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 (also referred to as dysgeusia) is the medical term denoting a metallic taste in the mouth. Parageusia is rarely a chronic condition. Medications, psychological problems, autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders can all lead to a metallic taste.
What Causes a Metallic Taste in the Mouth?
Many prescription medications and supplements may cause parageusia, but the effect often fades once the ingredients in these medications and supplements, such as vitamins, have been processed by the body, according to the Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications, 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, according to 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 freshens breath and helps prevent gum problems. 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, but in these cases the taste is normally temporary.
Is It Preventable?
There are a few 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 also prove useful, as well as switching to utensils that do not contain metal.