Uh Oh…

Panic set in more than once today. While I can’t be 100% sure what happened exactly, I have my suspicious and I can definitely tell you what has happened.

I lost most of my tasting abilities.

Well, hopefully it won’t be permanent, but let me tell you, it is such an important sense. My suspicion is that Listerine caused it. I started using Listerine only two days ago since I decided I would be too lazy to floss all the time at school. Listerine seemed like a good alternative, even though it is no longer allowed to market itself as a replacement for floss. Either way, it seemed pretty effective at what it does. It definitely burned a lot more than the Scope I had used before. It burned to the extent that I started worrying if it was right.

I discovered I had lost this important sense a bit after lunchtime today. We were in a rush to get to class so I bought a piece of pizza and a bottle of lemonade. As I was eating the pizza, I found it lacked much taste. I chalked it up to crappy cafeteria pizza, but when I popped open the lemonade and took a drink, that was also eerily missing something that makes it what it is. By this point, I started wondering why I wasn’t really tasting the lemonade. I seemed to be able to taste a little bit towards the back of my tongue, but since the sweet tastebuds are towards the front of the tongue, I was getting very little, if not no taste of the lemonade. It was sort of like drinking water.

Then to test my suspicion that I wasn’t able to taste, I ate some chocolate and chewed some gum. Neither of them had much taste. Uh oh. Something wasn’t right. And let me tell you, it’s weird to not be able to taste much of anything. I sat there eating at dinnertime and I realized just how weird the texture of certain foods are. When you have the ability to taste, the taste is usually what you focus on with the texture coming in second to the senses. Well, since I was lacking the former, the latter was that much more pronounced. Let me tell you, some of this stuff that I normally love to eat felt absolutely disgusting in my mouth. Case in point: Reeses Pieces. The outside felt like wax and when I bit through that, the inside was sort of a mushy paste (makes sense). Actually, most things today ‘tasted’ like flavorless wax. Needless to say I didn’t eat much at all. I have no idea how to get my tastebuds back in order.

For now though, I think I’ll skip the Listerine and see if my taste comes back after a while. Flossing is definitely worth having the ability to taste things. Permanent loss of taste would probably make me just want to kill myself/drink nutrient shakes for the rest of my life.


37 Replies to “Uh Oh…”

    1. Holy crap… The same thing is happening to me right this moment… I’m returning that shit. It’s not worth living without taste…

      1. I used the listerine toothpaste and when my food tasted boring and everyone else found it to be salty I put a dab of salt on my tongue, NOTHING! It was like eating coarse sand OMG

  1. Your taste buds should return within a few days. In the meantime, I suggest eating more things and filling us in on the texture! Haha.

  2. Hey that happened to me as well, can you please email me and tell me if your taste came back and when because this is really freaking me out!!

    1. I ate a can of wasabi peas over 2the days and for the life of ne, I can taste NOTHING. When will my taste return? I am completely freaked out. I cannot taste even the strongest if foods such as garlic stuffed olives, anchovies and even sardines. This is driving me nuts. Does anyone know if a remedy ti this problem now that the damage is done? I love those little suckers but NEVER again will I eat them. Any help wld b greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Grace

      1. Finally after 4 days of no taste due to my wasabi pea incident, I am able totaste again. That will never happen again I assure u as they tire up my stomach at both terse and gave me heartburn for 3awhile days. They r a good little snack and I love them but it is NOT worth the consequences. U can promise ya that!!!

  3. This happened to me too… Can someone please tell me how long it took them to get their tase back. I’m going on a week now and it’s pretty ghey

  4. It actually came back after a couple days. A week seems a little lengthy, although it probably depends on the extent you damaged the taste buds. (if that is even what happened, although it would be a pretty weird coincidence that this all started with the Listerine and ended with me stopping)

  5. The same thing happened to me. I googled it to confirm, but yes… I have no taste buds left! I’ll have to switch to another brand…

  6. I also started to use listerine recently. Yesterday while I was eating left over sushi with soy sauce and wasabi, it wasn’t tasty at all… All that I remember was that the soy sauce was way tooo salty but everything else was blah… bland. In the evening though my taste buds came back and I could enjoy my dinner. This morning my tongue feels burnt and numb. I wonder if using Listerine will have long term effects.

  7. i’m surprised this is the only place where i’ve found anything like this… I’ve recently fallen victim to the “Listerine’s burned away a strip of my taste buds” thing, and my lovely boyfriend seems to think i’m delusional and that it’s a fluke… Tell me though: is it just Listerine, or does this happen with other mouthwashes? Has anyone directly contacted the company to complain or ask if this is common?

  8. btw: i just tried one of the Lindt chocolate balls filled with creme, and inside tasted like I was licking tasteless wax/plastic creme. Think Vaseline/some other oil based paste. eww…

  9. Yeah, and as you can see, there are quite a few people that have run into the same ‘problem’ with Listerine. The only other mouthwash I’ve used is Scope and that hasn’t affected my tastebuds in any way. Granted, it doesn’t seem to be as strong as Listerine though. As far as I know, there’s been no long term effects on my tastebuds, but I did stop using it after that initial scare.

    I haven’t contacted them directly, but perhaps it would be smart to do so, and with some other ‘testimonials’ here in the comments, I think it may carry some more weight. I’ll look into it.

  10. I have the same problem now – but it wasn’t from listerine (even though that had caused another problem) but yeah I had an overload of wasabi peas the day before and now i can’t taste the sweetness of anything near the front & middle of my tongue or salt either… it must’ve been burnt… the symptoms only showed up the next morning though… scary yeah i’d really hate to lose those senses

  11. I’ve been using Listerine citrus flavored, and the generic brand citrus kind for months now, and about 10-15 times a day! I ran out, and my wife bought me the original scope brand and after I rinsed with that one time, I couldn’t taste anything, and I still can’t taste anything now! It’s been 3 days now since I’ve used scope, and I’m not noticing any difference in tasting ability. Is there anything special to rejuvenate taste buds? I wonder if I can taste a 9V battery… maybe I’ll torture them for quitting on me. haha nah, really, I dunno what I’m going to do!

