What Are the Causes and Treatments for a Metallic Taste?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, causes can range from minor problems to more serious conditions. We hope you're encouraged there's a way to treat or address most causes. Common causes and their treatments include:
Infections: Dental and medical infections that can cause a metallic taste in your mouth include:
- Infections brought on by poor oral hygiene practices include tooth infections and gum disease, which can develop into acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) – also known as trench mouth
- Sinus, middle ear, and upper respiratory infections, including the common cold
Schedule a visit to your dental professionals to treat tooth and gum infections. They might refer you to a periodontist – aka a gum specialist – for more specialized treatment. Your family doctor or an otolaryngologist – aka an ear, nose, and throat doctor – can diagnose and treat infections involving the ears, sinus, and throat. One of these health caregivers should fix you up.
Medications: If you take certain drugs – whether prescription and over-the-counter – they permeate your body to do their necessary work. Side effects the medications can cause include:
- Metallic-tasting saliva
- Dry mouth, which enhances a metallic mouth taste
Once you're off the medications, your taste buds should go back to normal. In the meantime, you can reduce the effects of dry mouth and unpleasant saliva by drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum.
Supplements: When you start taking certain supplements, your mouth can start taking on the taste of metal. The same can happen with multivitamins containing copper, zinc, and other metallic elements. But the sensation should fade after your body adjusts to the supplements' ingredients. (Yay!)
Pregnancy: Your changing hormones can activate the sensation of the taste of metal in your mouth. Once your baby's born, the bitter taste should go away. (And you'll have a new baby!)
Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy: If you're battling cancer, a metallic taste is one side effect of the disease's treatment.
Nerve-Related Taste Disorders: Dementia is one condition of this disorder that can throw the taste buds out of whack. Unfortunately, this causation doesn't respond to treatment.
Miscellaneous: Other causes linked to a metallic taste in the mouth include:
- Food allergies
- Psychological disorders
- Hormonal imbalances beyond pregnancy
- Exposures to lead, mercury, and other chemicals
Like most causes, treatment for these conditions should make the obnoxious taste cease to exist.