Losing your sense of taste can be devastating. Imagine taking a bite of your favorite food and not being able to enjoy all those nuances of flavor you love so much.
Problems with your sense of taste are known as “taste disorders.” There are several types of taste disorders with varying symptoms: Some people experience a reduced ability to taste certain flavors, a condition known as hypogeusia, while others report metallic or other foul tastes that linger in their mouths (dysgeusia). Some people lose their sense of taste completely (ageusia).
How Serious Are Taste Disorders?
Besides being frustrating for many people, taste disorders can cause health problems such as loss of appetite and even depression. “When taste is impaired, we tend to eat poorly and socialize less, and our general feel of well-being can be affected,” according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Appetite loss, in turn, can lead to improper nutrition, weight loss, and a weakened immune system.
What Causes Taste Disorders?
Most taste disorders develop as a result of other health conditions. Some of the most common causes of taste disorders include:
- Illness or injury
- Taking certain medications
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dental problems such as gum disease, a tooth abscess, thrush, or dry mouth
In some cases, changes to your sense of taste can be caused by a smell disorder, rather than a taste disorder.
How We Treat Taste Disorders
Diagnosing and treating a taste disorder can require visits to your dentist as well as your primary care physician, who also may refer you to an otolaryngologist (better known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist or ENT).
At Cornerstone Dental, we’ll give you a thorough dental examination to determine the cause of your taste disorder and the best course of treatment. If we find that poor oral health is to blame, the treatment could be as simple as adjusting your oral hygiene habits (e.g., brushing and flossing better and more often). If your taste disorder is caused by a dental problem such as a tooth abscess, though, you may need a more advanced treatment.
As with any oral health problem, the longer you wait to seek treatment for your taste disorder, the worse it can become. Call Cornerstone Dental today at 304.267.6059 to schedule an appointment.