least twice daily can cause abnormalities in taste. Certain medications for dental diseases also cause dry mouth which in turn could affect your taste. If you have dental problems and experiencing abnormality in taste, inform your dentist on your next appointment.
- Medications – Some antihistamines and antibiotics have a reputation of leaving a bad taste in the mouth such as a bitter or salty taste. To some extent, they may also cause total loss of taste temporarily. If that happens, inform your doctor of such side effect so that an alternative medicine may be prescribed to you.
- Chemical Exposure – Some toxic chemicals such as solvents, insecticides and pesticides may also impair taste. Contact with any of these chemicals requires emergency attention from your doctor.
- Infection – Flu and other infection affecting the upper respiratory and middle ear may also cause taste disorder.
- Surgeries – Some people may also suffer from taste disorder after undergoing surgery in the throat, ear and nose as well as extraction of the wisdom tooth.
- Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy for patients with cancer in the neck or head may also cause the patient to experience abnormal taste. This is especially true if the therapy is done on the mouth and nose area.
- Head Injury – Previous surgery or trauma to the head can impair your sense of taste because the taste nerves may be cut, blocked or physically damaged.
- Smoking – A significant number of smokers have reported a reduced ability to taste which eventually improves after quitting.
While a small number of people are born with taste disorder, some cases can be prevented by avoiding the factors causing it. Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor if you feel that there is something abnormal about your taste buds. This condition is treatable as long as the underlying cause is identified.