Why do I have a metallic taste in my mouth? how to get rid of it

A metallic taste in the mouth is relatively common. Medically referred to as dysgeusia, it’s not usually associated with any major health problems (except in some cases).

It can occur after eating fish or other highly spiced dishes, such as onions or garlic. You could have a problem if you experience a persistent metallic, sour, or bitter taste on your tongue. Typically, the taste of food has no bearing on this experience.

Poor oral hygiene can cause a metallic taste. (Image via Unsplash/National Cancer Institute)
Poor oral hygiene can cause a metallic taste. (Image via Unsplash/National Cancer Institute)

On the contrary, it could have the opposite effect and even ruin the flavor of your favorite foods. Such a change in taste perception can cause someone to procrastinate on eating, which often leads to malnutrition.


Causes of metallic taste in mouth

You’ll be better equipped to treat or manage taste buds or taste changes when you’re aware of the underlying causes. In addition, they let you know when it’s time to see your dentist or doctor with alerts.

Here are some common causes of a metallic taste in your mouth.


#1 Poor oral hygiene

Blood has a metallic taste. Additionally, you are more likely to experience bleeding gums when you brush and floss your teeth, especially if you have gum disease or poor oral health conditions such as severe gingivitis.

Because healthy gums don’t bleed, the metallic taste in your mouth can be a result of poor oral hygiene. So if you only brush or floss occasionally, you run a very high risk of getting blood in your mouth with those sporadic oral hygiene kicks.


#2 Upper respiratory allergy

An unpleasant or metallic taste in the mouth can be caused by congestion and mucus caused by respiratory diseases. In this scenario, the tongue tastes like mucus from the nose and throat. These sinus problems can range from the common cold to middle ear infections and nasal polyps.

Unpleasant or metallic taste can result from congestion and phlegm caused by respiratory diseases. (Image via Pexels/ Vlada Karpovich)
Unpleasant or metallic taste can result from congestion and phlegm caused by respiratory diseases. (Image via Pexels/ Vlada Karpovich)

#3 Too much or too little zinc in the diet

A zinc deficiency can be the cause of the sudden metallic taste in the mouth. This could hinder cell regeneration and alter the taste. However, individuals who consume excessive amounts of zinc through supplements may develop taste disorders or that annoying metallic taste, as well as nausea and abdominal discomfort.

Cash zinc-rich foods to add to your diet.


#4 Liver or kidney disease

Although uncommon, liver or kidney dysfunction can cause a metallic taste in the mouth. As a result of these situations, the body accumulates substances. These substances pass into the saliva and give it a metallic taste.

For example, people with severe kidney disease have excessive salivary ammonia production that leaves them with a metallic aftertaste.


How to get rid of metallic taste in mouth

Metallic taste in the mouth is unpleasant. Here are some ways to get rid of it:

#1 Avoid using metal utensils

Avoid metal cutlery when eating. Metal forks, spoons, and stainless steel bottles can accentuate the metallic taste.

Rinse your mouth before eating. (Image via Unsplash/ Towfiqu Barbhuiya)
Rinse your mouth before eating. (Image via Unsplash/ Towfiqu Barbhuiya)

#2 Be mindful of the foods you choose

Eat fewer meals that might have a metallic or bitter taste. Red meat, coffee and tea are just a few examples. Choose foods like chicken, fish, dairy, and eggs that are high in protein and have a mild taste.


#3 Proper oral care

Maintaining proper hygiene practices is vital when managing taste issues. Use mouthwash, brush your teeth frequently and don’t forget to floss.


Other ways to avoid metallic taste

You can reduce the likelihood of a metallic taste in your mouth by doing the following:

  • Drink plenty of water or chew on ice.
  • Rinse your mouth with baking soda and warm water before eating to neutralize the acid.
  • Avoid smoking or give up

The most important action you can take is to work with your doctor to find the cause of the problem. Long-term treatment is by finding out why you have taste changes and, if possible, treating that problem rather than hiding the symptoms.


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