Sense of Taste After Tonsillectomy

After Tonsillectomy: Sense of Taste

Taste after tonsillectomy or sense of taste are subjects of much discussion on the tonsillectomy forum. The experience of tonsillectomy has rippling effects upon individuals, beginning with the anticipation of surgery and, hopefully, extending long after surgery in improved quality of life. During the first two weeks of recovery, tonsillectomy patients’ daily lives are turned upside down. The daily diet is often limited to liquids and very smooth, soft foods like gelatin. Narcotic pain medications are usually taken several times per day. Sleep is erratic and often fitful. Activity levels are greatly reduced. When the fog of pain, fatigue, and disruption lifts, one of the first irregularities patients complain of is an altered sense of taste. Let’s take a moment to look at tonsillectomy and its effect on sense of taste.

The American Academy of Otalayngology- Head and Neck Surgery describes how taste sensation works as,

Gustatory (taste nerve) cells are clustered in the taste buds of the mouth and throat. They react to food or drink mixed with saliva. Many of the small bumps that can be seen on the tongue contain taste buds. These surface cells send taste information to nearby nerve fibers, which send messages to the brain.

I suggest that several factors contribute to disturbances in a person’s sense of taste after tonsillectomy. Firstly, tonsillectomy surgery itself can cause bruising to the tongue, where taste buds reside. Most patients complain of tongue pain after surgery.

It’s also likely that the post tonsillectomy diet has an impact on the patient’s sense of taste for some time after recovery. Many experts point out that taste buds are in a constant state of growth. As people eat various rough textured foods, small amounts of tissue scrape off and are replaced by new growth. Many believe that the almost liquid diet of most tonsillectomy patients disrupts this process and thus, affects their sense of taste.


Tasting After Tonsillectomy


Still another camp holds that deficiency in zinc after tonsillectomy contributes to these taste disruptions. JOSEPH M. BICKNELL, MD and ROBERT V. WIGGINS, MD published in the Western Journal of Medicine in October of 1988. [Bicknell JM, Wiggins RV: Taste disorder from zinc deficiency after tonsillectomy.West J Med 1988 Oct; 149:457460] They followed two tonsillectomy patients who complained of unpleasant taste sensation after tonsillectomy. The patients complained of changes in their sense of taste after tonsillectomy. They used descriptions like, coppery, or metallic when interviewed. Both had these complaints two months after tonsillectomy surgery. The doctors tested liver and thyroid function, as well as hepatitis. All were normal, but serum zinc levels were low in both patients. They were given 220mg zinc supplements twice per day. Within three weeks, the zinc levels were normal. They reported tastes improving after ten days, and after 22 days, the metallic sensation had ended. I’ve read anecdotal accounts on the tonsillectomy forum from people having success with zinc supplements after tonsillectomy. Ask your doctor before trying the zinc supplement for tonsillectomy and sense of taste.

Considering all the variables, one must also consider the effects of both antibiotics and narcotic pain killers over a two week period on the sense of taste. The FDA does not list taste disturbance as a side effect of either penicillin or hydrocodone. (the two most commonly prescribed medications after tonsillectomy in the U.S.) There has been a connection between the use of oral antibiotics and oral thrush, (Fungal infection – mouth; Candida)

It is very common to experience an altered sense of taste after tonsillectomy. Most people feel that their taste returns to normal within three to six weeks. However some may experience unpleasant taste sensation for several months.

It was truly depressing for me that my favorite cocktail, (the bloody Mary), tasted like something from the planet salt for months after surgery.  Thankfully, within 5 months, my sense of taste was completely back to normal.

123 thoughts on “Sense of Taste After Tonsillectomy”

  1. I am 16 days post op from my tonsillectomy. My throat is still sore and ALL food tastes metallic. There is zero enjoyment in eating. I was a coffee drinker. Loved my 2-3 cups coffee every day. Haven’t had any since Aug 2! I tried a few days ago and had to dump it! It was gross! I am sad and miss it and miss the good taste of good food. Pray with all my heart my normal taste returns soon!

  2. Food just doesnt taste the same after my tonsillectomy im 20 years old and its day12 after my surgery. Foods i loved before taste not right now.

  3. It is reassuring that I am not alone in the taste saga. I also had my tonsils removed on 6/13/18. Taste is slowly coming back, but is definitely not back to the normal. I hope I am not in the six month category 🙁

  4. Thank you Christopher for this information it has made me feel so much better that things will get better .

  5. Its so interesting to read others are going through the same about the sense of taste being out of whack. Thought something was wromg with me. Im 53 and had to tonsils removed due to constant tonsil stones growing deep inside the tonsils. Surgery was 6/13/18 and im managing to eat soft foods. However nothing tastes the same. I crave the taste of something delicious but every thing i drink or try eat tastes awful. Cant wait to get back to tasting food again because for now, its like forcing myself to eat.

  6. Hi Diane,

    Read my reply above. Its the very lengthy one that ends with the name christopher. I hope you will feel reassured that all will be well eventually.

  7. Hello all,

    If you have come across this page, then like most people here you probably are suffering from the unfortunate loss of taste after having a tonsillectomy surgery.

    As I’m writing this it is 18/06/2018. I had my tonsillectomy just over a year ago on 31/05/2017. Today, I just had a biscuit and thought to myself… I CAN totally taste that!!! And with that thought I decided to write this to give you all some encouragement and to assure you that it may be difficult now but – as I experienced – there is light at the end of that tunnel!

    Rewind back to about a month after I had my tonsillectomy, I was absolutely distraught!!! I had had a successful surgery. The tonsils were successfully removed (albeit it being the most agonizing thing I had EVER been thorough – I might make a separate post about the actual surgery). But upon my recovery from the pain and being able to eat normal food again, I discovered – to my horror – that everything I ate was either tasting BLAND, or I could not taste it at all.

    Here are the things I noticed:

    I could not taste sweet things (i.e. Coca Cola, biscuits, chocolates etc). These were all just very bland and I couldn’t register the sweetness at all.

    Savoury foods (which I LIVE for) all tasted very strange! Very distorted from what they should have normally tasted like.
    Ultimately, the process of eating food was just not a pleasant one anymore. Sure, we need to eat to survive but I LOVE eating and not just because I have to. I LOVE the taste of food and the taste accounts for about 80% of the fun of eating. You can imagine then how sad and upset I was about this.

    I researched as much as I could to find something… ANYTHING that would help. But it was not easy. I found in my medical pack from when I had the surgery that recovery time from this issue does vary depending on the person. For some it can be 6 weeks… for others 6 months… And for very few up to 18 – 24 month. You can only imagine my horror!

    So you all might want to know HOW LONG TILL I TASTE AGAIN THEN? Well, my manager who had the same surgery about 2 months before I did had hardly any problem at all. She said that her only issue was that she couldn’t taste wine after the surgery, but this cleared up after about a month. That was it!!!

    For me – on the other hand – it took a while. I know for a FACT that for at least 3 months, I could not taste things well. But, slowly the taste began to come back. Savoury foods slowly but surely started to taste like normal again. I know that sweet foods took longer (e.g., it took a while before I could enjoy Haagen Daz Cookies & Cream again). But I can assure you, I do now.

    So my message to you all is this…

    There was a time about 2 – 3 months after my surgery, when I was CERTAIN that I wasn’t going to taste food as I used to. It was challenging and frankly, quite possibly the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in life! But, please be reassured that it WILL get better. For me, thankfully it didn’t take as long as I could have done. I believe that EVERYONE will have this issue if you’ve had a tonsillectomy, but I also believe that EVERYONE will recover from it (unless there truly was a complication during the surgery). You might not even realise that it has got better. For a while, I was questioning whether I could actually taste things again or whether I was just used to the fact that I can’t taste. Thankfully, I can report that it’s the former and not the latter.


