Metallic Taste in Mouth: What Does It Mean?

Some patients experience a metallic taste in their mouth and the causes vary. Should you be concerned? Read on to learn what the unpleasant taste means, what causes it and how you can prevent it.

What Is It?

Parageusia (a term also referred to as dysgeusia) is the medical definition of a metallic taste in the mouth. Parageusia is rarely a chronic condition. Medications, psychological problems, autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders have a link to a metallic taste, according to Journal of the Canadian Dental Association.

What Causes Metallic Taste in Mouth?

Many prescription drugs and supplements may cause parageusia, but the effect may fade once the ingredients in these drugs and supplements, such as vitamins, have been processed by the body, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many drugs, and it may enhance the metallic taste in the mouth. The effects of dry mouth can be reduced by drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum.

Medical and dental infections may cause a metallic taste in the mouth, particularly sinus and middle ear infections. An ear, nose and throat doctor, also known as an otolaryngologist, would be able to diagnose infections involving the ears, sinus and throat, and make recommendations on how to treat those infections.

A particular dental infection known as acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) may cause a metallic taste in the mouth, says a study published in the Journal of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine & Radiology. Schedule a visit to a gum specialist, known as a periodontist, or general dentist who can diagnose and treat ANUG. A periodontist may recommend that you change your oral hygiene routine at home to help heal your gums. Swishing with a mouthwash, like Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield, freshens breath and helps prevent gingivitis. If you have healthy gums and reduce gingival inflammation, the metallic taste may subside.

Pregnancy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and food allergies may produce metallic taste in mouth symptoms, and but in these cases, the taste is normally temporary.

Is It Preventable?

There are a few preventive measures you can take to prevent metallic taste in the mouth. Firstly, brush your teeth and tongue twice a day, floss once daily, chew sugarfree gum and drink plenty of water. Quitting smoking and avoiding certain spicy foods, might prove useful, as well as switching to utensils that do not contain metal.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.