In this article
Having a metallic taste is a condition medically known as dysgeusia. It’s usually not associated with severe health concerns.
However, it can be an indication of poor dental habits. Sometimes, it’s a sign of an underlying problem like infections or oral diseases.
Understanding your overall health and knowing when a metallic taste should prompt a visit to a doctor or dentist is integral to dealing with this condition.
Several things can cause a metallic taste in your mouth, including:
Poor dental hygiene is one of the most common causes of having a metallic or otherwise bad taste in the mouth. You can usually resolve a metallic taste in the mouth by brushing and flossing regularly.
Failure to maintain proper oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, increasing the risk of gingivitis and periodontitis. These conditions can leave a foul taste in your mouth.
A gum disease or infection requires dental care. Visit your dentist regularly to maintain good dental hygiene.
Certain supplements and over-the-counter medications could cause a metallic taste in the mouth. This typically happens because your body absorbs the medicine, which comes out in your saliva.
This is especially true of supplements that contain heavy minerals such as:
Many prenatal vitamins, as well as calcium and iron supplements, also fall into this category. Taking lozenges or other zinc treatments could also develop a metallic taste in your mouth.
Many prescription medications trigger a metallic taste in the mouth. These can include antibiotics, blood pressure medications, and gout medicine.
Some of the most common medications associated with metallic taste include:
Chemotherapy and radiation trigger a metallic taste in the mouth, especially in patients receiving treatment for head and neck cancers. This is sometimes called “chemotherapy mouth” or “chemo mouth.”
Some people claim zinc and vitamin D ease this issue. There is evidence that zinc protects against radiotherapy-induced oral and oropharyngeal mucosa inflammation.1
Several illnesses and infections can affect your sense of taste, causing a metallic taste. These conditions include:
This occurs because your sense of smell and taste are closely linked. If you have any sinus problems, it might also affect your taste buds.
Taste buds are connected to brain nerves. When a person develops dementia, there is a part of the brain that affects a person’s sense of taste.6
This occurrence can result in a preference for sweets or experiencing a metallic taste in the mouth. However, more studies need to be conducted on this.
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can trigger dysgeusia. It’s this same phenomenon that triggers unusual pregnancy cravings.
However, it can also manifest in a sour and/or metallic taste.2 It typically happens in the first trimester, as your pregnancy progresses, the metallic taste should disappear.
Food allergies, especially to tree nuts and shellfish, can trigger a metallic taste. In this case, the metallic taste can be an early warning sign of anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal reaction, so you must consult your doctor if you suspect the strange taste is linked to a food allergy.
A metallic taste might arise after exposure to certain chemicals, including:
Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you believe the metallic taste in your mouth is associated with chemical exposure.
You may experience a metallic taste in your mouth due to a mouth injury. It can also be caused by a condition known as burning mouth syndrome (BMS).
BMS often makes you feel like your mouth is burnt by coffee. It also causes a dry mouth and a bitter metallic taste.
Oral surgeries can also cause a metallic taste. This is often caused by general anesthetic drugs used during the surgery.
Indigestion could be responsible for the metallic taste in your mouth. You may also experience bloating and a burning sensation in your chest after eating.
The metallic taste can also be caused by heartburn or acid reflux. Once the indigestion is treated, the taste should go away.
A metallic taste in your mouth is rarely severe, but it can be. You should see your doctor if:
A metallic taste in the mouth can usually be prevented. The easiest way to do this is to maintain good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and tongue-scraping.
The most important thing you can do is speak to your doctor about getting to the root cause of the problem. Understanding why you experience taste changes and resolving that issue offers long-term relief.
There are several things you can do to alleviate the metallic taste in your mouth, including:
A metallic taste in your mouth is a condition called dysgeusia. Several things could cause it, but the most common is having a poor oral hygiene routine.
Dysgeusia isn’t typically associated with serious health concerns. However, it can indicate an underlying condition that might require dental care.
If the metallic taste does not disappear after a few days, it is always best to visit your doctor. You can also prevent this by practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding or quitting smoking, and rinsing your mouth with baking soda mixed in warm water.
In this article