Does it taste like old pennies in your mouth? “Metallogeusia” is part of a superior disorder known as Dysgeusia. It is a medical condition characterized by an altered taste or an unpleasant taste sensation in the mouth. It can affect the ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, or salty flavours or cause a metallic or foul taste in the mouth. Dysgeusia can be a temporary or chronic condition, and various factors, including medication, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, pregnancy, infections, nutritional deficiencies, and neurological disorders, can cause it.
The prevalence varies depending on the underlying cause. It is estimated that up to 80% of cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy experience dysgeusia. It is also a common side effect of radiation to the head and neck area. It is a common side effect of certain medications, such as antibiotics and antihistamines, and can affect up to 10% of people taking these drugs. It is also a common pregnancy symptom, affecting up to 25% of women during the first trimester. Pregnant women often experience dysgeusia during the first trimester. Other conditions, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis, can cause dysgeusia.
Dysgeusia is a relatively common condition that can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. Treatment varies with the underlying cause and may involve medication changes, nutritional support, or referral to a specialist.
What are Causes of Metallic Taste in Mouth?
A metallic taste in the mouth is because of various medical conditions, including gum disease, sinus infections, medications, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and exposure to certain chemicals. Other possible causes include nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, kidney disease, and pregnancy. COVID-19 infection can also cause a metallic taste in the mouth. It is crucial to consult a doctor to discuss the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.
What Medical Conditions can cause?
A metallic taste in the mouth, or metallogeusia, can be caused by various medical conditions. Here are some of the common ones:
Sinus infections and allergies and a metallic taste in the mouth:
Infections or allergies affecting the nasal passages can cause post-nasal drip, leading to a metallic blood-like taste in the mouth.
Nutritional deficiencies leading to mellogeusia:
Deficiencies in zinc, copper, and vitamin B12 can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Gastrointestinal disorders and metallic taste:
Acid reflux, bile reflux, and other gastrointestinal disorders can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Metallic taste in the mouth and Neurological disorders:
A metallic taste can be in the mouth due to some neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s.
Kidney disease and metallogeusia:
Kidney disease can cause a buildup of waste products in the blood. When the kidneys function correctly, they filter waste and excess bodily fluids excreted in the urine. Urea is a waste product that is usually excreted in the urine. However, urea can accumulate in the blood of people with kidney disease, leading to uremia. Uremia can cause various symptoms, including a metallic taste in the mouth and vomiting, nausea, fatigue, and confusion.
Metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy:
In pregnancy, many women experience pregnancy gingivitis. In addition to pregnancy gingivitis, pregnancy can also cause changes in taste perception, leading to a metallic taste in the mouth. This is thought to be due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, which can alter how foods taste and smell, especially during the first trimester.
Dental problems causing metallic taste:
Dental problems, such as gum disease and dental infections, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Chemical exposures and metallogeusia:
Exposure to certain chemicals, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Autoimmune diseases and metallic taste:
Autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Metallic taste in Cancer:
Some types of cancer, particularly those affecting the head and neck, can cause metallogeusia as a side effect of radiation or chemotherapy.
Infections causing metallic taste in mouth:
Infections, such as upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, and ear infections, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Liver disease causing metallic taste:
Liver disease can cause a buildup of toxins in the blood, leading to a metallic taste in the mouth.
Hormonal imbalances leading to metallic taste in mouth:
Hormonal imbalances, those caused by thyroid disorders or menopause, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Anxiety and depression can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
This is a rare condition in which the body produces alcohol in the gut, which leads to a metallic taste in the mouth.
This inner ear disorder can cause vertigo, hearing loss, and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Due to damage to the neurons that regulate taste and smell in MS, there may be a metallic taste in the mouth.
Tonsil stones are small, hard, calcified deposits that form in the crevices of the tonsils, and they can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
It is a disease that can affect various body organs, including the lungs and lymph nodes, and can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
The exact mechanism by which COVID-19 affects taste and smell perception is not well understood, but it is thought that the virus affects the cells that line the nose and mouth. These cells are responsible for detecting odours and flavours, and they can become damaged or inflamed in people with COVID-19, leading to changes in taste and smell perception.
