The term tongue bite usually conjures up painful thoughts of biting down on your tongue while chewing. But while that's a common issue among the general population, tobacco pipe smokers know that tongue bite is something completely different yet no less painful and annoying. While it's primarily a problem that afflicts new pipe smokers, even experienced pros can sometimes suffer from its effects.
Basically, tongue bite is categorized as a kind of soreness within the mouth that occurs after smoking a pipe. It doesn't restrict itself to the tongue, despite its name, and can be quite painful for new smokers to deal with.
There are a few different causes of tongue bite, but it is generally traced back to the fact that the mouth hasn't had time to acclimate to the kind of pH levels smoke contains. It's a chemical burn, to put it simply, and a few different things can make it even worse.
First, many new smokers simply smoke their pipe too fast. Their line of thinking is that they need to keep the pipe lit, and puffing away on it is the best way to do so. But the truth is that relighting the pipe isn't going to ruin the smoking experience. Even long time pipe smokers usually relight several times during a smoking session. Smoke slowly and savor the experience, and you'll help avoid the problem.
Packing a pipe the correct way is important, too. Packing correctly helps eliminate sudden heat flair-ups. Follow the proper packing procedures in order to avoid tongue bite. Also remember that the moisture content of your tobacco will have an impact on tongue bite. Very dry tobacco will burn extremely hot and contribute to the problem. Moist tobacco is a better call, but remember that you don't have to puff like a madman to keep it lit.
Finally, it's important to understand that your own body chemistry may not work with certain tobaccos. If you're not smoking too fast or hot, you may be having a kind of allergic reaction to the tobacco. Try changing to different tobaccos to see if you can avoid the problem. Aromatic blends are usually the biggest culprits in terms of causing tongue bite, so think about avoiding them if you're frequently having the issue.
Tongue bite is a painful and annoying problem, but with a few simple tips in mind smokers can usually avoid the issue and enjoy their tobacco pipes properly.