    If you do go through it though….. Hold your head!!! You WILL get through this rough stage. Remain positive and before you realise it your taste will come back. Everyone is different, so everyone will experience different recovery times. BUT YOU WILL RECOVER!!!
    And lastly, I will like to encourage you to write about your experience when you do recover just to add variety and to let people know how long it took you.

    Thanks… and remember…. There is a light (and taste) at the end of that tunnel!


  8. I had my tonsils and adenoids removed 8 days ago, I’m almost 41, seriously the worst recovery from surgery everrrrr! If you don’t have to have them out then don’t do it! Just don’t! That being said I have a sweet taste that won’t go away, everything tastes sweet, which I know doesn’t sound horrible but I just want to eat anything that doesn’t taste like sugar at this point, also a quick tip for anyone having this surgery, fill your fridge with aloe infused juices, seriously even water was hurting to drink the aloe juice has been a life saver

  9. It has been 3 weeks since my tonsillectomy (I’m 41) and I also have that nasty metallic taste in my mouth. Everything, except for very spicy foods, taste about the same…bland and metallicy. My favorite Diary Queen treat and alcoholic beverage taste the same as a burger or steak. I hope it improves. Has anyone tried the zinc supplements they recommend in the article?

  10. Had my tonsillectomy 4/18/18 it’s now 5/22/18 my taste buds are still not tasting, I eat when hungry but very very limited taste, Memorial Day is approaching can’t taste

  11. I am 2 months removed from having my tonsillectomy (I’m 45) I have a gross metallic taste in my mouth all the time. Nothing tastes right. I lost 14 pounds after my surgery, put 10 back on when I could start eating real food again, but have lost 5 again because of my sense of taste. No idea when it will go back to normal, if ever. And that depresses me.

  12. I had mine tonsils out a couple of weeks before my 50th birthday. That was six weeks ago. Food is horrible. Chocolate tastes ransid. I think the best description is metallic. And even thought I do not appear to have thrush again…honestly there’s a little burning action like thrush. Here are the foods that taste normal. MAC AND CHEESE. That’s it!

  13. I’m 6 weeks post I have a odd but not unpleasant taste in my mouth all the time, but I can’t taste anything sweet. Everything tastes bland and chocolate is foul. I have lost weight, I’m hoping this will get better I can’t imagine living my life without the enjoyment of food. I’ve been told 3 months, I’m going to try zinc… worth a shot!

  14. Thank you for all your replies. 🙂 I found the number for a different ent that I am scheduling with today. Hearing that it can take months for some people is daunting, but I am quickly becoming one of those who will have suffered through it lol.

  15. I had my tonsils taken out 4 years ago, and it took me about 7 months to get my taste buds back. I LOVED food, but after the tonsillectomy, I could only eat steak, veggies and fruit. Ice cream, chicken, rice, bread and pretty much anything NOT steak, veggies and fruit were disgusting. I lost about 20 lbs. But now, 4 years later, my taste buds are back, and I am enjoying food just fine. So there is hope!

    As for the lumps, it could be part of the healing process. But I would suggest scheduling a follow-up with another ENT if possible, just to be safe. Good luck!

  16. 28 year old female here…I am 24 days post op from my tonsillecomy and cant taste ANYTHING exept garlic stuffed olives. My ent left and never made a follow up appointment and the histpital refuses to allow me to contact him. I also feel lumps around my eshopugus when i turn my head and am afraid the tonsils are growing back. I hate not being able to taste and am losing my lust for life. I was going to culinary school and might have to quit. Please help me. Anyone

  17. I’m a 27 y/o female on post op day 9 (my surgery was 8/29/17). I’m back to eating semi-regular foods – mainly soups, some scrambled eggs, ramen, etc. Haven’t tried anything too heavy yet (I’m also avoiding hard, scratchy foods like toast still), due to my severely restricted diet; my throat can only handle so much at one time. My main complaint is (now that the pain in my tonsil beds is subsiding) a change in the way food tastes. I know how it SHOULD taste, and it’s not tasting like it should. I don’t know how to describe it, but food tastes off. It’s making eating a really disappointing, and quite frankly, depressing thing. It’s not metallic so much as just gross. Sweets taste fine, eggs are awesome, but everything else is just nasty tasting. I want my taste buds back to normal already!

  18. I am 45 YO and had undergone tonsillectomy on August 22 and have a rough and painful 2 weeks recovery. The surgery site is still not fully healed, there is still whitey thing on my throat.
    Since day two till now, my sense of taste is still horrible, I am so frustrated that I can’t taste anything good except salty foods. My sense of smell makes me hungry but my sense of taste loosen my appetite since I can no longer appreciate the savory taste of foods. I’m just wondering when I will be fully recovered. I read some comments here that taking zinc will aid in recovery so I am going to try that.

  19. I just wanted to no how long after you had your tonsils out did you gat your taste back ? I am on my 10 day and I really can not taste a fing it’s doing my head in thanks

  20. I am on day 6 and sipping coca cola, tastes fine to me, eating oatmeal taste is fine. The pain is so intense

  21. I am 11 days past surgery and I also have that ‘popcorn’ stuck in my back of my tongue and just under my tongue feeling that I cant clear. it’s so bad it is causing me to dry heave quite a lot. 🙁 have u had any relief since Sepy in this? what have u found to help?? I am miserable.

  22. My teen lost her taste for 3 months. Lost a lot of weight and was very depressed. As her Mum I did a lot of research and started supplementing with high doses of zinc 80mg aswell as some other supplements to help nerve growth repair. Her taste has now returned to about 95% and she is happy! Such as distressing time. Don’t give up and research zinc etc

  23. Hello, I’m from Greece and I’m male, 49. I had a tonsillectomy at 28 September 2016. The operation went well but I had a lot of pain for 20 days and swollen tissues especially the uvula and a tissue on the right of it, where I had the bgger tonsil. My right tonsil was deep inside my neck and deep in my throat. After one month the pain stopped and the damaged tissues recovered, but since then my taste was not the same, especially to the sweets. I couldn’t taste them at all. I had a salty taste all day and I preferred meat, stakes, bbq etc. I lost some kilos-the good side effect. The taste of sweet came back recently, I can taste them on my tongue, but it stops taste at the back of my throat..We call it in Greek language “epigeusis” (in free transation after-taste, “second-phase taste” ) . So, no chocolate taste at the back of my throat, like before. I still cannot determine how sweet is e.g. a piece of chocolate, how bitter is , or the percentage of cocoa it has.. .The doctors and the surgeon told me that the feeling of taste will be back after six months an I noticed all this time from the operation that the taste became better. I’ m not frustrated, but I believe that it won’t be the same as before operation. From days to days I noticed that the air which reaches in the throat-its absolutely bigger quantity than before and the operation in that section gave me a better life and sleep- dehydrates my throat an gives me the feeling that I don’t have enough saliva in my mouth. I think that the reduce of saliva is a reason that I cant taste the sweets, especially the baked sweets or the creams (cream patisserie). I taste much better the syrups like honey or maple syrup. I will start with my doctor some tests to see if I have a kind of diabetes type 2. I also have been tested if I have Sjogren’s Syndrome and Lupus ..but all ok .. thanks God. I also plan to visit the section of Oto-rino-larygology (Ear-nose-throat) of Medical University of Thessaloniki. This section has a special part which is specialized in counting the taste using electro-stimulation. But it only measures the grade of the taste doesn’t offer a healing . ..maybe they have a solution..We shall see..

  24. I had mine out 11th Nov and the tast of suger with all food has only came in last two weeks it’s driving me mad.

  25. I had my tonsillectomy in August 2016. It’s Jan 2017 and I have a bitter taste in my mouth regularly. I prefer salty, buttery, bland food over anything else. Chocolate makes the bitter taste worse. Eating in general is okay bc it’s the only time the taste is gone. It’s pretty brutal and can make me grumpy on some days. I brush my teeth and rinse 3-4x’s/day now. I wish there were an answer for this.