Medications causing a metallic taste in the mouth
Several medications can cause a metallic taste in the mouth as a side effect. These include:
Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline, erythromycin and metronidazole, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Some antidepressants, such as tricyclic antidepressants, can bring a metallic taste in the mouth.
Some antipsychotic medications, such as chlorpromazine, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Blood pressure medications:
Certain blood pressure medications, such as captopril, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Many chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin can cause changes in taste perception, including a metallic taste in the mouth.
Some dental materials, such as amalgam fillings, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Certain antifungal medications, such as ketoconazole, lead to a nasty taste in the mouth.
Some anti-seizure drugs, such as lamotrigine, can cause a nasty metallic taste in the mouth.
Certain diuretics, such as spironolactone, can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Metformin, a medication commonly used to treat diabetes, can cause a weird taste in the mouth similar to the metal as a side effect.
Vitamin and mineral supplements:
High doses of specific vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and copper, can cause a funny taste in the mouth and nausea.
Aside from medical conditions and medications, several other factors can cause a metallic taste in the mouth. These include
Smoking can cause a metallic taste in the mouth due to chemicals in tobacco.
Dehydration can cause a dry mouth, leading to changes in taste perception, including a metallic taste.
Stress and anxiety:
It can cause changes in taste perception, including a metallic taste in the mouth. When stressed or anxious, your body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can affect your taste buds, leading to changes in taste perception, including a metallic taste in the mouth.
As people age, their sense of taste and smell may decline, leading to changes in taste perception, including a metallic taste in the mouth. As people age, their sense of taste and smell may decrease due to various factors, including changes function and structure of the taste buds, loss of sensory cells, and a reduction in saliva production. These changes can affect taste perception, including the bad taste in the mouth.
After Brain surgery:
Your perception of taste may alter following brain surgery to remove a tumour, though this is uncommon. The procedure itself could be to blame. An illness like Bell’s palsy, which causes temporary facial nerve numbness, may also result from nerve injury.
This uncommon condition, also known as pine nut syndrome, results in a bitter or metallic taste after consuming pine nuts. The metallic taste may not appear for one to three days and lasts several weeks. Usually, it disappears on its own.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosing a metallic taste in the mouth may involve a physical exam and medical history review. Blood tests and imaging may be done to determine the underlying cause. Treatment depends on the underlying disorder and may include changes in medication, treatment of medical conditions, and lifestyle modifications. Maintaining good oral hygiene and staying hydrated can also help alleviate symptoms. Sometimes, prescription medications or referral to a specialist may be necessary.
Diagnostic Tests for metallic taste in mouth
The diagnostic tests for metallic taste in the mouth depend on the suspected underlying cause. Some of the tests that may be ordered include:
- Blood tests: These are used to check for abnormalities in the body that could be causing the metallic taste in the mouth and may consist of a complete blood count, electrolyte panel, liver function tests, HbA1C to rule out diabetes and kidney function tests.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as CT -Scans, X-rays, and MRI scans may be ordered to assess the head, neck, or abdomen for any abnormalities contributing to the metallic taste. These tests can help detect tumours, infections, or other issues causing the symptom.
- Saliva tests: Saliva tests can be used to check for abnormalities in the saliva that may be causing the metallic taste. These tests can check for changes in saliva composition, such as pH levels or the presence of certain substances.
- Allergy tests: Allergy tests may be ordered if there is suspicion of an allergic reaction causing the metallic taste. These tests can determine if the person is allergic to a particular food, medication, or substance.
- Dental examination: A dental examination may be done to check for any dental problems causing the metallic taste. This may include checking for dental decay, gum disease, or oral infections.
- Urine tests: Urine tests may be ordered to check for any abnormalities in the urine contributing to the metallic taste.
- Endoscopy: Endoscopy involves inserting a small camera into the body to examine the inside of the digestive system. This may be done if there is suspicion of a digestive disorder causing the metallic taste.
