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Metal Taste in Mouth – Causes, Treatment

What is a Metal Taste in Mouth?

A metal taste in the mouth, medically referred to as dysgeusia, is a distortion of taste in a person’s mouth and may be due to variety of different factors. It can also be described as a foul or bitter taste. A metallic taste is denoted by a sour and acidic taste in a person’s mouth.

Metal Taste in Mouth

A person is born with 10,000 taste buds,  and as he or she ages or approaches old age, he or she loses them one by one.  When a person experiences a metal taste in the mouth, the symptom may be benign in nature or linked to a serious medical condition which needs medical attention.

What Causes a Metal Taste in the Mouth?

The most common causes for metallic taste in the mouth:

  • Dehydration
  • Smoking
  • Dryness of the mouth, Glossitis
  • Presence of infection
  • Strep throat
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat
  • Pharyngitis
  • Injury in the nose, head, or mouth
  • Chemical poisoning
  • Burning sensation on the tongue
  • Dental appliances
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Dental health problems
  • Nasal polyps
  • Neurological disorders
  • Radiation therapy side effect
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Deficiency in vitamin B12
  • Deficiency in zinc
  • As a Side effect of Antibiotics, Acetylcholine esterase, Captopril, Chemotherapy, Bronchodilator, Antithyroid, Lithium, Rifampin, Penicillamine, Procarbazine
  • Cancer
  • High levels of iron in the body
  • Bleeding gums
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Disease in the kidney region
  • Lead poisoning, Copper overdosaging, Selenium toxicity level, Cadmium poisoning
  • Lichen planus
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Marine toxin
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Gastritis
  • Consumption of pine nuts
  • Mercury poisoning
  • Amyloidosis
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Tooth decay
  • Intake of antidepressant medications
  • Tooth abscess
  • Chronic  alcoholism
  • Hormone fluctuations in women (especially estrogen level)
  • Prenatal medications
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Jaundice
  • Heartburn episodes
  • Tooth amalgams
  • Periodontal disease
  • Plaque build-up

Other reasons include the following:

  • Pregnancy

Pregnant women will encounter hormonal fluctuations that are linked to pregnancy, and it is believed that the hormonal changes will lead to a  metallic taste experience especially during their first trimester period.

  • Presence of allergies

The presence of allergies, which can lead to a metallic taste experience, may be due to the direct, local effect on a person’s smell and taste or the release of histamine in the body.

  • Food poisoning (marine type)

When a person eats spoiled foods such as dark fish meat like mackerel, tuna, mahi mahi, and bonito, he or she will experience a metal taste in the mouth. This kind of food poisoning is referred to as histamine or scombroid fish poisoning.

  • Inhaled substances

An example of inhaled substance is tobacco smoke which causes a metal taste in the mouth. Other examples are environmental chemicals which when inhaled over a long period of time will cause a metallic taste; examples include hydrazine, lacquers, chromates, cobalt, rubber dust, benzene, and gasoline.

  • Menopausal effect

Women who are at their menopausal stage may experience a metallic taste as well as nausea, skin rashes, and weight gain.

  • Idiopathic kind of dysgeusia

Sometimes the cause behind a metallic taste is unknown; hence, it is medically termed as an idiopathic kind of dysgeusia.

  • Contrast medium for diagnostic evaluation

Sometimes when a person undergoes diagnostic evaluation which involves contrast medium, he or she may usually experience a metallic taste in the mouth due to the contrast medium.

How to Get Rid of a Metal Taste in the Mouth?

In treating people with a metal taste in the mouth, the exact cause must be first determined to specify the proper cure for them. The following treatment suggestions are effective:

  • Consumption of citrus foods such as orange, lemonade, and lemon
  • Use of baking soda as a neutralizer for oral acids
  • Consumption of foods prepared in vinegar
  • Consumption of herbal medications such as green tea extract
  • Consumption of cat’s claw which is another herbal medication
  • Intake of peppermint enteric-coated medications
  • Maintenance of proper oral hygiene (brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day)
  • Rinsing with mouthwash
  • Intake of zinc supplement
  • Intake of hard candies
  • Consumption of cinnamon and cloves
  • Use of plastic utensils when eating
  • Gargling with a teaspoon of salt mixed in water
  • Intake of turmeric 300 milligrams for at least thrice a day

The good news with people experiencing a metal taste in the mouth is that it can be cured if the underlying disease condition is diagnosed properly and treatment is provided. If the metallic taste is still not relieved by the treatments suggested above, the next step is to consult an expert physician in order to distinguish the exact etiological factors which cause the metal taste condition. Medical consultation is required because a metal taste in the mouth may be due to serious health conditions that warrant medical assistance and serious treatment procedures. Such serious health conditions associated with a metallic taste are lead intoxication and poisoning, cancer, or kidney failure.

Tell us, what is your most common cause of metallic taste among the list we mentioned?

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