  26. So, I had my surgery December 18th and exactly three weeks later today, I feel pretty normal (90%). The taste thing actually didn’t start until this weekend when I tried eating something sweet. The day before I had grilled salmon, sweet potatoes and asparagus and everything tasted JUST FINE. The next day is when I started noticing a difference with my taste buds. I thought it had been the “sweets” only but I just tried having some fries and a smoothie just now and all I could taste was the initial citrus zing from the smoothie and some salt on the fries. I threw everything away! I see my surgeon for a follow-up tomorrow morning so it’s def. something on my list of concerns. I don’t know what the heck my doctor was thinking but right after surgery, he prescribed Percocet. The problem with that was that I couldn’t take the pills as I’d choke, cough them back up or just couldn’t pass them. Crushing them and trying to take them with something else was a hassle because I could barely drink any water. You’re supposed to take them every six hours I think and in the three days after my surgery, I had ONLY taken them TWICE! Needless to say, I ended up in the ER from a fever, mild infection and dehydration (the pain was so bad I had only had 1/2 of water and 1/2 a popsicle in the three days). It wasn’t until I was in the ER that my surgeon prescribed oxicodone, which was AMAZING! The only problem two weeks after that was when I was able to eat soft solid foods, I need up suffering from opioid-induced constipation, which NO ONE had told me about. So for about two days I was in so much pain because I had produced stool, I just couldn’t pass it. In those two days I had taken stool softeners, I had tried an enema, a suppository and citrus magnesium. This is WAY TMI but I ended up having to stick my finger in my butt to break down the stool (with gloves and Vaseline of course). I was literally in my shower crying for two hours while I was doing it, it was a nightmare! Once I got most of it out, the next morning (around 6 hours later), I had what felt like uncontrollable diarrhea and I made a whole mess because the initial stomach discomfort had woken me up but I didn’t think anything of it since I had experienced stomach pain before and hadn’t found myself with a loose butt hole before haha (good thing I kind of prepared by sleeping on an OLD clean comforter that I was going to throw away anyways) but when I finally made it to the bathroom, the rest of the stool came out and I finally felt some sort of relief. From all that drama, I lost 6 pounds! My stomach was just super sensitive for the four days or so and I wasn’t producing solid stool yet, I was too scared to eat anything. Today I think my digestive system is back to normal (maybe a little too normal) and I’m drinking plenty of water. Besides the taste buds, I still can’t really gulp down liquids, I can’t yawn because it hurts, it’s hard to swallow foods that aren’t moist so I always have water on standby to rinse food down, there is white stuff all in the back on my throat (idk what it is but it’s thick and I can feel it so I go the whole day with what feels like leftover food stuck to the back of my throat), I’m hating the weight I’m gaining from eating normal foods (I lost 20 pounds during my two weeks) but I think the worse is behind me!

  27. Had my tonsils removed December 15,2016. Brutal healing process where you will require at least 2 weeks before the pain simmers down. I am realizing at this two week point that nothing I formally had in my diet tastes like it used to(coffee- actually I had to spit it out it tasted so bad and I was a coffee junkie, Greek yogurts no longer have any flavor, toast with peanut butter tasted like shoe leather when I was chewing(or what one would imagine shoes leather taste like). Tad bit scared to start taking zinc on my own so I’m waiting to hear what the ENT has to say at my monthly follow up appointment.

  28. I’m 29… I will be 30 in 2 months. I had my tonsils removed 3 weeks ago & my taste buds are completely off. The only items that tastes right to me are water & chicken soup (which I ate for the first 2 weeks). Anything sweet (which I used to love dearly) tastes horrible to me. Salty foods taste about the same. But the sweet tastes horrible. And I don’t know if this sounds weird but the awful taste is only on the right side of my tongue. The left seems fine. I’ll try the zinc theory though.

  29. Hey I am 28 and I had my tonsils out 12 days ago I kind of have the same problem as you guys when it comes to taste now I do have it but there are certain food like cheese or bread that has a weird taste find like watered down.

  30. I had my tonsillectomy June 21st and I am 44 years old.
    It was beyond a doubt the most horrifying surgical recovery I have ever had! And that is saying a lot since I have had several surgeries.
    The persistent bitter taste has gone from metallic to bile, and I can no longer stand the taste of ANYTHING with tomatoes, apples, artificial flavors or colors.
    I also seem to have some sort of nodules on the back of my tongue or in the back of my throat (it’s hard to tell sometimes) that feel like I have popcorn husks back there ALL the time.
    So here it is, baking season, and I can’t properly taste my efforts. About the only things that don’t taste awful are malto meal, vanilla and coffee.
    Yup, life sucks these days.

  31. I’m 21 years old, just got my tonsils taken out 9 days ago (since posting this) because of swelling that caused me to not be able to breathe well and oxygen wasn’t getting to my brain well enough, causing migraines, blackouts, light headed-ness and loss of memory. So I’m happy to have had them taken out, however, my tastebuds are experiencing really weird sensations. There’s a strip of taste buds down the middle of my tongue that are normal, but on either side I’m experiencing really disgusting, mucusy tastes, especially chocolate and other sweets. I hope to God this isn’t something that’ll last long.

  32. Hi,

    I just wanted to add a positive story for anyone suffering from loss of taste after a tonsillectomy. I had my tonsils out in January of this year (I’m 34) and had a pretty rough two week recovery from the op. It did take the full two weeks to stop feeling the pain like most people have also experienced.

    Nobody at the hospital warned me that I may completely lose my sense of taste after the op. It really was a shock. Not being able to taste food, or even sweet and salty tastes was really depressing, and there were times I wondered if I would ever be able to taste anything again. I also had a disgusting bitter/metallic taste in my mouth that I couldn’t get rid of.

    However…it is now August and I have 100% recovered my sense of taste. The first to return was salty, then sweet, then more subtle tastes and now it’s back completely. I know this isn’t the same for everybody and to people still struggling you have my absolute sympathy but please don’t lose hope. Your sense of taste can and does return with time. Also, after reading about the benefits of supplementing with Zinc to aid the return of taste, I took 100mg per day for about six weeks and I’m sure this aided my recovery.

  33. Hi Gwen. I just had my 2nd tonsil removed two months ago and am having the same taste problems as everyone else. I didn’t have any of the sane problems with my first side. Anyways, it sounds like you are suffering from silent night reflux!!!! Try asking about that if you haven’t already. But I truly hope you are doing better by now!!!!!

  34. Hello everybody. I’m joining the club as I had a tonsillectomy 2 years ago. Aside from a post-op bleeding it was a quick and almost comfortable recovery, I didn’t experience too much pain. However the biggest problem persists until today, I can’t really taste my food as I could before the op. Especially Italian Pasta of any Kind, chicken meat, coke and any other sodas, subtle nuances like vanilla ice cream and so on escape me. my ENT told me that this could happen in some cases because during operation, the tongue is pressed really hard. It’s a kind of tissue damage and after 2 years now, this is going to be persistent. Good luck to everybody

  35. I’m 46, and still feel that I am not completely healed yet. I’m 4 months post op. I agree don’t suffer, talk to your ENT. If still no answers get a 2nd opinion.

  36. If it’s not gone yet, I would tell your ENT you want it gone. It was there mistake. I would also gargle with salt water if you can tolerate it. May help it dry up and fall off.

  37. Try Biotene mouth wash and vitamin b complex. Heard the vitamin B helps. I take it everyday anyways. But my taste started to come back after I had been using the Biotene for awhile. I still use it. And I know all to well about eating in front of people with this going on. Sometimes I have to spit the food out really fast. I will say this….I completely lost the taste for coffee. I was a die hard coffee drinker. Now I drink just water and the occasional ice coffee.