- Nerve conduction tests: Nerve conduction tests can help determine if any nerve damage or dysfunction may be causing the metallic taste.
- Biopsy: It involves taking a small tissue sample from the affected area for examination under a microscope. This may be done if there is suspicion of a tumour or infection causing the metallic taste.
- COVID test: To rule out COVID,
The diagnostic tests ordered will depend on the individual’s medical history and presenting symptoms.
Medical Treatments to cure metallogeusia
Here are some medical treatments that may be used to cure metallogeusia:
Improve Oral Hygiene:
Brushing teeth twice a day and using mouthwash and flossing can help reduce the metallic taste.
If a medication is causing a metallic taste, your doctor may be able to switch you to a different medication or adjust the dosage.
Avoid Trigger Foods:
Certain spicy, acidic, and salty foods can worsen the metallic taste. Try avoiding these foods and see if it helps.
Drink More Water:
Drinking lots of water can help to flush out any lingering metallic tastes in the mouth.
Try Zinc Supplements:
Zinc supplements may help reduce your mouth’s metallic taste. Speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.
If metallogeusia is caused by certain medications, your doctor may recommend switching to an alternative medication.
Treating underlying medical conditions:
If metallogeusia is caused by an underlying medical condition such as oral infections or acid reflux, treating the condition may help alleviate the metallic taste.
Chelation therapy may be recommended if metallogeusia is caused by exposure to heavy metals such as lead or mercury. This therapy involves using medications that bind to the metal and remove it from the body.
If metallogeusia is caused by a nutritional deficiency, such as zinc or vitamin B12, your doctor may recommend dietary supplements.
If metallogeusia is caused by decreased saliva production, your doctor may recommend measures to stimulate saliva production, such as sipping water, chewing sugarless gum or using saliva substitutes.
Home Remedies for metallic taste in mouth
Some of the home remedies that may help with the metallic taste in the mouth are discussed below.
- Baking soda: You should swish a cup of water and a teaspoon of baking soda around in your mouth before spitting it out. Baking soda can assist in removing the metallic flavour.
- Saltwater rinse: Rinse with a cup of warm water and a teaspoon of salt in your mouth before spitting it out. Inflammation can be lessened, and any leftover metallic taste can be eliminated with salt water.
- Citrus fruits: Fruits like citrus are delicious and energizing. Fruit juices, smoothies, citrus fruits, and sorbets can help stimulate taste receptors and eliminate off-tastes.
- Moreover, using orange, lemon, or lime juice in food can help cover up an unpleasant metallic flavour and make it more delicious.
- Apple cider vinegar: You should swish a cup of water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar around in your mouth before spitting it out.
- The pH in your tongue can be balanced with apple cider vinegar.
- Mint: Suck on a mint or chew on mint leaves to help freshen your breath and mask the metallic taste.
- Ginger: Suck on a piece of fresh ginger or drink ginger tea. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory qualities can help lessen the metallic taste.
- Oil pulling: Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 15-20 minutes and spit it out. Oil pulling can help remove bacteria and toxins that may be causing the metallic taste.
Remember, these home remedies may provide temporary relief. It is essential to identify the underlying cause of the metallic taste in your mouth and seek professional medical advice if it persists.
Coping with Metallic Taste in Daily Life
Coping with a metallic taste in daily life can be challenging, but some strategies can help manage the symptoms. Here are some tips for dealing with a metallic taste:
Diet and nutrition:
When experiencing a metallic taste in the mouth, avoid foods that can exacerbate the metallic taste, such as spicy, salty, and acidic foods. These can further irritate the taste buds and worsen the metallic taste. Instead, avoid bland, mild foods like plain rice, pasta, and potatoes. Eating cold or frozen foods like ice cream or popsicles can also help to numb the taste buds and provide temporary relief. Drinking plenty of water can also help to flush out any lingering tastes and keep the mouth hydrated.