  12. Interesting, you lost your taste buds with Scope, as opposed to Listerine. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do either. I’m not familiar with the anatomy of taste buds. 😛 It was a few days before I could start tasting things again, but I think they’ll come back naturally, as they did for me.

    Hopefully it’s no different for you!

  13. OMG, I thought I was imagining things.

    The dental hygienist had suggested I used Listerine. I held off for weeks out of concern the alcohol content couldn’t be a good thing.

    But after becoming very concerned that my gingivitis was worsening, I relented and started using it. Because it was effective, I thought my troubles were over.

    Then all of a sudden, I lost all taste. At first, I thought it was a fluke but when it kept happening, I realized that the listerine had to be the culprit. I stopped and the taste I had has returned.

    Has anyone who was told this to use this by their dentist reported this problem? And if so, what was the reaction?


  14. yea this just happened to me too and it sucks. we should complain because there should be some kind of warning against this on the back of the bottle

  15. Wow, I found this blog because I’m freakign out due to having seemingly destroyed my taste buds by chowing down on a heap of wasabi coated dry peas last night. Today my tongue taste buds are non existant and I fully feel the same as everyone else who complained about the texture of foods when the flavour is gone LOL!! But jokes aside, your taste buds came back, right? Cos’ I’m kinda freaking out right now 🙂

  16. Haha, don’t worry, they do come back eventually. I would imagine the length of time would depend on the extent of the damage (or perhaps trauma?) to them.

    To be honest, I’ve never asked a doctor or dentist about this, so I really have no scientific explanation as to what happened or if this is even something that one should get worried about.

    It was certainly worrisome while I went through the ordeal, I’ll say that much!

  17. i used listerine and it burned when i used it i just thought it was working and if you want to have great breath you must endure a little pain then my tongue felt burnt and i saw it looked red and cracked at the tip and food tastes like my laptop haha

  18. Just had this happen to me. It sucks. I can still taste sharp flavors like really salty or really spicy stuff but anything sweet is just bleh. This hasn’t happened to me before. I used to use the citrus Listerine then I used some but the grocery ran out of it so I decided to get the original yesterday. Now I can’t taste anything.

  19. Ahhh!!!! I thought I was drinking ‘Diet Coke’ but when i realised it wasn’t. I took listerine last 2 days and now I couldn’t taste anything. I really can’t believe it was caused by listerine until I found this forum that so many people has encountered this problem. It seems like relief that someone said that the taste should come back natually however, I am still worried and I never had this before. Since 2006 till now, there are still victims, nothing has been done, am I right to say that? Should I sit down and wait until my taste return?

  20. Kev, don’t stress. Listerine does this to some people, but your full taste senses WILL return. For me it took almost 2 full weeks to fully return. For the whole first week I couldn’t taste anything, but relax, you’ll be ok. Just keep well away from that dreaded Listerine 🙂

  21. Wow. Glad to find this thread. I’m another Wasabi Pea victim. The next day, cereal at breakfast tasted really bland. Then my diet coke tasted really strange. It wasn’t till dinner time I realized that it was something wrong with me. At first I suspected the DC because it tasted so odd, but then realized the wasabi peas must have done it. 4 days now and taste is starting to come back. Thanks for this thread! I was worried the damage might be permanent, but sounds like it isn’t : )

  22. I totally lost my sense of taste from the Listerine toothpaste. I used it for a day and now it has been 2 days since I stopped using it and I still can’t even taste the bitterness of espresso! This is so not cool! I am so taking this toothpaste back!

  23. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I found this thread. I got my lip pierced 4 days ago and the piercer told me to use listerine every time I eat or drink anything and to swish it for 5 minutes. So for the past 4 days I’ve been using it 4 times a day for 5 minutes each! One day I noticed that everything left a soapy taste in my mouth. The next day was better, but everything tasted…dulled. I was afraid somehow the piercing itself was the culprit. Now I know it was the listerine! I’m switching to Scope or sea salt rinse from now on. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m not going to be able to taste anything, I am so depressed! Hopefully my taste comes back before the leftovers go bad!

  24. I lost my taste buds after using listerine zero. I used it off and on for about 3 weeks once a day. It has been about 12 days since I stopped using it and still no taste. I am getting depressed and hungry. The only thing I’ve been able to eat without wanting to gag is ramon noodles. I just want to know if and when my taste will return.

  25. I’m so glad to find this site. I used Listerine twice and now I have no taste or smell at all. It’s really freaking me out, and depressing me, as I’m on holidays. I haven’t used it for just over a day now (threw it in the garbage!) does anyone have an idea of how long it might be before I can smell and taste again? Thanks.

    1. Don’t stress Mitchell your senses will return to normal within a few days or up to a week at most. Freaky though innit!!

    2. Don’t stress Mitchell your senses will return to normal within a few days or up to a week at most. Freaky though innit!!

  26. Thanks – already they are better than what they were and though not 100 per cent, I have a vague idea of what I am eating. BTW, I am planning on writing an article on this: if anyone would like to be interviewed about their experiences please contact me; we need to spread the word.

  27. I am so glad I stumbled across this page….I lost my sense of taste a week ago after using Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste. I noticed my tongue tingling but thought that was normal. Guess not. Got a metallic taste afterwards and now almost no sense of taste. I really hope this returns because I am a HUGE foodie.

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