Harvard Men's Health Watch

Loss of sense of taste

Q. I have noticed that my sense of taste has weakened with aging. Is this normal?

A. The intensity of your sense of taste may weaken as you get older. In some cases, the change is associated with medical conditions—some treatable, some not.

Taste may dull because of a decrease in the size and number of taste buds, which are located on bump-like projections on the tongue called papillae. Diminished production of saliva—related to wearing dentures and certain medications—can worsen the problem. Many people first notice loss of sensitivity to sweet and salty tastes, while bitter and sour tastes remain unaffected.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »