11 Notable Causes of Metallic Taste in Mouth

Metallic taste is one in which your mouth will begin to feel bitter in taste. This is a taste disorder which is also and is termed as paraguesia or Dysgeusia. It is not pleasant to continuously have this taste in your mouth. There are various causes of metallic taste in your mouth. This article will deal with the causes of metallic taste.

Why does a person have Metallic Taste?

The olfactory sensory neurons along with the taste buds control the sense of taste. The nerves carry information from the taste buds and olfactory sensory neurons. The brain then identifies the taste. In the process a lot of problems or complications can affect these senses. This leads to a metallic taste in the mouth.

Causes of Metallic taste in mouth:

1. Medications:

It is a common cause of metallic taste in mouth. The medications mainly include antibiotics which are administered to cure a number of diseases. The medicines that are prescribed for health related problems like blood pressure, glaucoma, osteoporosis, diabetes, fever, and cough and cold may lead to an impaired taste of your mouth.

2.  Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy:

Chemotherapy is a method of curing cancer like lung cancer,  cancer of the stomach, etc. According to studies it is suggested that the medications used during chemotherapy and radiation therapy to cure cancer lead to metallic taste in your mouth. This phenomenon is known as chemo mouth. As per some research research it is believed that taking vitamin D supplement or zinc tablets could help solve the problem of chemo mouth. This also indicates that metallic mouth is also caused due to deficiency of Vitamin D or zinc in our body.

3. Sinus issues:

The olfactory sensory neurons are responsible for controlling the sense of taste and smell. This means that these two sensory organs, the tongue and the nose are closely related. If the sense of smell is affected the sense of taste is also affected. That is how sinus is the common cause of Metallic taste. Sinus issues can result from the following causes:


There are a lot of people who are allergic to various things like pollen grain. When they come in touch with the Pollen Grain they continuously begin to sneeze and their sinus is affected with cold. As a result they may begin to have the feeling of Metallic taste in their mouth.

Common cold:

Common cold can happen to anybody because of any reason. It is a very general illness. Due to common cold the senses of smell are impaired as a result of which a person is unable to smell. Often due to extreme cold the taste of the tongue also becomes bitter. This bitter taste is nothing but the metallic taste that settles the tongue and affects our taste buds.

Infection of the Sinus:

Infection of the Sinus is characterized by inflammation of the nasal passages and the Sinus. Sinuses are nothing but small packages which produce mucus. Due to viral infection excess amount of mucus is produced which blocks the passages of these sinuses. This is infection of the Sinus. It is a very common problem and usually is cured with appropriate medications. However, they lead to hampering of the taste buds causing metallic taste.

Other Respiratory Infections:

There are various other respiratory infections which lead to metallic taste in mouth. Basically, anything that interferes with the sense of smell has the potential to cause you the problem of a mouth that feels bitter and metallic.

4. Disorder of the Central Nervous System:

The Central Nervous system’s job is to send messages to the rest of your body. This includes the message about the taste. A disorder in your central Nervous System due to any kind of illness or an accident, can distort the senses and also the senses of the taste. This too is the cause of such a taste problem.

5. Pregnancy:

A lot of changes happen during pregnancy. The gynecologist prescribes medicines to ensure that the woman carries the baby safely. One common symptom of pregnancy is nausea. Usually, pregnant women feel nausea due to metallic taste in the mouth. This is especially true for the first trimester of pregnancy. The women also become extremely sensitive to the sense of smell. This too is the cause of the weird kind of taste.

6. Food Allergies:

There are a lot of people who are allergic to certain kinds of foods. Consuming these food items could cause problems like constipation, vomiting or metallic taste in the mouth. Common food allergies include allergies from shellfish or tree nuts or even dairy products. It is essential that you identify the food that is causing you inconvenience and try to avoid it. You may also refer yourself to a doctor to take medications to subside your allergy.

7. Dementia:

People who have dementia often have the area of the brain that controls the sense of taste, not working properly. This leads to problems in the sense of taste and they may keep having a bitter mouth for a very long time.

8. Chemical Exposures:

If you stay close to areas where huge industrial units emit harmful air carrying mercury and lead, the chances are that they may enter your system too while inhaling. This causes you to have a metallic taste in your mouth too.

9. Surgery of the Middle Ear and Ear Tube:

People who are operated for their middle ear and ear tube due to infection often complain of a spoilt taste. The reason behind this may be that the structure that controls the taste in the rear part of the tongue, that constitutes almost 2/3 rd of the tongue gets damaged. This part is known as chorda tympani. The chorda tympani is a structure that is close to the inner ear. It can however be treated with medications.

10. Poor Oral Health:

If you do not have a clean mouth, you are bound to feel like you have popped a few pennies in your mouth. You must clean your mouth including your tongue daily. Brush your teeth twice a day to prevent cavity and other dental problems.

11. Other Illnesses: 

Having a bad taste in your mouth is also usually indicative of a lot of other health related issues like kidney problems, diabetes or certain types of cancers. These are more serious issues than the one stated above and are usually accompanied with other symptoms which are more prominent than having a metallic taste in the mouth. A lot of people do not even notice this taste distortion due to other complications that overshadow their attention.

Doctor for Metallic Taste In Mouth:

If you persistently have this condition, you must visit an otolaryngologist. This doctor specializes in problems related to ear, nose and throat; commonly known as ENT specialist. If the cause of the bad taste is your pregnancy, speak to your gynecologist first.

After you visit the doctor, he/she may try to identify the cause of the problem and prescribe medicines for the same. This can be done by referring the patient to a taste test that will also help the doctor in finding out the extent of taste distortion in the patient.

Taste is a very important sense. If you fail to identify taste, it can be a very difficult situation. It is this sense that helps you differentiate between the taste of food that is fit to consume and one that is spoilt. The person with a metallic taste may feel disinterested in eating food which may lead to malnutrition and weakness. It can also cause depression to the patient. One must thus concentrate on this problem and try to have it treated from the doctor to avoid more difficulties.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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