Of all the human senses it is taste that most consistently provides us with pleasure. It’s a sense that brings us satisfaction throughout the day and even can fill our dreams. But taste is more than a source of pleasure, it is also one of our most important natural defense mechanisms. With it we can detect food that has gone bad or if something might be poisonous. So, if our sense is compromised it cannot only impact our enjoyment of life but it can even place us in harm’s way.
From a medical perspective, a change in or loss of the sense of taste is often not an issue with our taste buds but is indicative of an issue in another area of our body. For instance, most of us have experienced a partial loss of our ability to taste food, called hypogeusia, when we have a cold. This is because our nasal passages our blocked and our ability to perceive flavor is impacted by our inabilty to smell. This type of taste change is likely to be a temporary situation that will correct itself but if you experience a long term change in your sense of taste or have developed a phantom taste in your mouth, it is important that you get your condition assessed.