  38. Getting some of my taste back after 4 months. The oily feeling that I was having went away after I started using Biotene. The swallowing issue has not corrected itself. Granted I had swallowing issues before the tonsils came out, but it got worse. 2 weeks ago I had to be put under to have my throat dilated. It seemed to help a little. My Dr. For that procedure would not confirm not deny that something happened during the Tonsilectomy. But since the orginal surgery, after I eat, it feels like I have stuff stuck in the back of my throat. Which does not feel pleasant. I am constantly trying to clear my throat. It also feels like there was damage done to my soft palate. I only eat out at one place. Its very embarrassing to say the least. And I only eat there because I have been going there since they opened, and have a great relationship with the owner. I prefer to eat at home because of it. I will not eat at family functions if there are people that don’t know my situation. I just recently found out that there were major cysts in my tonsils with internal stones. It was not my ENT that told me either. It was a specialist that takes care of my IC. If she would not have wanted all OR records I would have never known that my tonsils were worse then even I knew. I have talked to several people, including my sister in law who is a RN that she has never heard of such a thing. My niece, her daughter had her tonsils out when she was 10, and does the same clearing out of her throat after she eats. That was 7 years ago. But my sister in law said hers was due to a huge cyst they took out behind my nieces tonsil. Now I am thinking I may need to see another ENT to see if there is some sort of hope in the back of my throat, and what can be done about. But here is a funny thing about the clearing of my throat, one of my newest grandsons, who was 4 months old at the time I had my tonsils out, now copies me. So when he sees me he smiles and makes the throat clearing sound…it’s too funny. Even more funny was my daughter explaining it to his DR.

  39. Good evening,

          I had a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and turbinectomy 13 months ago and to this day I still can’t taste anything. This is very depressing and has really altered my life. My ENT was no help and stated he’s “never heard of this” and I just don’t know where to run for help. Can anyone that has suffered from this and recovered please guide me? I’m willing to travel to seek help.

    Thank you,


    Houston, Texas

  40. Jacqui
    I am so glad I read your post. All the posts before yours are people that have lost their flavor for a few weeks or months after surgery. I am eight months post-op and food still tastes strange to me, one of the things I can’t taste are sugary drinks like Coca-Cola, chocolate ice cream, or sour candy, all I taste is bland and metallic. My Dr put me on Clotrimazone and it hasn’t really done much. My Dr said it’s very rare for this to happen. I have read that damage to the Pharngyeal nerve may cause taste disturbance. This damage can take along time to heal. I am going to try the Zinc but I am an athlete and have plenty of good nutrition and vitamins in my diet. It’s just fresh fruits taste blah and ice cream and treats taste blah. My friends tell me, “well at least you’ll always be the skinny” and I just get really irritated because I think there is a lack of understanding how depressing this really can be. I am hopeful that you and I will return to normal function of our tastebuds one day, but it may just take a long time. Please post if anything works

  41. I had mine out back in Dec of 2015 and anything hat was sweet tasted salty but that finally went away after 6 long months. I hope yours does too!

  42. tonsillectomy was almost 4 weeks ago. When I eat and food touches the sides of my tongue, I get this horrific bitterness. it makes me scrunch up my face (which is unpleasant for those eating with me). It is very disconcerting and I am NOT enjoying eating. I have to eat something or I get so weak I can’t function and get terrible headaches. But, I was not told that this was a potential side effect. Granted, tonsils had to come out anyway but I was just happy to not have post op bleeding. My ENT doesn’t seem concerned about this and just said, “ah, that’s normal. I’m not too worried about that.”. HHMPH! He is not the one who dread eating. I am telling you, this is an awful bitterness. If I can keep my food on the tip and center of my tongue, I can actually taste. ha. fat chance of it staying center!

  43. I am 46 and had my tonsils out 4 weeks ago. I can’t taste! Also having problems swallowing. 4 days post op I was treated in the ER for a severe case of strep throat and thrush. I was bed ridden for 5 days after that episode. The first feeling I got, besides the immense pain, was a feeling of oil in my mouth. Yes oil. Everything I tried to eat tasted and felt oily. No taste then either. But this is very bothersome. All I can taste or sense is salty and sweet. There is zinc in my multi vitamin. And I take a B Complex vitamin. I have had to stop taking 2. Of the regular meds I am on as they cause dry mouth. Nothing was said regarding this possible side effect of surgery. Could it really take months for my sense of taste to come back??? Also is there a test they can do to see if that nerve was damaged??

  44. You are welcome! Don’t suffer! Make sure to voice all your concerns with the Doctor. Hope you heal fast! Took me a good three months but I am 45 and just had tonsils removed.

  45. Thanks Melissa! I will definitely try to see my doctor again and I had surgery about 3 weeks ago. I had a tonsillectomy and a adenoidectomy.

  46. When did you have the surgery done? I didn’t eat for 11 days and lost 14 pounds. Was living off of vitamin waters.
    I had my surgery on 12/10/15 and still feel weird back there and it seems worse when I have a head cold. I feel like I am constantly chocking on phlegm and feel like there is a flap over my throat. I hate the feeling and needless to say this is cold season.
    You need to go back and see the sergeon again and explain your issue. He should give you some kind of reassurance and time frame about you losing that skin. They cauterize in the ER from what I was told and supposively it doesn’t hurt. If he won’t help you go to your primary care dr or even another ENT and ask them for help! Good luck!

  47. I have recently had a tonsillectomy and ya know nothing tastes right everything is hard for me to swallow; the usual right? WELL that was until I started throwing up I knew something wasn’t right, there is a piece of tissue just hanging from the back of my throat. The nurses told me not to look at! She told me that it probably wasn’t cauterized good and it will come off when it comes off. I forgot about until I noticed that it is blocking off my throat completely. I can’t eat anything, not even jello! Any advice on what I can do to get rid of this piece of tissue in my mouth?

  48. Hi, everyone who is having the same problem I had after my tonsillectomy. I got mine out on December 28th 2015 I had a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and a sinusitis. I’m 31 so let’s just say this was not a breezy recovery for me. But when I got to finally being able to eat nothing taste normal (no flavor) I did some research and found out that it could be a zinc deficiency so I started taking 25mg of over the counter zinc and my taste buds have stared to return I can even taste chocolate 🙂 (not everything is 100% the same flavor but it’s close) it’s February 7th 2016. Warning do not take more then 25mg your hair will fall out. Good luck!!!

  49. I am 41 and am about 3 weeks post-op. Wish I would have found this site prior to my surgery. Was told surgery was the only way to get rid of tonsil stones. Prior to that, starting at age 17 I asked several doctors and dentists but no one could explain the sulphur smelling white things that I dug out of my tonsils. Finally, a month and 1/2 after my son got his removed, I went under the knife so to speak. Anyhoo, I was researching loss of taste and came upon this site. I see that most people have a taste of salt and bitterness but I actually can put tablespoons of salt on my food but still not taste it. I am frustrated because I am hungry but nothing at all tastes good. I do not have an iron taste either. It’s just not what is was. I wish they would have told me that during the consult. Thanks for all the posts, they are helpful.

  50. Melissa, it’s been months since my op; I was 45 and now I’m 46 and the taste thing is still weirding me out! Its horrible, like i have salt rocks and copper bags in my mouth all day, every day. Nothing taste “right. I just this week wen to my regular physician who decided to do a work up of blood test to make sure I have no deficiencies. I suggest you do not wait too long to do the same thing, not being able to enjoy chocolate is the worst thing ever. But, there is a good side- I have lost a few pounds cause eating makes me mad now…. and i’m used to drinking sugarless drinks like coffee and tea.

