Ageusia is the absence of the sense of taste. The condition has many types and degrees of severity, but experts estimate as few as one or two people per thousand experience a complete loss of taste. Numerous medical concerns can cause ageusia, and various factors affect whether the issue is temporary or permanent.
The term ageusia describes a complete loss of taste, but this is not the only taste disorder a person might develop. Hypogeusia is a decreased ability to taste, while dysgeusia or parageusia is when the sense is distorted. Phantogeusia is the sensation of tastes that are not really there. In addition to these variations, taste disorders may be total, partial, or specific, meaning they affect all five basic tastes — sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami — only some, or only one, respectively.
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