Couldn't find what you looking for?


Hy guys,
I see many of you have been experiencing same awful effects of taste and smell lost/disturbance after tonsillectomy.
And complaining that noone posted anything about being cured eventually, and is it curable at all.

My doctor also claimed that "son, i've never heard of that, you must be one in a million because I took tonsils out from as much as 100 billion zillion patients so far"?! Thanx a lot, good for you doc, bad for me...
Anyway, after I googled it thoroughly, I came to conclusion that because of its location close to tonsils, most of tonsillectomy patients should have their glossopharyngeal nerve affected, which is responsible for taste sensations from the posterior one third of the tongue. But only say one in a thousand have that awful taste afterwards. There are published research papers (very rear, old, and none of our doctors familiar with them), for instance
Joseph M. Bicknell, MD and Robert V. Wiggins, MD, “Taste Disorder From Zinc Deficiency After Tonsillectomy,” The Western Journal of Medicine
identifying that Zinc deficiency in your body, combined with glossopharyngeal nerve injury, make your taste and smell go wild! Because, in a way, zinc is what helps taste being recognized and transferred to your brain. If you have a zinc level moderately low, you would still be able to have senses, but if in addition your glossopharyngeal nerve has a postsurgical trauma, these two combined make you lose you senses. So if you have post tonsillectomy taste disorder, great chances are that you are suffering from low zinc, or having a zinc absorption problem.
One week ago I started a zinc therapy, basically taking 25mg a day. Actually took a double doses first day. Guess what, in 24h I lost that constant awful taste in my mouth! Now, one week later, I feel my situation some 50% at least improved, I can feel sweet (some, not all, and not in full power, but sweets do not feels awful at least!). So guys, would cost you nothing to try this, and in few days I hope you would feel improvements. I read that this disorder could take people to "institutions" eventually, you and I know why, it's difficult to live with this, not knowing will you ever get to normal, or your whole life you will not be able to feel some of your favorite food. So I had to share this with you all....
I wish you soon will have your taste and smell back, and post smthng here if you get to feel any improvements...


Hi there! After reading your post I am hopeful about your zinc theory. It has been three weeks since my tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Right away after surgery I knew that there was something not right about my taste buds. Even popcicles were horrid. As my throat is healing and in less pain, the awful taste has gotten worse it seems. I have been in a serious funk and depressed about it. I know it hasn't been that long since my surgery and the nurse said to give it time, I'm in general, not feeling well, from the lack of food and lack of energy that come with that. The only risk they mentioned that come close to what has happened with me claims, "transient changes in sensation of the tongue". No one ever mentioned this happening. But, researching on the internet has proved that this happens to many post tonsillectomy patients. My question for you is the mg of the zinc. How did you decide on that dosage? Did you eventionally up the amount and did it get even better? I will be trying your method and I will update on what happens. Thank you for your information because I'm seriously going crazy with this. I'm really wondering about what's worse,.....bad tonsils or the loss of taste in food for who knows when~!


Oh my goodness, thank you so much for posting this great tip! I am 4 weeks post-op and I am starting to freak out a bit about this horrid taste radiating from the back right side of my tongue. To read that there may be a way to help myself heal is enough to give me hope right now. The taste is so awful and constant that it is hard to think of anything but that. I would love to hear how you are doing now since it has been a long time since this was posted. THANKS AGAIN!!!!


You could be right I will try zinc supplements.I had tounsillectomy at 37.However before this I had pimple problems which disappeared every time I take zinc suppliments meaning I have low zinc intake.After the tounsillectomy I sort of lost part of my taste.I will take the zinc suppliment again and see what happens


Has anyone noticed a difference taking the zinc? Brought some yesterday and have been taking it, but last night couldn't taste my vile mashed potatoes at all! 

Really getting me down 11 days post tonsillectomy.


It's been a while since I posted first post. Anyway, my senses of taste and smell returned taste 100% and smell say 80% after month of zinc therapy. Now one year after it's still the same. So my taste of smell never recovered in full, I know that because of some of my favorite parfumes that do not smell just the same as they used to.. But apart of strong smells (parfumes) the rest of smells in everyday life are just fine...
What about you?


i posted in another thread about the taste loss problems i was having after a tonsillectomy.
i tried zinc supplements and for me they seem to have helped -
i guess i cant say if it was a coincidence that i was taking them while getting better,
but i think theyre worth a try for sure.
one thing is - before taking them, i had a sour taste in my mouth 24/7 post surgery.
that went away by itself and my only problem was food being tasteless.
but shortly after starting the zinc, a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth started to become obvious.
kind of the taste you get if you chew up some medications.
i dont know if it's the zinc or what, but it is there constantly.
did anyone else experience something like this?


hi! its nice to know that im not alone in this kind of situation post on my 16th day post-op but i still cant taste anything..the first bite seems ok but after 5 seconds of chewing,food becomes tasteless and bland..i started zinc supplements after reading this, its been 10 days now but its still the same. no change at all..i still didnt regain my sense of taste and i think that my sense of smell is also affected 60% functioning. im so depressed.


