Why does my mouth feels weird?
August 13, 2012 3:44 PM   Subscribe

I recently quit using Snus. I have been chewing a lot of gum- mostly cinnamon and mint. Why is my mouth so weird and fuzzy and why can't I taste anything?

I had used about a pack of Snus a day for around 4 years. I haven't changed anything about my diet, I haven't eaten a ton of scalding soups. I am drinking less beer (because I don't need one with the Snus!) but I'm drinking the same amount of water and tea and such.

My mouth is fuzzy, my tongue calls...attention to itself and I end up scraping my teeth/chewing on it. I cannot taste things as well as I could before I quit the Snus.

On Friday I chewed through an entire pack of Cinnamon gum. I think the gum burned off my tastebuds, but I can't tell what's a normal reaction to too much cinnamon gum and what's part the process of quitting Snus and obsessing over what my mouth feels like.
posted by kittensofthenight to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
Are you using sugar free gum or regular? If not sugar free, than that is no doubt the cause of the fuzzy feeling. Not sure about the taste issue though.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:51 PM on August 13, 2012

Yeah, sugar free.
posted by kittensofthenight at 3:53 PM on August 13, 2012

You're essentially detoxing. Give it time. Laying off the gum a bit---not completely, it definitely is useful as a substitute oral fixation---might help.

There's a bunch of diagrams and charts and such of how your body rebounds after you lay off assorted nicotine-containing products. Go look for some, they'll both give you an idea of how long it'll be before your tongue and mouth are likely to start feeling less weird and cheer yourself on in the whole quitting process.*

* hopefully. anti-smoking propaganda mostly makes me want to smoke more, but you're not a smoker, and i'm not a snus-er. ymmv.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 3:54 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Whenever I 'burn my tastebuds' with salty, hot or abrasive foods, it takes a couple days to return to normal. I'd imagine a lot of mint or cinnamon would have the same effect.
posted by cranberrymonger at 4:11 PM on August 13, 2012

Whenever I buy cinnamon gum, I go through the whole pack in about two hours. And yeah, it sort of dulls out your mouth -- I think it's because cinnamon is an irritant, so it just overloads your mouth's sensitivity. And yeah, it wears off eventually.

Can't speak to the snus part, but certainly this sounds normal to me.
posted by hermitosis at 4:12 PM on August 13, 2012

Cinnamon gum'll do that.

In junior high I was sort of obsessed with cinnamon candies and gum - Hot Tamales, Red Hots, Big Red, etc.

After enough of that, I had no sense of taste.

It was weird.

I stopped eating so much junk candy and gum. It went away.
posted by Sara C. at 4:24 PM on August 13, 2012

I saw this food network candy show several years ago where they showed mike and ikes being created. It was a great show, but what stuck with me was the addition of cinnamon flavor. They make 1000's in a batch and pour it into what looks like a medium sized concrete mixer. The cinnamon has to be concentrated to get each of them to their individual cinnamony level. I remember the worker pouring in the conc. cinnamon was in a full hazmat suit. Respirator and all. I'm not sure if they use cinnamic acid and dye it red or what, but my eyes were opened during that segment.

I've always been sensitive to cinnamon gum. I get the same reaction you do. When I saw that episode I chalked it up to the cinnamon is just a little too potent for my tongue.
posted by danep at 4:29 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Last time I chewed through a pack of cinnamon gum (Trident), my tongue felt swollen and sensitive - similar to if I had burnt it on some hot food.

So on one hand I have to say don't do that. But on the other hand it's so yummy and cinnamonny! I don't have a satisfactory resolution to this dilemma.
posted by aubilenon at 5:05 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, and it took three or four days for it to recover.
posted by aubilenon at 5:30 PM on August 13, 2012

Every time I chew cinnamon gum, my sense of taste is dulled. To the point that I try to avoid cinnamon gum for at least an hour before mealtimes. Otherwise, I can't taste my food at all.
posted by Foam Pants at 5:33 PM on August 13, 2012

Thanks. Wooosh.

I think I can comfortably blame the cinnamon gum. I'll learn to switch it up and hopefully learn to not need something in my mouth all the time. (that's what she... sorry)

Thanks for calming me down. I haven't seen nearly as much writing about quitting Snus or chewing tobacco, so I wasn't sure what to expect after the initial chemical withdrawal.
posted by kittensofthenight at 5:57 PM on August 13, 2012

When I quit smoking earlier this year I learnt the hard way that cinnamon contains a chemical which acts as an anaesthetic* and the chemical that gives cinnamon its distinct flavour and smell can actually burn the skin.

When it comes to quitting and taste? There are still days, like this past week, where everything I eat has no flavour and other times where it seems like I'm tasting things for the first time ever. Others who been quit for longer have told me to give it at least a year to get my sense of taste back.

*The same chemical is also found in cloves
posted by squeak at 5:59 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

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