Metallic Taste in Mouth – Causes

Metallic taste in mouth is misrepresentation of taste experienced. The condition is also scientifically known as Dysgeusia. There are various conditions that can lead to such distortion of taste such as cancer, allergies, kidney issues, dental issues and pregnancy, etc. Dysgeusia is associated with ageusia a condition of complete lack of taste and also as hypogeusia (decrease in taste sensitivity). The distortion of taste usually lasts for few days and restores on its own.

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Symptoms of Metallic taste in Mouth

Sometimes metallic taste of the mouth is accompanied with other signs and symptoms. Some of the commonly reported symptoms along with the change in taste include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Halitosis
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Excessive secretion of saliva
  • Facial nerve dysfunction may cause changes in facial movement
  • Reduction in appetite
  • Stuffy nose
  • Consistent vomiting
  • Swelling of inflammation of tonsils

There are certain cases wherein the distorted tastes maybe result of serious conditions which can be life threatening. Such conditions should be diagnosed and addressed timely. Prevalence of such conditions is often hinted by symptoms along with unusual taste in mouth; some of such symptoms are:

  • Changes in alertness, confusion and consciousness
  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Increased body temperature above 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Drooping face or facial paralysis
  • Breathing issues or respiratory issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Swollen lips, tongue or even mouth

metallic taste in mouth

Causes of metallic taste in mouth

Most conditions, disorder or disease, may lead to metallic taste in mouth; particularly those that affect the tasting process in the body.  This may also include common aging process, cold, nerve related issues, smoking, etc. Some serious factors that may lead to the anomaly also include chemical poisoning or disorder of the immune system. There are some neurological conditions which are associated with distorted taste in mouth.  Medicinal side effects are also linked with metallic taste. Sometimes dehydration of the mouth may make you experience taste change.

There are certain infections that cause you to experience taste changes:

  • Nasal infection or sinusitis
  • Salivary gland infection
  • Pharyngtis
  • Infection caused due to virus
  • Strep throat

Sometimes traumatic experience of injuries may also cause metallic taste:

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  • Bitten or burned tongue
  • Nasal injury, head injury or injury to mouth

Some other causes of the condition include:

  • Bell’s palsy
  • Installation of braces
  • Dental issues
  • Polyps of the nose
  • Glossitis
  • Damages to brain
  • Neck or head treated with radiation therapy
  • Vitamins B12 or zinc deficiency
  • Use of antibiotics
  • Bronchodilators
  • Lithium
  • Copper toxicity
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Poisoning of lead or mercury

Metallic taste in mouth during pregnancy

In some impregnated women the metallic taste is the initial symptom of pregnancy. Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy are factor that cause changes in taste. Estrogen hormone is said to regulate food craving as well as taste. It is this hormone that undergoes drastic changes during pregnancy, thus taste changes are common. This does not only cause change is taste but also sensitivity to certain tastes.

Women develop acute sense of smell while pregnant. Since sense of taste and smell are closely related changes in smelling ability can also influence taste. Such changes are mostly experienced initially as the hormonal fluctuation is at peak during the first trimester. In some expecting-women, the metallic taste in mouth will be experienced throughout their pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins may also cause such distortion of taste. However, in considerable cases the cause may remain unexplained.

Treatment for metallic taste in mouth

The factor causing taste changes is a decisive factor to obtain treatment for the issue. However there are some ways that can help you deal with the issue.

  • Cleaning your tongue is a good way of reducing the misinterpretation of taste. You can clean your tongue while you are brushing your teeth.
  • You can also rinse your mouth with a glass of water added with 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Baking soda can also help. Take a glass of water an add ¼ of baking soda in it; mix well and rinse your mouth appropriately.
  • One can also obtain temporary relief from the altered taste by eating and chewing raw condiments such as clove, cinnamon, etc.
  • Ensure that you have a strict dental hygiene program that includes flossing regularly and brushing at least twice a day, preferably in morning and before bed.
  • Mix a small amount of baking soda with little salt. Sprinkle this solution on your toothbrush and clean your mouth with it. Use this mixture at least once a day.
  • It is better to use mint flavor toothpaste to brush your teeth.
  • Drink lot of water and frequently to avoid your mouth from becoming dehydrated
  • Avoid smoking if you want to restore your taste buds; degraded taste sense is one of the common effects of smoking

Since metallic taste in mouth can be due to serious condition, it is always better to first get diagnosed to discover any underlying serious causes.

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