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A wine lover's nightmare


My dentist said, “your story is a bit like The Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly”

Sadly, it feels like all I can taste is dead flies!

The short story is that I want to apologise for my silence, but I can’t taste wine at the moment so have little to share :frowning:

The longer version is a warning!

For the last few months I’ve been acutely aware that my tendency to clench (rather than grind) my teeth and jaw was having a negative impact. I was trying to sing but couldn’t move my mouth properly, plus I was developing head and ear aches.

I thought the time had come to do something positive about this so about 2 months ago I bought a bite guard from Amazon that moulds to your teeth and you wear at night.

I used it for several weeks, but to be honest I noticed little difference but wanted to give it time.

About a month or so ago, I started noticing that everything was tasting salty, even sweet biscuits. I didn’t think too much about it but it started getting worse to the point I wasn’t able to taste much else.

I guessed that I had developed some kind of gum or mouth disease as a result of this mouthguard.

To combat the infection (caused by the device intended to protect my jaw) I then had to take a medicated mouthwash.

As I’ve mentored before I’ve had a bad experience with Corsodyl so tried an alternative. No luck! In fact, the opposite, things got even worse.

Finally, I think I’ve kicked the infection because the salt taste has gone, but the complication is that the mouthwash has completely killed my tongue’s taste buds. I now can’t taste ANYTHING.

I exaggerate slightly. I’ve now stopped the mouthwash and can taste a bit of sweetness and some other sensations are returning. However, wine tastes AWFUL.

All wines taste unbalanced. Whites are flat and mainly remind me of musky white flowers that are past their best. Reds are disgusting, with any tannin immediately killing all other taste, so all I get is cardboard and bark soaked in pond water.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere about getting professional advice from the beginning (not self-diagnosing at each step down the path to disaster), and about looking after your complete health - including mouth!

It is also a warning that when a mouthwash says: “Temporary taste disturbance.” under side-effects, THEY MEAN IT!

So, apologies again for my lack of participation in the drinking and sharing experiences here at the moment - please think of me in my hour of enforced abstinence

EDIT: and of course, to make it all feel so wonderful, once I’ve recovered my taste buds, I will be back at square 1 trying to figure out how to relax my jaw … I suspect the early answer will be to relax more, … with a glass or two of wine


I’m sorry to hear that @robert_mcintosh.
Hopefully your tastebuds will return sooner rather than later.


Very sorry to hear that, wishing you a full and speedy recovery.


Goodness, Robert, that sounds grim. Very best wishes for a speedy recovery. I suspect that clicking on “like” might send the wrong message!

By the way, I’ve heard of that vanishing sense of taste from assorted other causes too - one being cheap pine nuts from the wrong species of pine.


See if you can reinvigorate your mouth and tongue with chewing pineapple- fresh or tinned.


Sorry to hear this: make sure you taste often enough when you recover to make up for it. But perhaps there is a moral here for those participants here who distrust reviewers/experts?


This sounds awful, @robert_mcintosh! :grimacing: my sister suffers from chronic jaw locking and been grinding her teeth ever since I can remember… She is now going through a treatment plan via an orthodontist. I hope you can find a solution, so you can experience less pain. And can enjoy wine again (goes without saying…!). Take care :+1:


Oh no… commiserations… I wish your taste buds a speedy recovery…


That is just awful!
I do know someone who lost all taste around 15 years ago, the was no recovery for her but as yours has a cause hopefully normal service will be resumed toute suite!


Thanks @Taffy-on-Tour - I know there are serious issues that can result in permanent loss but I’m fairly confident mine is temporary

It is interesting though, as am experiment if nothing else, to realise that gum / mouth / tongue issues can mean the exact same wine tastes COMPLETELY different to me compared not only to others, but even to how I would have experienced it 2 months ago.

When someone says ‘I don’t like X’ it makes you wonder whether there are other issues at stake than just choice of wine


I am sorry to hear of your problems. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope that you get to square 1 very soon


@robert_mcintosh So very sorry to hear of your annoying problem, but hoping you’ll soon be on the path to a full recovery - it sounds positive.

I know this isn’t quite the same, but in May last year I caught a virus which really did me in and it took a very long time to get rid of. While I had it, I couldn’t smell anything, which I put down to the blocked nose, sinuses etc.
When the cold like symptoms had worn off, I realised that I had totally lost my sense of smell (but could still taste a bit) - couldn’t even small raw garlic as I was cutting it. It was utterly distressing, as the smell of wine is very important to me. Visions of having to give away my wine reserves only added to the pain, as you can appreciate!

It really made me realise just how much we rely on the senses of taste and smell always being ‘there’. I lost a lot of interest in wine (the horror of it!) and it wasn’t helped by the matter-of-fact statement by the doctor that flu viruses can kill the nerve cells responsible for smell and it may not be temporary… Luckily, through the use of nasal steroids, my sense of smell and enjoyment of wine has returned to normal, but it did take a month or two.

So, a suggestion to everyone out there enjoying a glass this week - get your nose in the best aromatic wine you can and celebrate the fact that you can discern so many flavours from a simple sniff - don’t take it for granted!


Oh no! Get well soon Robert.


Very good advice. Take nothing for granted. We are so lucky we can enjoy wine on a regular basis.

Thanks for sharing, glad you recovered


I’m pretty sure that there are physiological reasons for a lot of flavour preferences - it’s certainly not all a mere question of personal whim. Some flavour perception differences we know already to be genetic, but there must be a lot yet to be discovered. And that is before we start to look at experiences like yours.


Good luck Robert, wish you a speedy recovery.
I lost my sense of smell some years ago for no discernible reason. Didn’t care what I ate or drank; it was all just fuel and tasted pretty strange. Tried various treatments, including steroids. One day it just came back and happily has remained with me ever since. Not a pleasant experience.


Wow. That must have been scary

I guess it must happen a lot

Interestingly enough, I know it isn’t my nose, because I can smell as normal, but in the mouth it dies, so it is definitely focused on my tongue


Interestingly, I have heard it a lot that 80% of taste is actually smell. So much about that urban legend…


What a terrible time you’ve been having Robert! Hope the taste buds are back in working order soon.


Thank you for sharing your experience :pensive: Get well soon

Carpe Diem (Gustare Diem??)