  51. I recently had my tonsil out at the age of 45 because of horrible tonsil stones and I feel like anything I eat now that is sweet has a salty hint to it. Ice cream is a big one. I am almost four weeks post op… Will this ever go back to normal?
    I also feel like I have phlegm stuck in between my nose and throat that I can’t clear. And last but not least my uvula still feels swollen from time to time.


  52. I’m not sure going this applies to you but it took me about a year and a half to regain taste, it may have taken longer but I had read something that acid reflux can cause loss of taste. I didn’t think I had acid reflux because I rarely if ever get heart burn. I dug a little deeper and found out that stomach sleepers like me can have really bad acid reflux while sleeping, without even knowing it. I began taking some over the counter acid blockers and after about 3-4 weeks my taste started coming back. I am thinking that before my tonsillectomy my tonsils helped to keep the acid out from coming up to far. Now keep in mind this is all self diagnosed, my ENT told me the same thing as you, that he had never heard of loss of taste so I haven’t been back to a doctor. I am pretty confident that acid reflux is my problem because if i go more then 3-4 days without taking a nexium then I start losing my sense of taste again, I am about 3 1/2 years post op.

  53. I had surgery just over 3 years ago and my sense of smell is fine but I can’t taste anything really. Perhaps the first second of smell makes me feel like I can taste it. I can taste salt and sour/bitter but nothing that is sweet and no general sense of taste after the first second. It’s a little sad. Dairy also has an awful after-taste even now.

    I was not warned of any taste disturbance possibilities and post-op I knew more about it than the two ENTs that I saw. I still come across ENTs who claim they have never heard of taste loss of tonsillectomies. I think this is wrong.

    I had the bad taste in my mouth for about two months but took Zinc and eventually it left me.

    I know people whose taste returned after 6 months or a year, but after that, I’d love to hear of anyone who had their taste return after longer than this.

    I’m glad it was only my taste that I lost but I would love one day to eat ice-cream and chocolate without a bitter or wrong after-taste.

  54. I had my surgery 2 months ago. My mouth taste like salt 24 hours a day, sweets taste like salt. Water taste like alka-seltzer water, EVERYTHING taste weird and salty. Sometimes I taste like I have an iron stick in my mouth and sometimes it taste like when you bite your tongue and have blood in your mouth. I thought the two weeks after surgery was bad, but this is horrible. Even chocolate has no meaning to my buds anymore. I wonder if people can smell the bad taste in my mouth! No one trusts my cooking because I can’t taste check while cooking. White cold milk is the only thing that doesn;t taste weird or different. I can’t stand this taste in my mouth though. Help me- I want ot enjoy food again….

  55. I had my tonsils out in August 2014. Have no sense of taste for sweets at all. M mouth and tongue are very salty. Been back to ENT with this complaint at least 3 times. This week he gave me a medication called Carafate. I reseached this drug and it is used exclusively for stomach ulcers. I do not have stomach ulcers. I feel like my ENT is trying to placate me by giving me this medication. I am devastated. I am a nurse. He does not know this yet. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My ENT never explained about the possibility of losing taste and actually call it “a hysterical Palpatine gland”. PLEASE HELP ME. ANY GOOD SAMARITAN/EENT. I tried zinc lozenges and was also given lidocaine because I also have dryness at base of tongue/ Voice box. It’s really dry cause coughing at night mostly. PLEASE help me.

  56. I am SO with you on the taste bid issue! I has my surgery in March 2014
    To date, my taste buds are 70% back. Plus…..I now have acid reflux. I’m so frustrated! Good luck with your healing.

  57. I had a tonsillectomy in July an my taste buds are still red and swollen,what can I do for relieve,and how much longer.I am 62 years old,and I have regretted this since day one.

  58. I had a tonsillectomy in July an my taste buds are still red and swollen,what can I do for relieve,and how much longer.I am 62 years old,and I have regretted this since day one.

  59. So now……my taste buds are a little better. I’ve been told that discomfort feeling I am now experiencing is acid reflux! I’ve never had this issue until after my surgery. ….interesting. Has anyone else dealt with this? Your comments are welcomed!

  60. Hi there

    Some hope for those who are still suffering: I experienced the same thing. surgery was 5/2014, for the first 2 weeks, everything tasted metallic/bitter. in general, everything tasted completely bland. after that 2 weeks, the metallic taste was in my mouth 7/24 for about 4 months. after 4 months now, within a few days, everything went almost back to normal. i didn’t believe i will taste again right, it was the most depressing time in my life… but for the most people, things will go back to normal after a few month… my zinc level was above normal, so this wasn’t the cause in my case…

  61. A new thought:

    I lost my sense of taste for nearly one full year after my tonsillectomy in 2012. Sure, my tastebuds were burned off, bruised, damaged etc. but after a lot of experimentation etc. I believe the root cause is acid reflux. Something that I think a lot of tonsillectomy survivors suffer from but don’t realize. Turns out it is something I have struggled with ever since my tonsillectomy and I have to be careful.

    Because of the mostly liquid diet, restricted calories, and sugary products often ingested during recovery our bodies digestive system can revolt and flood our stomachs with acid, which can cause dry mouth, cracking voice, dry throat, acidic taste, erosion of taste buds and esophagus.

    Talk with your doctor before trying any new medications, but I have had the most success with Zantac. Pop a pill 30m-1h prior to eating no more than twice daily, with plenty of fluids.
    If you are interested in a naturopathic treatment try taking apple cider vinegar. The ingestion of the vinegar (acid) signals to your body that it has all the acid it needs and will not flood your stomach with extra digestive fluids (acid) in order to digest your food.

    Good luck!

  62. Hi Cameron,

    I had my surgery 3/2014. My taste buds sound identical to yours! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one experiencing this. I thought the surgeon may have made a mistake and damaged something during surgery to cause this problem. Sorry you are experiencing this. Best of luck to you!

  63. I had my tonsillectomy March 6, 2014 and I am still experiencing a terrible taste in my mouth when eating chocolate or really anything sweet. Salty foods taste normal to me but sweets give me a gross metallic taste in my mouth that makes me gag. I really taking zinc has helped others because I am going to try it, its been 5 months and I haven’t had any improvements.

  64. Hi Mary. Sorry to hear this. I felt the same. Then I felt much, much better. I hope you do too!

  65. I had my tonsils removed 3/11/14. My taste buds are STILL not restored! The surgery location is still a little uncomfortable. This is one surgery….I WILL NEVER FORGET!

  66. Hi Denise, What you are experiencing is totally normal. It took me a month before pizza tasted right, and a couple months before red wine was enjoyable, Best of luck to you!

  67. I had my tonsils removed feb.20, 2014 and it has been about 3 weeks post op. Im still a little sore but finally can eat the sad part is I can’t taste anything really:(( my doctor told me to take 25mg of zinc and that it should get better with in 6 weeks. I’m really hoping it does because I can’t taste any of my fave foods which makes me not interested in eating. I can only really taste some sweets to an extent. Had bleeding complication towards day 9 too but was recauterized and got better. I guess it is just my luck.:(( need advice.

  68. thanks for the avocado idea- it/guacamole does taste good – funny how losing sweet sensors makes me love smooth, creamy stuff
    but it may hurt my chances of losing weight…I feel like I constantly want custard or eggnog or guac in my mouth so I don’t taste the metal taste.

  69. I had tonsillectomy 12.12.13 due to abcessed tonsils. I had metallic taste in mouth even prior to discovering abcesses. Silly me, I thought that the metal taste would go away after tonsils were gone. Guess not – now taste is more like metal and blood – ick. I swear I could taste more at the two week mark when I started trying non-liquid foods, but then, was still eating pretty bland stuff. Today I actually went through my spice rack figuring out what I could taste and smell. Definitely no problem with my nose! But no sweet taste at all and strongest is salty sensors. Depressing. God, I hope this goes away. Keep wondering if I had stopped pain meds earlier or kept ice on longer if it would have changed anything.

