Metallic taste in the tongue is something disliked by all. It changes the sense of taste, making your mouth feel unpleasant, consequently impacting your overall mood. It is a distasteful sensation scientifically referred to as dysgeusia or parageusia.
Dysgeusia or parageusia is a disorder characterized by foul, rotten, or metallic taste. It may develop suddenly or surface over time. There are many different reasons why this distortion of taste happens.
Taste is considered as the reaction to the dissolved molecules. Sense of taste is the responsibility of our taste buds. They are present on our tongues that have taste receptor cells. Taste buds are spread throughout the tongue bed and divided or specialized to respond to different flavors.
When taste receptors detect the molecule, an intimation is sent to the brain. It recognizes the specific taste which you feel. There are a lot of factors that can impact this complex mechanism leading to metallic taste on the tongue.
15 Common Reasons for Metallic Taste on Your Tongue
Reaching the root cause of this problem is important. There are many reasons why your mouth can have a metal like taste ranging from a poor oral regime to life-threatening problems like cancer. Here are a few of the causes explained with tips to rectify them.
1. Poor Oral Health
If you do not follow a proper oral regime, chances of having a foul metallic taste on the tongue increases. Maintaining dental hygiene with proper brush and floss is important to prevent mouth diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis.
These diseases present themselves with swollen and bleeding gums, cavities, immense pain, and foul metallic taste in the tongue . A regular visit to your dentist for deep cleaning will greatly aid in preventing this issue.
2. Common Cold and Other Infections
The changing weather might hit you with a cold or an infection. Symptoms like runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and fever will accompany metallic taste on the tongue. In such a situation, take full care; rest up, consume hot fluids like soups and chicken broth for ease.
Medications like antihistamines are available for symptomatic relief. However, if the infection is caused by a virus, your doctor will prescribe antiviral medicines for treatment.
Prescription drugs like metformin for diabetes, antibiotics, or proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole contribute to the metallic taste in the tongue changing the whole taste profie of the mouth. Your body absorbs them, and secretes out through saliva.
Medicines like antidepressants can also cause a condition known as dry mouth; the taste buds close up, leading to distortion of taste in the mouth.
4. Vitamin or Other Supplements
Usually, vitamins or other supplements are a part of the dietary intake for supporting the body’s normal functioning. Some multi-vitamins contain metals like zinc, chromium, copper, or iron leave their metallic taste in the tongue behind. Thankfully, this issue is reversible, and the taste should go away after swallowing.
5. Gut Issues
The gut is an integral part of the body involved in the metabolism process of everything we eat. Acid reflux, indigestion, or heartburn; can all cause a metallic taste in the tongue.
Additionally, you may feel a burning sensation in the chest area and bloating after eating in this condition. Antacids are medications that neutralize stomach acids, which alleviate pain. Aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, and magnesium hydroxide are a few examples.
Having a metallic tasting tongue is quite common during pregnancy. Especially in the first trimester of the entire term. Mostly, changes in taste occur during this time.
We are not sure about the exact reason. However, scientists believe that changing hormone levels play a major role in this. A significant increase in estrogen occurs during gestation, which might work as a trigger for this.
Fortunately, as time passes, the distaste fades away. However, you can eat sweets or use a solution to gargle your mouth to get rid of the metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy.
Age is an important factor. As you get older, the taste buds diminish. But, with dementia patients, this problem fastens multiple folds. It is a disease that poses signs like loss of memory, thinking ability, attention, and reasoning. . Our brain receives, perceives, and then reciprocates the signal from taste buds.
When a part of the brain gets damaged, which handles taste responses, you slowly start losing the accuracy of flavors giving a metal like taste as a whole.
Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment often suffer from side effects due to drugs. The change in taste of the mouth is often referred to as “chemo mouth.”
To combat this side effect, try eating foods with more flavor, add spices or herbs to give them an edge. Additionally, switch from metal or steel utensils to plastic.
9. Chemical Exposure
Continuous exposure to metals like lead or mercury can be extremely harmful. Lead poisoning is common in children due to lead-based pencils and paints. On the other hand, items like thermometers having mercury can be a source of exposure in children and adults alike.
It is best to get rid of the source to deal with the chemical entry into the body.
10. CNS Disorder
Our brain and taste buds work together. If the central nervous system does not function properly, there is a possibility of a change in taste. Conditions like MS or Bell’s palsy often present this symptom. In case of a change in taste of the mouth, head to your doctor.
11. Sinus Infection
Sinuses are small hollow pocket like structures situated at the back of your forehead, nose, between the eyes, and cheekbones. An infection leads to inflammation of these pockets. Additionally, excess production of mucus blocks the nasal passage.
Such conditions are very much likely to change the taste in the mouth. Many medications are now available to treat this issue.
12. Food Allergies
Foods tend to trigger a change of taste in the mouth, some of which are shellfish or nuts like tree nuts. If you feel that your tongue gives off metal like taste after you have certain foods, try avoiding them to prevent any unwanted response.
13. Middle Ear Tube
Surgeries often become necessary in some cases of an ear infection. Sometimes, the procedure damages the structure which controls the back two thirds of the tongue. Consequently, it leads to dysgeusia. Luckily, this condition is manageable with the help of drugs.
Health conditions like kidney failure or diabetes can often lead to a metallic taste in your tongue. In case of kidney failure, there is an accumulation of waste in blood. This will cause metallic taste and fatigue in the body.
However, dietary changes and medications easily help in management of the problem.
15. Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
Vitamins play a very important role in aiding the physiological function of the body. One such vitamin is B-12.
It supports the nervous system and helps in red blood cell production. The body relies on external sources since it does not produce vitamin B-12 itself.
Lack of vitamin B-12 can cause a metallic taste in the mouth. To manage this condition, external supplements and foods for example red meat, poultry and eggs are great to manage this condition since they are abundant in the said vitamin.
We hope that this blog has given the answer you came searching for. Changes, be it big or small in the body, should not be over looked. It is best to report it to your doctor. Regular checkups can help in the early detection of various conditions. Head to Nimmi Shine Dental for a consultation session or connect with one of our competent doctors on call. Feel free to call us at our San Diego location at 858-999-8550 or our Temecula, CA location at 951-695-1027.