The 12 most common causes of a Metallic or a Distorted Taste in the mouth and some suggested methods to help.
[boxibt style=”gray”]1. Heart burn or Acid Reflux (Metallic, Bitter or Acid Taste)
This is one of the most common reasons for a metallic taste in the mouth, there can also be a acid or bitter taste too. The main cause of Acid Heart Burn and the resulting Metallic/Bitter/Acid taste isn’t actually excessive acid but a food we are struggling to digest, such as wheat or dairy, or a life-style issue, such as eating too late or excessively.
How do you know if your metallic taste in the mouth is due to Heart Burn or Acid Reflux?
[customborder]A question I always ask my patients is…
Do you have a little cough when you first lie down at night?
If the answer is Yes, then there is often low level acid reflux. The cough is caused by the acid fumes irritating the lungs and also give you a metallic and sometimes acid or sour taste. Also see if the metallic taste comes and goes with what you eat. That’s a great test to see if your metallic taste is caused by acid reflux. [/customborder]
[boxibt style=”gray”]2. Poor Oral Hygiene (Metallic or Stale Taste)
With irritated gums or infections there is often low level bleeding from the gums and as the blood contains Iron (haemoglobin) this can give rise to a metallic or stale taste in your mouth.
This and other dental problems are a very common cause of a metallic taste.
[boxibt style=”gray”]3. Oral Infections like Gingivitis or Periodontitis (Metallic or Bitter/Rotten Taste)
In extreme cases pus can slowly seep out from the gums giving rise to a metallic or bitter taste. You may also have bad breath with this problem.
Bad breath is embarrassing for you and unpleasant or those around you, but it can be relieved. Here’s some more about Bad Breath and some top tips to get rid of it. Click Here
[boxibt style=”gray”]4. Fluctuation in Estrogen Levels (Metallic or Over-Sensitive Taste)
This can be at times of hormonal change within the menstrual cycle or at Menopause or puberty. See if your symptoms occur or worsen at these times in the cycle.
This can also be caused by being pregnant and is often one of the earliest signs. It can even occur before you have a positive pregnancy test. The cause of the taste is thought to be hormonal, particularly the increased estrogen associated with pregnancy. This problem usually improves greatly or ends entirely after the first trimester (3 months)
[boxibt style=”gray”]5. Selenium Overuse (Metallic Taste)
Having excessive Selenium in your diet can give rise to a metallic taste. This will normally come from a multivitamin. Typically, most adult multivitamins contain 55 mcg or less of selenium per dose. Other types of supplements, such as those that contain just selenium, may contain significantly more selenium and may be a problem. Check out your supplements.
[boxibt style=”gray”]6. Mercury Poisoning (Metallic Taste)
The most common cause of this problem is due to dental amalgam. [/boxibt]
[boxibt style=”gray”]7. Copper Toxicity (Metallic Taste)
This is very rare
[boxibt style=”gray”]8. Lead Poisoning (Metallic Taste or Flat Taste)
Older housing with the use of lead pipes is the most common cause here. Check your house.
[boxibt style=”gray”]9. Dental Caries (Bad, Rotten plus a Metallic Taste)
This will be due to infected matter leaking from the tooth or low level bleeding in to the mouth.
[boxibt style=”gray”]10. Inflammation of the stomach (Bad Sour and often Metallic Taste)
This can commonly be caused by Helicobacter pylori a bacteria that lives in the stomach. Helicobacter pylori causes stomach ulcers or pains in the stomach, so if you have these as well as a metallic taste make sure you ask you doctor about a simple low cost test. The treatment is simple too and it will get rid of your stomach ulcers and the taste.
[boxibt style=”gray”]11. Sinus or nasal infections (Foul, Stinky Breath with a Metallic Taste)
This is quite common and is caused by the mucus or low level bleeding from the nose or sinus.
How do you know if you have a sinus infection, and that is the cause of the metallic taste in your mouth? With sinus infections, people feel very tired and have pain in the nose or forehead that increases when they lean forward.
[boxibt style=”gray”]12. Medications like Antibiotics, Prenatal Vitamins and Antidepressants (Metallic or altered Taste)
Speak to your doctor if you symptoms arrived after starting and new medication.
Other drugs that are known to cause a metallic taste include
Acetylcholine esterase inhibitors for Alzheimer’s disease
Anti thyroid drugs
Bronchodilators for asthma and COPD, such as Albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin)
Captopril (Capoten) for high blood pressure and heart failure
Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen) for severe rheumatoid arthritis and Wilson’s disease Procarbazine (Matulane) for Hodgkin’s disease
Rifampin (Rifamate, Rifater, IsonaRif) for tuberculosis or to prevent bacterial meningitis
To diagnose the underlying cause of a metallic taste in your mouth, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you five common questions about your symptoms.
1. When did the metallic taste first appear?
2. Describe any changes in the texture, appearance and taste of the tongue. Have you noticed any tongue swelling or mouth sores or lesions?
3. Describe all diseases and conditions in your medical and dental history and list all the medications, supplements, and herbal drugs you are taking. Do you smoke?
4. Have you been in recent contact with any unusual substances or environments, such as chemicals, insecticides, or hot and spicy foods?
5. Describe any recent conditions, such as fever, upper respiratory infections, oral or tongue trauma, or other conditions of the mouth, throat or nose.
Before you see you health professional, think about your answers to these questions.