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Aside from eating something salty, here are possible reasons you may have a salty taste in your mouth:
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a relatively common condition. In addition to a salty taste, your mouth may be dry. Your saliva may also be thick, stringy, and sticky. You may also notice:
In most cases, the solution for a dry mouth is as simple as staying hydrated. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can make your mouth dry. You may be dehydrated when you first wake up in the morning.
However, xerostomia can also be caused by smoking, certain medications, and some less common health conditions like Sjögren’s syndrome. Talk to your doctor or dentist if you frequently experience dry mouth symptoms.
Moderate to severe dehydration can cause more than an altered feeling and taste in your mouth. If you’ve lost a lot of water through sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting, you may also experience:
Dehydration can lead to hypernatremia (high blood sodium). This may cause a strong salty taste in addition to the above symptoms.
You can prevent dehydration by consuming an adequate intake of water and electrolytes. But if you’ve lost a significant amount of water and can’t think or move normally, see a doctor immediately.
If you have a cold or seasonal allergies, you may have post-nasal drip. This occurs when mucus buildup from your sinuses goes down both your throat and nose.
This mucus can then get into your mouth, which can taste salty. This isn’t anything to worry about on its own. Just continue to rest and drink fluids if you have a cold.
Certain foods, irritating chemicals or nasal sprays, and cold temperatures can also cause post-nasal drip. However, see a doctor if you have symptoms of a severe infection or allergic reaction, such as:
Having blood in your mouth can produce a salty or metallic taste. This could happen due to an oral injury or a nosebleed.
You can usually stop a nosebleed or minor oral bleeding quickly. Applying pressure with your hands or a compress may be enough. However, see a doctor if you:
Oral bleeding or a general foul taste may be caused by an oral infection, such as:
See your dentist or doctor if you have persistent burning pain in your mouth, hoarseness, or a change in the appearance of your tongue or gums.
Having a lower-than-healthy amount of certain nutrients may cause a salty or metallic taste in your mouth. Some common nutrient deficiencies that can affect your taste buds include:
It can take years for a nutrient deficiency to develop and cause symptoms. In addition to a salty, sour, or metallic taste, you may also notice:
Treatment for a deficiency may involve getting a shot or oral supplement of the nutrient in question. To avoid nutrient deficiencies, try to maintain a balanced diet. Dietary supplements are also available over the counter (OTC).
Less common causes of a salty or otherwise altered taste include:
A salty taste in your mouth usually isn’t a sign of anything serious. But you should let your doctor know if you have:
In rare cases, there may be a medical emergency causing your altered taste. If you have difficulty breathing or standing up, or if you’re in severe pain, see a doctor immediately.
A salty taste in your mouth may not need treatment beyond drinking water. A dry mouth due to mild dehydration may be the cause. In cases of severe dehydration, IV hydration may be required.
However, more specific or severe causes will require different treatments. These may include antibiotics, antihistamines, or vitamin injections.
The easiest way to avoid an unexpected salty taste is to stay hydrated and maintain a balanced diet. Also, avoid excessive nose-picking to avoid causing a nosebleed.
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