  70. has your taste come back? i had my tonsilextomy 5th nov straight away knew somethinnot right with taste evertthing tastes rancid.unlike you a nurse checked and i have no gag reflex.already lost 19lb just wondered if yours any better?

  71. I had my tonsillectomy on 16 Sep 2013. I have to say that the 2 weeks after were pretty rough for me….I had to get my pain meds adjusted 3 times in 2 weeks and I had to get them all in the liquid form being the pills felt like they were getting lodged in the back on my throat and a buring sensation would always accompany the pills and linger. After the 2 weeks the pain just disappeared and I was able to eat whole foods again…..the only problem is everything that I loved…..chocolate, wine, chicken, rice, sweet potatoes, cookies, cakes, chips…….lets just say everything except Mexcian food repulses me…..the great thing is it has done wonders for my weight….I have lost 15lbs from the day of surgery to today. The bad thing is my gag reflex is off the chain and I tend to throw up about twice a day….I have this lingering matalic taste in in my mouth…..I’m in the process of making an appt to see if I could try taking zinc to clear up this issue a little quicker…..The holidays is around the corner and it will suck big time if I can’t enjoy all of the food I have to cook….it would be great for my weight though so maybe I’ll wait till after the new years to consult with my Doctor………Ugh…..stuck between and rock and a hard place right now………..

  72. There is some light at the end of the tunnel for taste sufferers. I’m about 6 weeks out and most of my taste is back to normal. Things were exceptionally salty for a little bit and then it started to ease off. However (and very sadly) chocolate is still on the “that’s weird” list. So sad with Halloween coming up too : (

    Interestingly, I have lost all taste for Soda. I can’t tolerate the taste, the feeling. That was surprising but welcome as soda’s just a perfect storm of chemicals that will end up killing you.

    I’ve also found that I don’t drink enough water, still feels a bit weird with the change in the mechanism of swallowing.

  73. Hi I’m 44 year old female had my tonsils out by cauterization on September 3, 2013. First couple days to 1 st week post op my tongue felt uncomfortable I know it was because had to retract tongue to get to tonsils. Dr did mention that I might experience ear pain because nerve in head & neck effected. If I didn’t stay on top of pain meds had terrible ear aches- had to hold pillows over my ears till pain meds kicked in. Had post op visit 1 week out everything OK told me normal for ear aches and tongue discomfort try to gargling. Then next day started to bleed small amounts that stopped right away. Back to Drs office STRESSED complete bedrest nothing elsewhich is hard thing to do when you have housework to be done. Next day bleeding again went back to dr for in office cautery sprayed topical anesthesia in area tasted horrible was trying not to cough didn’t want to swallow either so throw up and burst blood vessel. But the cautery procedure was successful but STRICT INSTRUCTIONS complete bedrest and NO SNEEZING, COUGHING, YAWNING, BURPING OR CLEARING OF THROAT. How are you not suppose to do those things? LOL Good luck. Went back for 2 week post-op check still very weak for surgery 1 more week out of work. I couldn’t believe have weak I felt because I’m active for 44 yrs old female do spin class 2x week and personnal training 1-2x week depends on work and walk my dog several times a day. Today 26 days post-op haven’t regained my taste buds @ all … love to eat have a sweet tooth but nothing taste good @ all. Still trying to eat Chocolate & salty foods but nothing taste right …. feels like I have cotton balls in back of throat. Nothing I eat satisfying me so eating more lost 10lbs after surgery gained back 5 lbs already. I think it’s God attempt @ sense of humor he knows I could stand to lose weight!!! LOL I really appreciated everyone’s comments I too wasn’t told about the taste bud problem even if I was would have still had surgery. Foods that helped were applesauce, Jello, Dunkin Donuts Coolatas but NO USING STRAWS will cause you to bleed. No 7-11 slurpees type because soda in them makes you burp from carbonation. Will discuss taking Zinc to help. FYI should check with your DR before taking any vitamins, herbs or minerals because they may have effect on your bodies healing!!!

  74. It been four months since my tonsillectomy. I’m 70 years old, a very young 70. I had ear pain down the side of my left neck for years. Doctor’s never seem to know what was wrong with me. Had MRI’s and had no water in the ear. I worked with this pain a lot of years. Finally it got so bad that I went into the ear nose throat Doctor and told him I was really sick and I wanted him to do something. It was like he was hesitating because of my age. All he told me was that it was going to hurt afterwards. Now everything, like everyone says, taste like it’s sour, or the metallic taste. Chocolate is the worst. I can’t believe that I found this site. I haven’t been to my medical doctor, but think I will now. I have had a sore throat on both sides of my throat. Been pretty sick with coughing. My throat is so raw from coughing. Got a bug from another person. I am hoping the doctor will put me on antibiotic’s and check my throat. Thank you all for your comments. It has helped me so much. I thought I was the only one with this problem, it’s a miracle….

  75. A week after my op, still no sense of taste. Wish my doctor had told me. Very frustrating. At least there is medicine for the pain. Any suggestion as to what to do?

  76. A week after my op, still no sense of taste. Wish my doctor had told me. Very frustrating. At least there is medicine for the pain.

  77. Hey Guys! Im in week 3 post op and my taste is almost back to normal! its been absolutly disgusting after the op. i went and saw my dr and she said i had oral thush (which if you look at the side bar it has its own section as its rather common after a tonsillectomy) she gave me some antibiotics to clear the major infection and some liquid oral thrush solution. dont put up with the taste do something about it! trust me you can get rid of it sooner 🙂

  78. I am 7 months post opp. and still haven’t got my taste back. I have metalic, dry throat and tounge, feel like my breath is so bad, and still feel like I have something in the back of my throat 24/7 constantly trying to clear it which is very annoying. I eat because i’m hungry but does not taste good at all.My Dr. also left this side effect out of our talks which is very frustrating. Would I do this again ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  79. @ Amity, I too have noticed that certain smells are very strong. Raw hamburger, which never used to bother me smells horrible. I seem to notice people having B.O. more often too, gross. However, I had a septoplasty along with a tonsilectomy, so I’m sure being able to actually breathe through my nose has something to do with that.

  80. I am a 28 year old female. I had a tonsillectomy & septoplasty on 10-25-12. Three months later, I still have not noticed too much improvement in my sense of taste. I cant taste sweets hardly at all. Salty foods are alright, depending on what it is. It seems to be improving slightly over time. Milk, cheeses, & chocolate are still nasty. It seems I semi taste the first few bites of food, then the rest just tastes like blah. It is very frustrating, but I’m keeping my hopes up. I am going to try taking extra zinc, and if I notice a difference I post about it.

  81. Hi L:
    I am 25 year old female, I had my tonsils out last Valentine’s day and I too had a difficult recovery. To date, my taste has not returned to normal. I can taste some salty foods and the essence of flavor, but the taste of all foods has been altered. All sweet things taste so bad that I can’t stand eating them anymore, I can only handle fruit some of the time and can’t do any concentrated substances. I have a constant dry throat etc. and sometimes I still have a metallic taste in my mouth. It is disappointing and sometimes very frustrating, it has also created some problems for eating out. However, I wouldn’t trade my tonsillectomy for anything. I’ve only gotten really sick once in the last year and only a couple of tiny colds, instead of the constant need for antibiotics and increasing upper-respiratory infections. Although it doesn’t seem to be the norm for people to lose their taste for such long periods it evidently happens.

    Good luck!

