Vaper’s Tongue: Causes and Cures

Whether you have been vaping for a while, or you just recently started vaping, you have no doubt noticed that every once and a while, all of your vape’s flavor just disappears along with your level of enjoyment. This is generally referred to as “vaper’s tongue,” or less commonly “vape tongue” or “vaper fatigue.” There are several potential causes of vaper’s tongue, including dehydration, old equipment in need of replacement or rebuilding, and flavor shock (or tasting too many flavors at once). With that in mind, there are a few methods of reducing or eliminating the unwanted effects of vaper’s tongue.

Causes of Vaper’s Tongue


Probably the most common cause of vaper’s tongue is dehydration. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, both used in the manufacturing of e-liquids, are known for their ability to absorb moisture. Constantly inhaling vaporized PG and VG will therefore result in dry or “cotton” mouth, over an extended period of time as the moisture is slowly leeched out of your mouth. This effect can be amplified if you are already in a dehydrated state.

Flavor Shock

Depending on your method of vaping (i.e. whether you use a rebuildable atomizer or a tank system such as the VaporFi Volt Tank) you might find yourself switching flavors frequently. Over time, this practice can result in your taste buds becoming “burnt.” We have found that this effect can intensify if the flavors being used are similar to each other. Switching between three or four dessert flavors can result in taste bud burn out faster than can switching between a dessert flavor, a tobacco flavor, and a fruit flavor. Also, because your olfactory sense is so closely related to your sense of taste, an overabundance of odors/aromas can yield the same “flavor shock” results.

Old or Faulty Hardware

Wicking material eventually becomes burned and unusable during the process of vaping. Atomizer coils used to heat e-liquid in order to convert it to vapor will slowly burn the cotton or other wicking material in your atomizer until the individual flavors of your juices are indistinguishable from a harsh, burnt flavor. Also, the metal wire used to make the coils can become oxidized over time, reducing their ability to create an even heat, which is necessary for e-cigarettes to work properly. The lower resistance at which your atomizer is rated, the hotter the coils will get and the faster your hardware will need replacement.

Cure Vaper’s Tongue


Keeping yourself hydrated at all times is not only beneficial to your overall health, it will allow your taste buds to work at full capacity, making vaper’s tongue less likely to occur. Also, long exposure to e-cigarette vapor can form a slight, oily film to cover the tongue and a large portion of your taste buds. Increased water intake can help wash this film away. Studies from reputable, scientific/medical organizations (such as the Mayo Clinic) have repeatedly shown that increasing one’s intake of hydrating liquids can stave off dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and more. Essentially, there are no good reasons not to hydrate as often as possible.

Cleanse Your Palate

All connoisseurs of food, wine, cigars, etc. understand the importance of cleansing the palate before, during, and after taste-related activities. There are several popular and proven palate cleansers which can be used to effectively “reset” your taste buds in preparation for a new (or improving continuous) vaping experience. Water itself is a great palate cleanser, particularly cold water, and can also help with the aforementioned hydration problem. Dark chocolate has always been a favorite of ours and many of the more accomplished vapers swear by its palate cleansing qualities. Coffee, tea, lemon, and milk are also useful for cleansing your palate. The overall goal of this is to clear away any residual flavors which can inevitably interfere with subsequent flavors during your vaping activities.

Clean Your Mouth

The importance of brushing one’s teeth, tongue, inner cheeks, and gums cannot be understated. Aside from the obvious dental benefits, the cleansing of one’s mouth is essential to enjoying the maximum flavor experience of any food, drink, or e-liquid. We suggest brushing three times per day, paying careful attention to scrubbing the tongue, roof of the mouth, the insides of your cheeks, and gums. Some e-cigarette users suggest gargling with mouthwash as well.

Cut Down on Flavor Switching

If you have a banana cream pie, creme brulee, and vanilla custard flavor, through which you cycle regularly, you will inevitably find that these flavors will start to blend together and become indistinguishable from each other. Try to stick to one flavor for a longer period of time if you prefer e-liquids with similar qualities. Alternatively, when you do decide to switch flavors, try a flavor that is significantly different from the previous one. For example, if you are vaping vanilla custard, try switching to a menthol melon instead of the creme brulee. We have also found that switching flavors in the morning, especially after brushing and gargling with mouthwash, maximizes the flavor signature of each e-liquid.

Replace Old Hardware

This should go without saying, especially for those who have been vaping for a while, but there is nothing better than a new e-juice on a brand-new atomizer. The new coils and unused wicking material deliver a clean, fresh taste that is impossible to duplicate with any shortcut methods. There are several ways to clean coils with alcohol or other cleaning agents. Cotton can be replaced if you use RDAs. But nothing quite matches the taste of vapor off of fresh, new, clean equipment.

Vaper’s tongue is an annoying side effect of e-cigarette vaping. However, if you understand the causes of vaper’s tongue and you manage your vaping appropriately, you can reduce this uncomfortable effect. Constant and regular hydration is an absolute must! Keep yourself healthy and your mouth clean at all times. Cutting down of the frequency of flavor changes can also help. Lastly, be sure to keep your equipment fresh and clean in order to deliver an optimized vaping experience.

Author: Jason Artman

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  1. When i e vape my tongue gets a little sore . I reduced the level of nicotine down to 12mg but still have this problem Has anybody had this problem and if so what did t6hey do to cure it

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    • Hello Leonard,

      It may be that your atomizer is spitting hot liquid on your tongue. Take a look at the link and see if applies to you.

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  2. Hey this was about a different article but I can’t get back to it. I have a pen mod, I don’t know who it is made by, it was given to me by a friend. I only know the brand of RDA. I used it a lot a feeble months ago and it worked out fantastic. I went out of the country for a month, came back, and my mod didn’t work anymore. I replaced the battery, bought a new charger, and checked all of the connections but it still won’t work. I can get it to fire about 1/50 times, and it’s really disappointing. I really like this mod and would love to be able to use it again, without buying a new one. Any tips on getting my mod to work? Thanks

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Tanner,

      You’re probably referring to our post about fixing mechanical mods.

      If this is your first e-cigarette, we’d strongly suggest getting something else with some built-in safety features. If a mechanical mod isn’t firing, continuing to press the switch over and over could potentially be dangerous.

      If you’re using a mechanical mod with a magnetic switch on the bottom, you can probably eliminate the switch as the cause of the problem because that style of switch basically doesn’t fail. If it has a spring, though, it’s possible that you need to replace the spring.

      Remove the RDA from the mod, and shake the mod gently. Does it rattle? If it does, look for an adjustable pin inside the mod. Twist the pin to tighten the battery connection.

      If the mod doesn’t rattle, the atomizer may be the source of the problem. Confirm that by connecting a tank with a pre-made coil. If the tank works, the RDA is definitely the problem. Don’t attempt to use the RDA with an unregulated mod again until you know why it’s not working. It may have a short. Are you testing every build with a resistance meter?

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  3. Hi, I am going on 2 weeks no cigarettes and using a vape. underneath my tongue hurts so bad, going on 3-4 days i want to say. I’m starting to get worried, not sure if this is a common side effect of a first time vape user or not. any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  4. The inside of my lips burn and my mouth is very dry even though I’m extremely hydrated .some times my taste buds burn.ive been using my juul for about a week will this continue

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    • Yes, and it will even continue when you quit vaping. I quit three months ago and my tongue is still sore. I used JUUL too. I think people have been pretending this is not happening to them too.

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