What Causes Impaired Taste?

Did you know that your sense of taste can be affected by something like the common cold? In fact, there are several reasons your sense of taste can be off. We’ve compiled a list of the most common causes of impaired taste.


If you come down with 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 once again be full of flavor!

smiling mouth


We know that smoking is not good for your overall or oral health. Not only can it discolor your teeth, but it can severely affect the health of your teeth and gums. In addition, smoking can also distort the shape of your taste buds, and therefore diminishing your sense of taste.

Smoking has also been found to distort your sense of smell, because it can damage 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.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

In some cases of extreme gum (periodontal) disease, your sense of taste can be distorted. This is from 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, consult 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.