Are you experiencing a sudden change of taste, and you're wondering what could be the reason? Typically, when you eat, two distinctive aspects coordinate. Your taste buds work on flavors to recognize the four basic tastes: salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. On the other hand, your sense of taste allows you to enjoy the food. If something is wrong with either thing, your sense of taste can go away, and you need to pay attention to the sudden change.
Health experts suggest that taste-related issues could happen due to a possibility of health problems like obesity, poor nutrition, diabetes, nervous system diseases, and high blood pressure. Plus, loss of this sense can discourage you from eating enough to enhance your health, which can weaken your health and immune system. So, it's imperative to know the possible causes of your loss of taste.
Underlying medical conditions could potentially change your taste. Furthermore, your sense of taste can be affected if you have an infection in your throat, sinuses, or infection. A head injury can also tamper with the nerves that coordinate with the sense of smell and taste. Similarly, if you have a dental problem like an abscess in your mouth, it can affect your tasting ability. Another possible cause of taste issues could be a growth that can block your nasal passage.
Other conditions like the nerve system disorder can also alter the brain and mouth's nerves. Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease may change your taste perception. Similarly, non-nervous health disorders, including cancer, can affect your sense of taste, especially in the treatment phase. Basically, any medical complication that affects the mouth, nose, or brain is considered a great contributor to change in taste perception.
As we age, many things change in our bodies, and senses are part of the transformations. As you grow older, it becomes almost impossible to pick up some flavors. In women, this condition may start at the age of about 40, while in men, it occurs in the 50s. Taste buds may also shrink and become less sensitive as you age. Sweet and salty flavors weaken first. Later, you may experience more difficulties in recognizing the taste of sour or bitter. In some people, the sense of smell can weaken, and they may eventually lose it. However, age might not be the sole cause of your taste issues. You and your doctor can consider other factors and check if it's something treatable.
Smoking is another factor that can change your sense of taste and trigger other adverse long-term effects. Harmful chemicals from smoking can affect taste buds' receptors. In research conducted in 2017, experts explored the perception change of taste in former smokers. Initially, participants with high smoking dependence showed decreased taste sensitivity. And as research time progressed, the results indicated notable improvements in taste buds in less than two weeks.
Some medications can change your perception of taste or even alter the function of your taste buds. Some of these medications that alter your sense of taste include those used to manage high blood pressure. Other forms of medications can also alter your taste by causing a dry mouth, affecting the taste buds' function to identify taste chemicals.
Any nerve located between the mouth and the brain is responsible for the perception of flavor and taste bud function. The case of nerve damage on these pathways can contribute to problems in your taste buds. Nerve damage usually occurs as a result of illness or injury. That said, potential causes of nerve injury or damage that can affect your perception of taste may include ear infections, dental procedures, brain trauma, facial nerve dysfunction, ear surgery, and surgical procedures of the mouth.
Simple things like nutrient deficiencies can cause problems with your sense of taste. Notably, malnutrition often causes a deficiency in some minerals and vitamins responsible for the proper functioning of the taste buds. For instance, deficiency in vitamin A, copper, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and zinc can cause a loss of taste.