Impact on eating habits:
A metallic taste can significantly impact your eating habits and make it difficult to enjoy meals. Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day is essential to maintain adequate nutrition instead of three large meals. Choosing high-protein, nutrient-dense foods like lean meats, eggs, and legumes can help ensure you get the nutrients your body needs. If the metallic taste is causing a loss of appetite or making it difficult to eat enough, consider speaking with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.
Coping strategies for work and social life:
A metallic taste can be embarrassing and affect your social life. To help manage the symptoms in public, it’s essential to have good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth and using mouthwash regularly. Avoiding strong-smelling foods like garlic or onions can also help to minimize the metallic taste. If the taste is severe or interfering with your ability to work or socialize, consider discussing possible treatment options, such as medications or therapies, with your healthcare provider.
Overall, coping with a metallic taste in daily life involves making dietary and lifestyle changes to manage symptoms, such as avoiding certain foods and maintaining good oral hygiene.
Managing Stress and Emotional Well-being
Experiencing a metallic taste in the mouth can be frustrating and unpleasant, impacting mental health and emotional well-being. Some tips for managing stress and emotional well-being when dealing with a metallic taste:
Impact on Mental Health due to metallogeusia:
A metallic taste can be a source of stress and anxiety, mainly if it is persistent and interfering with daily life. It can cause frustration, embarrassment, and social isolation. It’s essential to recognize the metallic taste’s impact on mental health and seek support if needed.
It can be helpful to talk to a healthcare provider, counsellor, or therapist about the emotional impact of the metallic taste. They can provide guidance and support and may be able to recommend coping strategies or treatments that can help manage the taste. Additionally, connecting with others experiencing similar symptoms, such as through support groups or online forums, can provide validation and emotional support.
Here are some additional tips for managing stress and emotional well-being:
- Self-care: Self-care can help reduce stress and improve emotional well-being. This can include taking a relaxing bath, walking in nature, practicing Meditation and yoga, or indulging in a hobby or creative outlet.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Practicing mindfulness involves being present at the moment, without judgment or distraction. This can include deep breathing exercises, Meditation, or simply taking a few minutes to focus on the present moment and let go of any worries or stressors.
- Exercise: An exercise is a powerful tool for reducing stress and improving mental health. It can help to release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, and can also help to distract from the metallic taste. Even gentle exercise, like going for a walk or doing some gentle stretching, can be beneficial.
Managing stress and emotional well-being with metallogeusia involves:
- Recognizing the impact on mental health and seeking support.
- Practicing self-care and mindfulness.
- Incorporating exercise into daily life.
It’s essential to prioritize emotional well-being and seek help to manage the symptoms and improve the overall quality of life.
How to Get Rid of the Metallic Taste in the Mouth?
The treatment for getting rid of a metallic taste in the mouth depends on the causative factors. Here are some potential treatments to consider:
- Good oral hygiene:
Brushing your teeth regularly and using mouthwash regularly can help remove any bacteria or food particles contributing to the metallic taste. Using a tongue scraper can also help to remove any buildup on the tongue that may be causing the taste.
- Dietary changes:
Avoiding certain foods and drinks that can exacerbate the taste, such as spicy or acidic foods, can be helpful. Eating cold or frozen foods can also help to numb the taste buds.
If the metallic taste is a side effect of a drug, your healthcare provider may be able to adjust the dose or switch to a different medication that does not cause the taste.
- Treating underlying medical conditions:
If the metallic taste is a symptom of an underlying medical disorder, such as an infection or a nutritional deficiency, treating the underlying disease may help to alleviate the taste.
In some cases, treatments like acupuncture or hypnosis may help manage the metallic taste.
It’s important to talk to a healthcare provider if the metallic taste persists or is accompanied by other symptoms. It could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. They can help to identify the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.
How to Prevent a Metallic Taste in the Mouth?
To prevent a metallic or iron-like taste in the mouth, it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and using mouthwash. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also help prevent a dry mouth that can contribute to the taste. Avoiding trigger foods and drinks, managing underlying medical conditions or medications, and monitoring and managing the state can also be helpful. By identifying and addressing any underlying causes, making lifestyle changes, and monitoring the condition, you can prevent metallic taste and improve your quality of life.
