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10 Causes for That Metallic Taste in Your Mouth

 When we put something in our mouth, whether it's a drink, food or chewing gum, there tastes linger for a few minutes after we've finished chewing them. However, the flavors we experience in our mouth aren’t always from food or drink, and there are cases in which we’ll have a metallic taste in our mouth which doesn’t pass even after a few hours or, sometimes even weeks or months. There are several reasons behind this phenomenon, some of which are our fault and some are due to environmental circumstances, and it is important to know them.

Metallic taste

1. Taking over-the-counter drugs or vitamins

In the winter, many of us reach for the medicine and vitamin shelves to help us get through cold season in good health, and when we take these pills, they may cause a metallic taste in the mouth that doesn’t go away until after we stop taking them. Multivitamins, for example, contain heavy metals such as copper, zinc or chromium, which by their nature cause a metallic taste in the mouth.

Certain cold remedies also contain zinc, which helps to heal the body but also causes this disturbing phenomenon. The metallic taste usually disappears after your body adapts to the drugs or vitamins you take, but if this doesn’t happen, you should consult your doctor because the reason may be due to a high and incorrect dosage of the drug or vitamin you are taking.

2. Taking prescription drugs

In addition to over-the-counter medications, certain prescription drugs can also cause a metallic taste in the mouth. They include antibiotics –such as tetracycline, allopurinol which is used to treat gout, certain psychiatric drugs such as lithium, and those for heart disease. If you take these or other medications and feel a metallic taste in your mouth, they may be the culprits, and you should consult your doctor to replace the medicine and prescribe a version that will not cause this bad taste.

Metallic taste

3. Systemic diseases

Certain systemic diseases can cause the formation of a metallic taste in your mouth, and you may not even be aware that you are sick with them. If you are not taking different medications or can’t find another reason for the metallic taste you are experiencing on this list, it may be a systemic disease that is behind the change of taste in your mouth. These include diabetes, cancer, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, vitamin B-12 deficiency, and zinc deficiency. It is important to diagnose the diseases so that they can be treated, therefore, it is important that you get tested when you feel a metallic taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away on its own.

4. Nervous system diseases

The peripheral brain and nervous system are responsible for the absorption and translation of the world around us through the five senses, and disruption of them can result in a metallic taste in the mouth. Disruptions of this kind are caused by tumors, infectious neural diseases and autoimmune diseases that affect not only taste but also the sense of smell. The effects of various diseases on the nervous system can lead to many health complications and even death, so you should not ignore changes you experience in your sense of taste or smell, or if you have a metallic taste in your mouth.

Metallic taste

5. Respiratory infections

Upper respiratory infections, such as those which occur during colds and a sinusitis infection, may change the taste you feel in your mouth and make it metallic. Most of the time the taste passes after the illness passes, but if this doesn’t happen, you should consult your doctor for professional advice and make sure that this isn’t a sign of a more serious disease.

6. Pregnancy

Although it is not a problem or a disease, many women who feel metallic in their mouth during pregnancy may be stressed and think it is a serious fetal or bodily problem. Fortunately, a metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy is due to the hormonal fluctuations that the body experiences, especially in the third trimester, so there’s no reason to worry about your or your baby's safety.

Metallic taste

7. Problems in the oral cavity

The presence of bacteria in the oral cavity affects not only the health of the oral cavity but also the body’s general overall health and therefore it is important to maintain its cleanliness. Poor oral hygiene leads to, among other things, the formation of a metallic taste in your mouth, but sometimes different inflammatory processes you may not be aware of cause this problem. The formation of tooth decay, gingivitis, receding of the gums and other diseases, not necessarily associated with brushing or non-brushing of the teeth on a regular basis, cause a metallic taste in the mouth. Therefore, frequent dental checkups can solve this problem even before it begins.

8. Inhaling air particles

Unfortunately, we live in an age when the air is not exactly clean but saturated with many chemical particles that affect our health. Such particles include benzene, hydrazine, fuel, chromates and other components that change the taste in our mouth and cause a feeling of eating metal, and it is important to be alert. In addition, passive or active smoking regularly affects the taste buds and leads to an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth.

Metallic taste

9. Allergies

People who live with allergies to various substances in their environment are familiar with the symptoms of this condition, which include sneezing, nosebleeds, and redness that results from frequent nose blowing. Another symptom that people with different allergies experience is a metallic taste in the mouth that affects their sense of taste and their ability to enjoy different foods. This is due to the direct effect of the allergy on the sense of taste or the indirect effect of histamines released in the body during an allergic reaction caused by the other symptoms of this condition.

10. Dementia

Dementia is a serious disease that affects many people around the world, and it is characterized by many symptoms including a metallic taste in the mouth. This is due to the fact that the taste buds are connected to the nerves of the brain, and when they are damaged, so are the glands that allow us to interpret flavors. Therefore, people at different stages of dementia experience different and unusual tastes, something which is a sign of the onset or escalation of the disease among those who have already been diagnosed with it.

main image source: Maggie A-Day
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