The sensations of taste and smell are related, so many disorders of the sense of taste are associated with a decreased or impaired sense of smell. These taste disorders can range from obstructions in or damage to the nose to damage to the brain and nervous system in general. The most common pure taste disorder is a phantom taste sensation; this is the perception of a "bad taste in the mouth" that does not go away. The decreased ability to taste certain types of foods is known medically as hypogeusia; the absence of taste entirely is termed ageusia. Dysgeusia refers to the presence of a metallic, rancid, or foul taste in the mouth. Taking certain medications can also interfere with the ability to taste. Some loss of taste sensation also occurs during the normal aging process, so elderly people may complain of decreased ability to taste foods. Sometimes, having a cold, sinus infection, strep throat, or upper respiratory infection can result in a decrease in taste sensation.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
United States. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. National Institutes of Health. "Taste Disorders." July 2009. <http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/smelltaste/taste.asp>.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
25 Effects of Smoking on Your Looks and Life
What are the effects of smoking tobacco? Besides and increased risk of smoking related diseases, smoking can affect your looks...
Cold & Flu Quiz: Influenza vs. Common Cold
Aches? Pain? Fever? This Cold & Flu Quiz tests your knowledge on the difference between coming down with the common cold and...
Common Cold Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take this quiz to learn the truth behind the infectious, contagious, uncomfortable disease known as the common cold. Test your...
Nasal Irrigation: Natural Relief for Cold & Allergy Symptoms
Nasal irrigation can relieve sinus symptoms associated with colds & allergies. Learn how nasal irrigation can help unclog sinuses...
Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu
What natural remedies work for the flu and common cold? Many claim cold symptoms and flu symptoms can be relieved with Echinacea,...
Smoking Quiz: How to Quit Smoking
You know it's time you quit smoking. Learn the myths and facts about quitting smoking with the Smoking Quiz. When it comes to...
Causes of Loss of Taste Sensation
Bell's Palsy (Facial Nerve Problems) Paralysis Causes and Treatments
Bell's palsy is one type of facial nerve paralysis. The 7th cranial nerve controls the muscles of the face, and although...
Brain Tumor (Symptoms, Signs, Types, Causes, Survival Rates)
A brain tumor can be either non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant), primary, or secondary. Common symptoms of a primary...
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache,...
Gum disease is caused by plaque and may result in tooth loss without proper treatment. Symptoms and signs of gum disease...
Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest,...
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms...
Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease involving the abnormal production of extra antibodies that attack the glands and...
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or...
Sore throat (throat pain) usually is described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused...
Strep Throat (Treatment, Causes, Home Remedies)
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat. Signs and symptoms of strep throat include headache, nausea,...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
The most common taste disorder is phantom taste perception; that is, a lingering, often unpleasant taste even though you have...
There are a variety of diseases and conditions that can cause tongue problems, discoloration, and soreness. Though most tongue...
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
An upper respiratory infection is a contagious infection of the structures of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the...
Other Causes of Loss of Taste Sensation
Examples of Medications for Loss of Taste Sensation
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter