(HealthDay News) -- A food's flavor is produced by a combination of your senses of taste and smell. If you begin to lose the ability to distinguish foods that are sweet, salty, sour or bitter, a number of factors could be at fault.
The University of Maryland Medical Center offers these possible causes for impaired taste:
Having Bell's palsy.
Having the gum disease gingivitis.
Having a cold or the flu, a nasal or salivary gland infection, sinusitis or nasal polyps.
Being a heavy smoker.
Having dry mouth.
Having an injury to the head, nose or mouth.
Having pharyngitis, an inflammation of the pharynx.