BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuTaste - impairedLoss of taste; Metallic taste; Dysgeusia; HypogeusiaTaste impairment means there is a problem with your sense of taste. Problems range from distorted taste to a complete loss of the sense of taste. A complete inability to taste is rare. Considerations The tongue can detect sweet, salty, sour, savory and bitter tastes. Much of what is perceived as "taste" is actually smell. People who have taste problems often have a smell disorder that can make it hard to identify a food's flavor. (Flavor is a combination of taste and smell.)Taste problems can be caused by anything that interrupts the transfer of taste sensations to the brain. It can also be caused by conditions that affect the way the brain interprets these sensations.No audio descriptionWith audio descriptionRelated video goes here for no-HTML5 browsersRelated video goes here for no-HTML5 browsers Causes The sensation of taste often decreases after age 60. Most often, salty and sweet tastes are lost first. Bitter and sour tastes last slightly longer. Taste often decreases after age 60As you age, the way your senses (hearing, vision, taste, smell, touch) give you information about the world changes. Your senses become less sharp, ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Causes of impaired taste include:Bell palsy Bell palsyBell palsy is a disorder of the nerve that controls movement of the muscles in the face. This nerve is called the facial or seventh cranial nerve. D...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Common cold Common coldThe common cold most often causes a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms....Read Article Now Book Mark Article Flu and other viral infections FluThe flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. It spreads easily. This article discusses influenza types A and B. Another type of the flu ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Nasal infection, nasal polyps, sinusitis Nasal polypsNasal polyps are soft, sac-like growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses.Read Article Now Book Mark Article SinusitisSinusitis is present when the tissue lining the sinuses become swollen or inflamed. It occurs as the result of an inflammatory reaction or an infect...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pharyngitis and strep throat PharyngitisPharyngitis, or sore throat, is discomfort, pain, or scratchiness in the throat. It often makes it painful to swallow.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Strep throatStrep throat is a disease that causes a sore throat (pharyngitis). It is an infection with a germ called group A streptococcus bacteria.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Salivary gland infections Salivary gland infectionsSalivary gland infections affect the glands that produce spit (saliva). The infection may be due to bacteria or viruses. There are 3 pairs of major ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Head traumaOther causes are:Ear surgery or injury Sinus or anterior skull base surgery Heavy smoking (especially pipe or cigar smoking) Injury to the mouth, nose, or head Mouth dryness Medicines, such as thyroid drugs, captopril, griseofulvin, lithium, penicillamine, procarbazine, rifampin, clarithromycin, and some drugs used to treat cancer Swollen or inflamed gums (gingivitis) GingivitisGingivitis is inflammation of the gums.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Vitamin B12 or zinc deficiency Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. After the body uses these vitamins, leftover amounts leave the bo...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Home Care Follow your health care provider's instructions. This may include changes to your diet. For taste problems due to the common cold or flu, normal taste should return when the illness passes. If you smoke, stop smoking. When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your provider if your taste problems do not go away, or if abnormal tastes occur with other symptoms. What to Expect at Your Office Visit The provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions, including:Physical examDuring a physical examination, a health care provider studies your body to determine if you do or do not have a physical problem. A physical examinat...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Do all foods and drinks taste the same? Do you smoke? Does this change in taste affect the ability to eat normally? Have you noticed any problems with your sense of smell? Have you recently changed toothpaste or mouthwash? How long has the taste problem lasted? Have you been sick or injured recently? What medicines do you take? What other symptoms do you have? (For example, appetite loss or breathing problems?) When is the last time you went to the dentist? If the taste problem is due to allergies or sinusitis, you may get medicine to relieve a stuffy nose. If a medicine you are taking is to blame, you may need to change your dose or switch to a different drug.A CT scan or MRI scan may be done to look at the sinuses or the part of the brain that controls the sense of smell.Open ReferencesReferencesAlwani MM, Makki FM, Robbins KT. Physiology of the oral cavity. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 86.Baloh RW, Jen JC. Smell and taste. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 399.Doty RL, Bromley SM. Disturbances of smell and taste. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022: chap 19.AllVideoImagesTogRelated Information Stimulus(Special Topic) Review Date: 2/1/2021 Reviewed By: Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.