  82. I am a 52 yr old female and had my tonsillectomy the end of May 2012. I had the metallic taste then it has slowly evolved into a “coated tongue’ taste. Sweet foods, wine, beer taste different and so do many other foods (coffee has actually improved in flavour as I can’t taste acrid any more) Which is a bummer because I LOVE to cook (big Alton Brown fan here) I had a difficult recovery and was out of work for 3 weeks. It still felt like I had tonsil tissue after 6 mos. I take a multivitamin and am plagued with dry throat and constant thirst even after 8 mos. Upside is I haven’t gotten sick at all. I caught a cold a couple months back and it was nothing more than a sniffle! Amazing as before I used to catch a cold and it would linger for months, often going into sinus infection, bronchitis, etc. I also had the post nasal drip thing about 3 mos after surgery but that went away.

  83. I had mine out before Christmas so about the same time as you and the doctor’s were really great, explained everything. I think you should go an talk to your doctor because that doesn’t sound right at all, they should really have only cauterized the area where they took them out to prevent bleeding. Other than taste problems and opening my mouth fully Im fine now and it’s been a month tomorrow for me

  84. My tonsils were removed in the end of September 2012, it’s been over a year now. My sense of taste went back to normal after a couple months but my sense of smell seems to still be off. If something is.unpleasant or pungent, it is very noticeable to me and certain smells are terrible and bother me greatly. This may sound weird but the worst is body odors and just skin…maybe it’s the oil the body produces. I’m not sure, but I wish it would go back to normal. I’m not sure what to do about it. I’ve never heard of this happening to anyone else.

  85. It’s been 2 weeks post op. I’m a 30 year old female and had the area cauterized. My whole mouth was burned. I was choking on bits of flesh from my cheeks and tongue around days 4-9. When I brushed my teeth I saw those red bumps on the tongue just fall out into the sink. I still can’t taste anything down the center of my tongue and I believe its because of how badly it was burned. The whole thing turned white and slowly peeled off. The center of my tongue now has a jagged line down the center as if it cracked. Most foods now are off putting because of the textures. Most foods still hurt as my tongue is still swollen. Don’t know if my taste will ever come back.

  86. I’m a 20 year old college student. I had a fairly standard recovery. In a lot of pain and living off of water, Jello, and homemade apple sauce but after two weeks I was fine as long as I was hydrated. I just passed the three week post op mark. I was not told about the loss of taste so I thought that once I could eat things more solid than Jello that I could go back to eating normally. Wrong.

    I have been cooking for 13 years and I enjoy food so much. So to have everything I eat (and make) taste coppery and just generally revolting is such a deep disappointment. Even stuff I know tastes good tastes awful. It will pass with time, which this forum has shown me, it has just been a major source of frustration this week. I never imagined I would have to force myself to eat but that’s usually what it takes when I get so hungry that I have to eat something.

    Time will heal this frustrating side-effect. Unfortunately not before Christmas which saddens me greatly. But in the end, it’s one Christmas without taste out of many. I’m going to give zinc a shot because it can’t hurt, but I’m not very optimistic about it.

  87. I am three weeks po (can stand for a few things)! I too have the salty/metallic can’t taste sweet problem. As I am a professional taste tester it makes me angry not to have been informed.

    Eating avocados has helped to cover up bad taste for a bit of a reprieve. And avoiding sugar seems to minimize the
    overwhelming salty taste for me. I am seeing my doc today to find out if I’m going to have to get a new job or not.

    BTW don’t take large doses of zinc without blood levels being tested. You can get zinc poisoning!

  88. Im feeling the same way i had mines taken out june 12 20012. An i havent been able to taste anything sweet like that i felt like i was by myself in this. But Im not i feel so much better someone Else feels my pain. Im 35 i thought My age had alot to do with. Guess not i just wont to start tastinf again.

  89. I had my tonsilectomy 8 months ago and my taste is still altered. I find I put more salt on things than I used to and most sweet things still taste off. I lost about 7 lbs. in the first month, and during the remaining 7 months, I’ve lost lost an additional 5 lbs. I attribute this to the fact that eating sweet foods is now a waste of time. Ice cream and chocolate are the worst. Wine is very “off” as well. Fruits and vegetables seems to taste the most normal. In addition to this, the disgusting salty metalic taste in my mouth is still there 24/7 and I always feel like I have bad breath even though no one has told me this. My post nasal drip is worse now than it ever was before and I absolutely hate this constant feeling that there is something stuck way in the back of my tongue. I leave soon for a family vacation to Disney World during the World Food Showcase, but just know that it will not be as enjoyable for me as it will be for my husband. Zinc didn’t do much for me either, as others commented on, but maybe I did not take a high enough dose.

  90. Thank you for your updates dyanyoung. I had my tonsils out the beginning of august and still the taste has not come back. I’m so discouraged and sad as one of my biggest hobbies is cooking…now it’s just depressing. Did your taste just slowly come back or how did it progress? So good to talk to others who know what you’re going through.

  91. I had a tonsillectomy in November of 2011. It’s now nearly a year later, and I’m just starting to taste sweet things very slightly. I used to have an enormous sweet tooth, but most things are bitter since the surgery. I even tested myself recently by eating a spoonful of German Chocolate cake icing — but barely any sweetness is noticeable…….I used to dislike salt, but since the surgery, I now crave salty foods. Probably because it’s mostly all I can taste. It’s a shame because when I eat or drink, part of the experience is missing since my tastes haven’t returned. I guess it doesn’t always come back for everyone? I didn’t know this was a side-effect, because they didn’t discuss it. In all, it was a pretty rough experience and the effects seem like they’re going to stay with me forever.

  92. I had a tonsillectomy 6/2012,lost my taste &now all I have is this salty taste in my mouth.I am in my late 40’s & I was informed that it would be kind of rough for a lady my age.But I had no idea I would lose my taste buds.My favorite cereal(honey bunches of oats with almonds) taste horrible,the only reason I did’nt becausei really like them.Anything sweet taste horrible,called my ENT his advice was to buy some zinc,but it do not work for everybody.Well it is almost the middle of Sept.:-(.Beside my taste,smell is not that good either,Praying onit every day!!!

  93. I just logged on to the forum to see if anyone had insight into this loss of taste and AWEFUL salty metallic taste going on in my mouth. I had my tonsillectomy 6 wks ago and OMG how discouraging to hear that this could go on for months yet–not the answer I was hoping for. 🙁
    Thoughts/ideas?? Oh how I miss enjoying food/drink. HELP!?!

  94. I am 14 day post-surgery. Not sure if age matters but I am 52. My Dr acted surprise that my taste is off, but the again, he told me that the pain would be on the downturn after day 7 post. My worse days were 5 thru 12 post. Sweet is OK to a point but pasta, flour products- YUCK. I am still struggling with eating anything that isn’t completely smooth or pureed. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  95. Its being 4 months post tonsils surgery but still no taste in my mouth. Same metallic taste all the tym.Salty things are still ok but then sweet really taste horrible and i m fond of sweets a lot.I really dont know what to do. Also i have taken vitamins supplement for 2 months continously still the metallic taste is same. Plz suggest when i will get rid of this ?

  96. This is great news! I will be calling my dr. Tomorrow. I am 9 wks post-op and I too have that terrible taste in my mouth. Also feels like something is on the back of my tounge. Dry mouth is the worst part…..I hope the spray works!

  97. I had a tonsillectomy on June 25, it’s been exactly 8 weeks today and I still cannot taste some foods. Some days are better and it gets worse on some. I have lost so much weight that I’m not happy about it. I am taking multivitamin supplements and some appetite boosters but it’s helpless because I do not enjoy the food. Any positive outcomes?

