What is Metallic taste in Mouth?
The metallic taste that you have in your mouth can be associated with a variety of factors that can range from cancer, allergies to diseases such as kidney failure, pregnancy, dental problems, deficiency in certain vitamins, and more. When you are born you have approximately ten thousand taste buds but as you get older some of them begin to disappear. This is why children are more sensitive to particular tastes than adults are. Another interesting fact is that men have fewer taste buds than women. The medical term for have a distorted sense of tastes is dysgeusia.
Usually the metal taste will go away on its own within a few days without having to do anything about it.
Having a metallic taste in mouth will sometimes occur with other symptoms or it may occur by itself. Some of the symptoms that may go along with the metallic taste may include:
- Gums that bleed
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth
- Salivation that is excessive
- Changes in facial movements because of a facial nerve dysfunction.
- Loss of appetite
- Stuffy nose
- Sense of smell that is poor
- Inflamed or swollen tonsils
There are some cases in which the metallic taste in mouth can indicate a condition that is serious or life-threatening and should be evaluated immediately. Some of the symptoms that can occur with either of these types of conditions may include:
- Any changes in confusion, consciousness, or alertness
- Having the inability to swallow
- A fever higher than one hundred one degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drooping or paralysis of the face
- Having breathing or respiratory problems such as labored breathing, choking, wheezing, not breathing, or difficulty breathing.
- Speech that is slurred
- Sudden swelling of the lips, tongue, or mouth.
Having a metallic taste in mouth can be caused by any condition, disease, or disorder that interferes with the process of taste. This can include aging, the common cold, neurological disorders, smoking, etc. Some of the more serious reasons for having this type of taste can include autoimmune disorders and chemical poisonings. Some of the neurological disorders can also cause be serious. Some medications can also cause this metallic taste. It can also be caused by breathing through your mouth causing a dry mouth.
Some of the infections that could cause metallic taste in mouth may include:
- Sinusitis or nasal infection
- Infections of the salivary glands
- Sore throat also known as Pharyngitis
- Viral infection
- Strep throat
Some injuries or trauma that could cause a metallic taste may include:
- Biting or burning your tongue
- Nose, mouth, or head injury
Other causes and medications may include:
- Having Bell’s Palsy
- Having braces
- Dental problems such as surgery or gingivitis
- Inflammation of the tongue known as glossitis
- Nasal polyps
- Brain damage
- Radiation therapy to your neck or head
- A deficiency in zinc or vitamin B12
- Copper toxicity
- Acid reflux disease
- Lead or mercury poisoning
The treatment that is needed to take care of the metallic taste in mouth depends on the cause of this taste. Some of the ways that you can take care of this taste are:
- When you brush your teeth make sure that you are also brushing your tongue to help lessen the metallic taste in mouth.
- Rinse your mouth with a solution of eight ounces of water to which you have added a teaspoon of salt.
- You can also rinse your mouth with a solution of water and one fourth teaspoon of baking soda.
- Eat raw condiments like cinnamon and cloves in tiny portions to give you a temporary relief from this taste.
- Maintain a strict dental hygiene which includes brushing your teeth two times a day and flossing at least once a day.
- Mix a small amount of baking soda with a little salt and sprinkle this on your toothbrush. Brush with this mixture at least once a day.
- Use mint toothpaste when brushing your teeth.
- Drink a lot of water during the day
- Eat foods that have been prepared or marinated with vinegar such as sauces, pickles, etc.
- Drink citrus juices like orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, etc.
- Chew gum
If nothing seems to help, or it is appearing to get worse, it is best to talk to your physician to make sure what is causing this metallic taste in mouth and that there are no serious conditions that are causing the taste.
For some women, have a metallic taste in their mouth is the first sign of pregnancy. This change in taste happens because of the fluctuations of hormones in their body at this time. It is believed that the estrogen hormone is what is responsible for controlling food cravings and taste so when this particular hormone begins to fluctuate it can considerably change the taste. It can cause a pregnant woman to have an unpleasant taste in their mouth and make them ore sensitive to certain tastes.
Another reason that a woman might experience a metallic taste in mouth is the close relationship between smell and taste. During pregnancy a women can develop an acute sense of smell causing their sense of taste to go through a significant change. The hormone fluctuation is the strongest during the first trimester so this is when most women have the change in taste and will usually go away during the second trimester. There are some pregnant women who will have this metallic taste in mouth during the whole pregnancy. If this happens some physician’s believe it is due to acid reflux. The prenatal vitamins can also cause a metallic taste in some women who are pregnant. In some cases the cause is unknown why a woman has a metallic taste in mouth when they are pregnant.
rajesh kumar chhimpa on March 10, 2014:
Thanks for so much good information
Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on January 19, 2014:
Excellent and most informative. Thank you.