Vape tongue: Yes! It’s real!
By Herbert M. Green
For a long time, I was a fervent ‘vape tongue denier’. I always thought it was my equipment or a bad batch of e-juice; I would usually blame the manufacturer. Nevertheless, after more than one brush with the dreaded condition, followed by some extensive research on the subject, I have to admit I can no longer deny its existence. Yes my fellow vapers, unfortunately, vape tongue is very real! Don’t despair, though; there are ways to remedy this wretched phenomenon.
Don’t run off to the doctor just yet!
First off, I need to clarify a few things before I continue; the term ‘vape tongue’ isn’t entirely correct. The correct term is “Olfactory fatigue” or in our case “Vaper’s fatigue”. You see, the tongue isn’t the only culprit in the disappearance of flavor from your precious e-juice. The nose, or better yet sense of smell, has a big part to play in this vaper drama. When it comes to olfactory senses, the nose and the taste buds on your tongue work in concert to tell your brain what it is you are tasting, so from now on, I will refer to the condition as “Vaper’s fatigue” or VF for short.
Second of all, it’s not a serious condition. It’s a temporary situation and happens to the best of us. If all else fails, giving it time or laying off that e-juice flavor for a while will remedy the situation in most cases. If not and you, let’s say, can’t taste or smell anything at all for at least a year, there is something a lot more serious going on and you should go and see a doctor. For the rest of us; keep calm and read on.
Lastly, I would like to add that it is important to check your vaping gear before you go nuts trying to cure yourself of vaper’s fatigue. The proper use and maintenance of your mod, tank, coils and wicking have as much to do with the overall flavor experience as your taste buds. For the purpose of this article, though, I will assume you have all your ducks in a row when it comes to the technical details of vaping, and I will focus solely on the physical aspect of vaper’s fatigue.
“Most of the time, though, VF happens to vapers who have only recently made the switch from smoking and to vaping”
The how and why
The simplest way to describe why and how we get VF is that it is some type of sensory adaptation where the brain dials down the volume on the olfactory senses when it gets too much of the same stimuli. It kind of desensitizes itself to prevent a permanent sensory overload and make room for new stimuli. As is usually the case after we eat something spicy or otherwise intense or extreme flavors.
Having said that, it stands to reason that vapers fatigue happens most often when you vape too much of the same e-juice, but it could also be because of something you ate or drank beforehand. A minty e-juice flavor, for instance, might not taste as good right after you drank some OJ. After you’ve stuffed your face with kebab and a full helping of garlic sauce, no e-juice will taste very good.
Sometimes certain medications can have an adverse effect on our sense of taste and smell. If you’re getting over a cold or just caught one, your nose might be clogged up which could explain the VF you’re experiencing. Or, it could also mean that you are dehydrated. A dry mouth and throat can wreak havoc on the taste buds.
Most of the time, though, VF happens to vapers who have only recently made the switch from smoking and to vaping. Smoking does our olfactory senses no amount of good, and it takes quite a while for them to revert back to optimal performance.
What can we do against vapers fatigue?
Let us get to the nitty gritty of the matter; What can we do to combat this nasty spot of bother? Here is a list of things you could try:
1: Give it time.
You might not want to hear this because if you are like me you want to vape 24/7, but the most surefire method of getting rid of VF is putting down your mod or pen for a few days. It varies from person to person but two or three days usually does the trick. Your brain just needs some time to reset itself.
Try switching to a different flavor. If you, for instance like to vape bakery- or the full bodied-flavors of the dessert spectrum but they’re losing their punch, grab a fruitier flavor instead. I do realize that this might not be a solution for everyone, seeing as some people are very single-minded when it comes to the flavor of their e-juice. (For me it’s Caramel Donuts all the way, baby!)
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons (after smoking) for VF. Drinking lots of fluids is a good idea in general, but it is especially good when you are vaping like the beast that you are. The process of vaping also detracts moisture from our olfactory organs that needs moisture to function properly.
4: Good oral hygiene
Brush your teeth more often! I’m starting to run the risk of sounding like your wise old nanny, but oral bacteria really does affect our ability to taste. So, take a swig of mouthwash and don’t forget to wait a while before you start creating your own weather system again!
5: Cleanse your palate
There are a few ways you can reset your taste buds, most common are eating a piece of white bread, a bland unsalted cracker or sniffing (no snorting, you buffoon!) fresh coffee grounds. Other methods are rinsing your mouth with sparkling water and a spritz of mint or lemon since mint and citrus fruits are great palate cleansers in general. Some people even swear by munching on tart apples or gulping down pickle water (yuk!)
6: Steep your juice
Again with the waiting!? Yup, I don’t like it any more than you do but letting your e-juice steep over time does the overall flavor a lot of good.
I hope that one or more of these suggestions will help you to regain the savory aroma of your favorite cloud making liquids and if they do, please let me know in the comment section below.