  98. I am almost 6 months (feb 13) and I almost have all my taste back but it has been a loooooong road. I never thought I would taste again. In addition to the metallic taste I had to chew my food into oblivion to be able to swallow it, I had ridiculous dry mouth, I felt like there was scar tissue at the back of my throat that wouldn’t go away… I ended up at my primary care dr office a month ago with all of my woes and she told me I had bad post nasal drip, that my throat was red and had bumps on it so she put me on a prescription nasal spray. It worked like magic!!! I couldn’t believe that it did the trick. Since using it twice a day my dry mouth has almost cleared up, the scar tissue feeling is gone, my throat isn’t sore and I can taste most things again. Now it could also be coincidence but if you haven’t tried it and you are experiencing similar symptoms so far post-op then I suggest going to see your Dr. – as an FYI I did call my ENT with these symptoms and they said it was “normal give it 6 months and no need to be seen” thank goodness I didn’t listen and saw my primary instead. Good luck.

  99. Hi Ashley, I am almost 4 1/2 months post op and my taste is finally coming back. The nasty metallic taste that was in my mouth 24/7 has greatly reduced. I know EXACTLY where you are right now and how depressing and hopeless it can feel. Trust me, your taste WILL come back but give it at least 4 to 6 months. I know it seems like forever but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My doctor also left this HUGE side effect out of any conversations prior to surgery which I think, makes it worse because you are completely blindsided. On the other hand if she would have told me I would have never been able to fully grasp what it meant to lose your taste plus being as sick as I was, I would still have done the surgery. I just want you to know it does come back:) I was told to wait until 6 months post op to be completely back to normal. The really funny part is, is I got pregnant shortly after the surgery so I have spent my entire pregnancy without taste! Not fair! 🙂

  100. I am so glad there is a post feed on this! I have been really frustrated and sad about the way things taste! I’ve tried all my favorites and it’s just gross. I can’t describe it any other way. I am 5 weeks post op and I had significant damage to my tongue as my throat was so swollen that it was more than 75% closed and apparently I was very difficult to incubate. I also had what felt like two cuts down the back sides of my tongue after surgery that were really difficult to deal with. Very painful. So now I’ve tried all my favorite foods and very few foods even taste ok. I tried a piece of chocolate yesterday and spit it in the sink! I had to rinse my mouth out because it tasted like horribly spoiled milk. Meat of any kind is a no go. I feel like it keeps getting stuck no matter how much I force myself to chew. Again, I’m so grateful for this post as I was really fretting over losing this sense. I am a food lover and think it’s a simple joy of life. Having difficulty not enjoying summer fruits and veggies is just adding to my sadness after the surgery. I’m glad to have hope that it will come back. My Dr. didn’t talk about this side affect at all but it’s really intense. I’ve never had to make myself eat before. I’m sure it’s very individual but here’s a small list of what is sustaining me…. refried beans, egg drop soup, peanut butter toast, red peppers and the strangest….. anything pickled. even beets! So I’m just going with it for now. Thanks for the hope of it coming back and for the information! This site has been invaluable!

  101. Well, it has been a full 4 months and my mouth has only gotten worse. I can barely drink water, I can’t taste salt anymore and I can eat very few foods without being sick. It is truly awful. I tried Zinc for a while, I think it made it worse. I talked with the surgeon and he told me to take 20mg of Pepcid 2/day for 2 months and to let him know then, if things haven’t gotten better. Well, after taking Pepcid for 2 weeks, with things only getting worse I contacted my PCP. She is concerned and asked me to come in. I have an appointment next week. Nothing like losing your taste to lose 15% of your body weight in 4 months =) I’m hopeful that things will resolve soon so that I can enjoy my vacation coming up at the beginning of July.

    Side Note: Although this taste thing is miserable, I don’t regret getting my tonsils out. It was a rough recovery, but not having a ton of swelling/bleeding/nastyness in my throat is great! Now, if only I can start tasting things and my soft palate would go back to normal!

  102. what are the long term effect of tonsil removal, does it result in fatigue & digestion issues

  103. hii, i would like to know what are the long term implication of tonsil removal, do people feel more of fatigue & digestion issues after a period of say around 1 year of operation

  104. Hi Dyan- thanks for the update. I suspect that you are right about time being the cure. It really took me a good three months before certain foods tasted right. I think red wine was the last. (A shame because I love a good Cabernet! )

    hang in there. I hope it improves soon.

  105. Update: Its been 2 1/2 months since my surgery. My taste has come back a little bit but there is always a nasty metallic taste that lingers in my mouth 24/7. I describe it as sucking on dirty pennies all day. Its nasty. I attempted to take Zinc. I took it for a few weeks. I found that the nasty metallic taste got worse. It didn’t help get my taste back. Time is the only thing that has done anything. Since the surgery, my taste has come back to a small degree. The intensity of the taste is still way off, so the things I can taste is not even close to what they used to taste like. I spoke with my doctor a few days ago and she said to call her after Labor Day. Sigh.

  106. I got my tonsils out on February 14 and subsequently lost my sense of taste. I had a terrible taste in my mouth and could taste really salty foods and vague flavors of other things. Any type of sugar tasted terrible and hurt my mouth. Then, I decided to start taking Zinc supplements, hoping this would help. On Sunday, I lost the rest of my sense of taste, with a continuous bad metallic taste in my mouth, that increase when I eat food or brush my teeth. I can’t taste salt or anything else, brushing my teeth is awful and when things taste the worst, it actually seems to hurt my mouth. It has been more than 3 months…Is there anything I can do?


  107. Thanks for responding Greg. My husband called 3 other doctors and they all said exactly what you said. They said, “between 3 to 6 months I should be completely healed”. It is very comforting to know that you went through this and your taste came back. It is also reassuring that the other doctors see this all the time. I wouldn’t be so emotional if my doctor set me up with the proper expectations. Instead, I was given a packet on recovery for children. If I knew before surgery that this was a common REVERSIBLE side effect I wouldn’t have been so distraught. Thanks again your blog has helped me, my husband and family through this recovery. September will be 6 months and if I don’t write back again know that I got my taste back:) 🙂

  108. Dysn sorry you’re struggling. I really think this is temporary. I had the same thing. It’s common and rarely/ never permanent. Give it another couple weeks.

    Take csre

  109. This is an update to my previous post. In 3 days I will be 6 weeks post op and my taste is still gone. Bitter, metallic, salty and overall super depressing are words I would use to describe it. I will be calling my doc with a few choice words because not only was I completely NOT informed of this, I am very afraid this could be permanent.

  110. I am on day 15 post op and the lack of taste in my mouth is depressing to say the least. I called my doc and she told me that my taste should come back but reading all the stories online there are quite a few people who don’t get their taste back or its distorted permanently. The past two weeks have been a huge challenge but I am beginning to feel human again and getting back into my routine and now this….I am just praying with all I have that this is temporary, it just has to be.

  111. I am 4 wks post op and taste is still a problem. I agree that the first bite tastes normal and then it get nastier with each chew. And besides nothing tasting right I also have to chew everything into baby food before I swallow or it feels like I’m swallowing a baseball. It makes eating not so fun. I try eating “normal” food but it ends up frustrating me (either the chewing or the awful taste) that I end up going back to jello, ice cream and oatmeal. I also always have a horrible taste in my mouth. Like a coating of saliva on the back of my throat that I can’t get rid of. Thank goodness the upside is a 10 pound weight loss! lol. But I’d much rather be able to taste my favorite foods again.

  112. I was just about to send you a link to this page! Good luck- it was a couple months before things tasted normal for me, but it did get a little better each week. Red wine, which I love, was one of the last things to taste right.

  113. I just posted on the general forum about my loss of taste. I’ll have a little glimmer of hope right when the food hits my tongue, but the farther back it goes in my mouth, the more I lose the sense of taste. Fingers crossed that it’s temporary!! I guess I’ll just have to be patient!

  114. My sense of taste didn’t fully return for at least 6 weeks following my tonsillectomy. Food tasted ‘off’. I had cauterization method so I contribute some of the taste loss to a few burnt taste buds.

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