I keep losing my taste. The first time it happened was a week after my dental cleaning and exam in November. I tested negative for Covid. I got the test, although I didn’t have symptoms. Everything I Google about the loss of taste comes up with Covid articles, but that is not the problem. This has been going on for about four months now. Sometimes I lose it entirely, and other times, it’s impaired. I didn’t know whether to call my doctor or my dentist, so I called the dentist. I told the receptionist what was going on, and she asked me if I had a Covid test. I explained that I didn’t have the problem until after my last dental visit. I was planning on getting my teeth whitened in February and then one veneer in the spring for a chipped tooth, but I don’t want to do anything that might make things worse. My sister told me I should go straight to the doctor, not the dentist. Which is best? Thank you! Savannah
Savannah – Thanks for your question. We understand your concern. There are a lot of causes for losing your taste.
Did Your Dental Visit Cause Loss of Taste?
A dental visit does not cause loss of taste. Although your symptoms began after your last dental visit, it is likely a coincidence. So, what causes loss of taste?
What Causes Loss of Taste Other than COVID?
Other than COVID, some factors that can impair your taste or cause you to lose it are listed below:
- Medication – Some antibiotics, antihistamines, and certain other medicines can impair your taste or cause you to lose your taste.
- Dental problems – Gum disease and inflammation or infections in the mouth can impair your taste.
- Exposure to certain chemicals – Chemicals, including insecticides and solvents, can affect your taste.
- New products – Reaction to a new toothpaste or mouthwash can cause loss of taste.
- Neurological condition – Certain neurological disorders can affect your taste.
- Head injury – Trauma to your head can damage or severe the nerves related to taste.
- Smoking – Smoking can impair your taste, but taste returns for most people who quit smoking.
- Respiratory, ear, or other infections – Respiratory, ear, and nasal infections can impair taste or cause loss of taste.
- Radiation treatment – Extensive radiation treatment to the head and neck—particularly for cancer treatment—can cause loss or impairment of taste.
- Aging – Taste can become impaired as we age.
A visit to your dentist will determine whether your oral health affects your taste. If necessary, your dentist will refer you to your doctor. Also, talk to your dentist about your plans for teeth whitening and a porcelain veneer for your chipped tooth to get recommendations on when it is safe to begin treatment.
Barrington, Illinois, accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. James Gavrilos sponsors this post.