Importance of Monitoring and Managing the Condition
Monitoring and managing a metallic taste in the mouth is essential because it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition or medication side effect. Sometimes, the taste may indicate a severe medical condition requiring prompt attention. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the cause of the metallic taste and manage it appropriately.
Monitoring the taste’s frequency and severity can also help identify triggers or patterns contributing to it. This information can help determine the best treatment approach or lifestyle changes to prevent the taste from occurring.
Managing the condition may involve lifestyle changes such as adjusting diet or hydration levels, practicing good oral hygiene, or working with underlying medical conditions or medications. In some cases, medical treatment may be necessary to address the underlying cause of the taste.
If the metallic taste persists or worsens, seeking medical attention is recommended. Your healthcare provider can help to identify the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. Monitoring and managing the condition can help to improve the quality of life and prevent potential complications.
Tips for Improving Quality of Life
Some strategies for improving quality of life when dealing with a metallic taste:
- Find ways to distract yourself: Engaging in activities or hobbies that you enjoy can help to distract from the taste and improve overall mood.
- Practice good self-care: Prioritizing self-care activities such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and getting enough sleep can help to improve overall well-being.
- Connect with others: Connecting with friends and family or seeking support from others who have experienced a metallic taste can help manage the condition.
Overall, preventing a metallic taste in the mouth involves identifying and managing any underlying conditions, monitoring the situation, and making lifestyle changes to improve quality of life.
When to Consult a Doctor?
It is advised to consult a doctor if you experience a metal like taste in your mouth that persists or worsens over time or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, or vomiting. Additionally, suppose you are taking medications that may cause a metal taste as a side effect or have been diagnosed with a medical condition that can cause this symptom. In that case, discussing this with your healthcare provider is essential. Your doctor can help identify the underlying cause of the metallic taste and recommend the appropriate treatment. Sometimes, a metallic taste in the mouth can indicate a severe medical condition requiring prompt attention. Therefore, if you are concerned about a metallic taste in your mouth or any other symptoms, it is best to seek medical advice.
FAQs about Metallic Taste in Mouth Answered by Your Doctors Online Team
Why does everything taste bad to me suddenly?
A sudden metallic taste in the mouth or change in taste, where everything tastes bad, can have various underlying causes. It could be due to infections, such as upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, or colds, which can cause a change in taste and make food taste unpleasant. Some medications can cause a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth, such as antibiotics, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications. Dental problems like gum disease, tooth decay, and infections can also cause a bad taste in the mouth. Nutritional deficiencies, aging, pregnancy, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and MS can also affect the sense of taste.
What is the bitter taste in the mouth symptom of?
A bitter or strange taste in the mouth can be a symptom of several underlying conditions. Problems with the digestive system, such as acid reflux, gastritis, and bile reflux often cause it. These conditions can cause stomach acid to go back into the esophagus, leading to a bitter or sour taste in the mouth. Certain medications, such as antibiotics, antihistamines, and blood pressure drugs, can also cause a bitter taste as a side effect. Poor oral hygiene, sinus infections, and dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay can also cause a bitter taste. Sometimes, a bitter taste in the mouth can be a symptom of more severe conditions such as liver or kidney disease, so it’s essential to speak with a healthcare provider if you experience persistent or severe symptoms.
Why do I taste blood when I cough?
Tasting blood when coughing is a common symptom of a respiratory infection or other conditions that affect the respiratory system, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or tuberculosis. The coughing can cause tiny blood vessels in the respiratory tract to break, resulting in the presence of blood in the saliva or phlegm that is coughed up.
Why does blood taste like metal?
Blood can taste like metal due to the presence of iron in hemoglobin, which is the protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells. When the blood comes in contact with saliva in the mouth, the iron in the blood can create a metallic taste. Additionally, if the blood has been sitting in the mouth for some time, it can become oxidized and the iron can turn into iron oxide, which can also contribute to the metallic taste. This is why people often describe the taste of blood as metallic or coppery.