I had my tonsils removed on 17 July 2012.  6 weeks have passed and I still cannot taste. 
I have read other articles regarding the taste loss and there doesnt seem to be much info on the net regarding this issue.
I spoke to my ENT and they have said that they have never heard of such a thing as the taste loss in their 25 years of practice. 
This is concerning as many people suffer from this but there is no help, cure, advise, etc for us.
I must say these groups do help when you feel all alone in this.

Some things I have tried eating which are tolerable are: 
 > Fresh carrots
 > Corn flakes with milk and a drizzle of honey
 > Ginger tea
 > Some fiber bran flakes
 > Boiled rice (basmati) with some butter/marg
 > Boiled pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, etc) plain with some salt and pepper
 > My wife gave me some pesto paste and I could taste it a bit - something nice to try and add to the pasta
 > Eggs
 > Mushrooms and Mushroom sauce
 > Honey - surprisingly gives a light sweetish taste on the tongue - i cannot taste anything sweet but this helps
 > Try chewing on some cinnamon sticks
 > Grilled or fried piece of fish with some general spices 
 > Nuts (all)
Items that I have tried which taste terrible:
 - Bread
 - Rolls
 - Yogurt
 - Tomato sauce
 - Lemon juice
 - Mayonnaise
 - All soda and juice

Seeing that there is no cure. it is nice to try and help each other with tips of what we can try to eat and help.
I love tea, coffee, breads, etc but cannot taste a thing when I eat it now. 

I take the following vitamins daily, hoping that they can help speed up the process or assist:
 > General multi-vitamin
 > Iron 
 > Zinc (around 30mg per day)
 > Vitamin B complex 
 > Omega oils
 > Flax-seed oil

Lets hope we can all recover soon.
Good luck and all the best! :-|


You thought I was in twilight zone the was tasting after my tonsillectomy but I m glad I found this page to inform me of the post problems
Thanks alot


Thanks for your post. I am 12 days post-op and I have the same horrible bitter taste sensation at the back right side of my tongue that everyone is complaining of. I think you are right about the glossopharyngeal nerve, as the lingual branch of that nerve is responsible for taste in the posterior region of the tongue. My surgeon told me it wasn't uncommon to experience taste alteration and told me it would be back in 6 weeks. However, from what I've read (and I've read hundreds of posts like this) I'm aware that it could take much longer. I've started taking the zinc so hopefully I'll have some luck from that. Has anyone else got any tips other than zinc?



Thanks a million. I am having a extreme probelm at the moment. I had surgery 2 months ago and unable to taste anything. I am goint to get the zinc now.


Hi - you should ask your Dr for a blood test to check your zinc levels. I started Acupuncture 5 weeks ago and I had my 5th session today and that seems to help a bit- I will post my experience once I have a proper cure - #holdingthumbs




I had my tonsillectomy on October 25, 2012

At first I had this wretched metallic taste in my mouth

and as I began to heal I had the funk breath

Now I have basically no taste at all, which leaves me hungry and

frustrated so I do not eat.

Now, I also sound like I am from the Dominican Republic

my voice has this strong accent and it does not even sound like me

I am embarrassed to even speak.

Went to the ENT 3 times so far, and this man told me that I had thrush...

Thrush does not change your entire voice, and it may affect your taste but

I know better than that, I did not have a thrush patch in my mouth at all.

I am going to try the zinc, as this man told me it is never heard of, losing your taste

and on top of the thrush medication he thinks I need to do speech exercises.

First of all, I had no speech problem before you wretch up in my mouth and

yanked my tonsils out, nor did I have  a speech problem when you tried to clamp my tongue to the roof of my mouth

nor a speech problem when you cut the adenoids out.

I am so glad other people have had this problem it only makes it easier for me to stick it to

my marvelous Doctor.  and the sad part is he toots his own horn.

Going to my Family Doctor to get blood tests and hopefully he can help me out, because the ENT is a quack!!!!



Don't stress about your voice so much. I sounded like Kermit the Frog for weeks and then I woke up one day and it was much better.

I had my tonsillectomy on 27/9. As everyone can see from my post above I was experiencing some really nasty taste sensations which began about a week after the surgery. When I spoke to my ENT, he also said that he'd never heard of this happening to anyone. He did say however that during the procedure the nerves in the tongue can become stretched and that it's a slow healing process.

But I can happily tell you all that it will get much better. My taste is still not good exactly, but the bitter sensation has ceased and now everything is just tasting a bit bland. Sweet things aren't really pleasant to eat still but before the taste was awful.

I took all the zinc everyone recommended but to be honest I don't think it has had much to do with the recovery. I had my zinc serum levels checked and they were completely normal. What I do recommend are alpha lipoic acid tablets. They promote nerve health and I think they have sped up the recovery for me.

From what I've read, it takes some people months to heal, others weeks. Don't give up hope. I'm 6 weeks since surgery and have seen a huge improvement.