What Causes Impaired Taste?

Did you know that your sense of taste can be affected by something as simple as the common cold? In fact, there are several reasons your sense of taste can be off. Read through to find out what else can cause impaired taste:


If you contract a cold, the flu or a sinus infection, you might find that the food you eat tastes bland. This is caused by your blocked nasal cavity. Due to the absence of odor information, our brain can’t give us information about flavor, which results in the food tasting bland. Not to worry, though. When your cold clears and your sense of smell is restored, your favorite foods should be full of flavor once again!


It is no secret that smoking is not good for oral health. Not only can it discolor your teeth, but it can severely affect the health of your teeth and gums. Additionally, smoking cigarettes can distort the shape of your taste buds, ultimately diminishing your sense of taste.

Smoking has also been found to distort the sense of smell by damaging your olfactory nerves, which are directly responsible for your sense of smell. As we learned from impaired taste due to a cold, having a distorted sense of smell can inadvertently affect your sense of taste. If you’re hoping to enjoy the flavors of your favorite foods for years to come it is time to quit smoking!

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

In some cases of extreme gum (periodontal) disease, your sense of taste can be distorted. This is the result of the constant presence and build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Proper dental care and hygiene can help alleviate some symptoms of periodontal disease.  

If you are experiencing impaired taste and have questions, contact your dentist.

TruAssureVBA dental plans are administered and underwritten by TruAssure and are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks in all states but North Carolina, where the DenteMax Plus network arrangement includes DenteMax and Connection dental networks.

The information contained above is intended to be educational in nature, does not constitute medical advice, and should not be relied on as a substitute for actual professional medical advice, care or treatment. If you have any vision, dental or other health related concerns, VBA encourages you to immediately contact your optometrist/ophthalmologist, dentist/orthodontist or any other competent, licensed, medical professional.