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What Causes a Metallic Taste in Your Mouth?

What causes a metallic taste in your mouth? Is a metallic feeling in the tongue frequently associated with your sense of smell or taste buds? Some of the most prevalent reasons for a metallic taste in the mouth are sinus infections, gingivitis, and oral trauma.

If you consume metal-containing items, such as vitamins, you may have a metallic taste on your tongue. Other conditions, such as allergies, gum disease, or nerve injury may also cause a metallic taste in your mouth.

Diabetes, dementia, or renal failure are examples of more serious causes. A metallic taste is frequently just one of the numerous symptoms in these circumstances. A metallic taste can sometimes be the first symptom of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction.

The awful taste might appear suddenly or gradually over time.

Causes of Metallic Taste in Your Mouth

1. Poor Oral Health

Taste impairment can be exacerbated by poor oral and dental hygiene. A copper taste in the tongue, for example, is one of the signs of gum disease. A metallic taste can be generated by blood in the mouth that is caused by bleeding gums. Your sensation of taste might also be affected due to a dry mouth. Brush two times a day and floss minimum once a day to maintain the health of your mouth and teeth. Regular dental cleanings and having any cavities filled can help lower your risk of oral health problems.

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2. Flu and Other Illnesses

Your perceptions of taste and smell are inextricably linked. When your scent is altered, it can also affect your sense of taste.

Disorders that can impair your perception of smell and generate a metallic taste in your mouth include sore throats, nasal congestion, and other respiratory conditions.

3. Medications

Metallic mouth might be caused by what you ingest. Medication is the most prevalent cause of a metallic taste in the tongue. As per Medical News Today, medicines, antidepressants, over-the-counter vitamins, and blood pressure drugs are all known to cause this unpleasant adverse effect. According to Lisa Lewis, MD, a physician in Fair Value, Texas, when bodies consume and absorb medicine, the compounds are released and eliminated in mouth. The end effect is frequently a metallic aftertaste in the tongue.

Medications interfere with taste senses in the brain, hundreds of regularly used drugs can leave a metallic taste. Some of the most prevalent medications to blame are:

  • Medications for infections, such as metronidazole
  • Prozac or antipsychotic drugs
  • Antifungal treatments
  • Benadryl
  • Medications to treat high blood pressure
  • Chemotherapy medications
  • Diabetes treatments such as metformin
  • Diltiazem
  • Medication for glaucoma
  • Patches containing nicotine
  • Medications for osteoporosis
  • Radiation therapy
  • Medication for seizures, including phenytoin steroids

4. Natural Birth

Sex hormones changes during early pregnancy might produce taste and smell problems. These modifications may cause a metallic taste in your tongue.

The odd taste is more frequent in the first month than later in childbirth. This may cause a metallic taste in your mouth.

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5. Bloody Nose

Because of the iron concentration, hemoglobin generally has a rusty flavor. And, because some individuals are prone to gastrointestinal bleeding or endure them without realizing it, they may be “inhaling” the discharge back into their mouth and nose. This can lead you to detect a metallic flavor before there is apparent bleeding.

ENT specialists recommend squeezing your nose closed and pushing forward for few minutes. Many of us were undoubtedly taught to tilt our heads back, yet doing so might cause more bleeding to trickle down into our mouths and throats.

Therapy is recommended if this persists.

6. Sinus Infection Issues

Upper respiratory infections, common cold, sinuses, enlarged item to item, a displaced septum, or even a chronic infections can all cause changes in your sense of smell and taste.

Allergies (to pollen etc.) can cause sinus issues and a weird taste in your mouth. Addressing the fundamental issue may be the solution. Dysgeusia refers to a lack of taste. A metallic or burnt taste in the tongue may accompany this loss.

7. Exposure to Toxic Substances

Immunotherapy with radiation, COVID-19, Acid reflux, Colds, Runny nose, and Childbirth Problems are often associated with one’s taste or smell senses. Brain damage, Some vitamins or additives, Prenatal supplements, Iron Calcium supplementation, Copper, magnesium, or chromite b – complex, Zinc-containing supplements, Exposure to chemicals such as mercury or leads may also cause a metallic taste.

Inhaling excessive quantities of Mercury or Lead can leave a metallic taste. It is important to prevent or limit your family’s contact to these pollutants. Lead is toxic to both kids and adults.

8. Anaphylaxis

Food allergies, such as shrimp and tree nuts, have been linked to a metallic taste in the tongue.  It might also be an early sign of a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. The metallic taste might appear very quickly, before further anaphylactic symptoms. Obesity, itchy skin, trouble breathing, coughing, sickness or vomiting, migraines, and dizziness are among the symptoms.

9. Mercury or Lead Poisoning

A metallic taste in the tongue can be caused by exposure to only certain carbon molecules such as mercury or lead. Lead may be found in ancient construction materials like cracked or peeling paint. It is also found in polluted water. Mercury may be present in polluted water or in certain foods, such as fish. Contact your healthcare practitioner if you believe you or your kid have been poisoned to arsenic or lead.

10. Neurological Issues

Neurological issues such as Parkinson disease or other kinds of insanity, can lead the brain to misunderstand taste-bud impulses. This might cause a lack of hunger as well as a rusty taste in the mouth.

 Brain issues that may cause this response include:

  • Bell syndrome.
  • Brain injuries or cancer.
  • Vascular dementia.
  • Blister.
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11. Collapse of the Kidneys

Kidney failure is another significant cause of a metallic flavor in your mouth. Taste alterations can occur as a result of uremic toxicity (high uric acid) caused by a lack of renal function. Take into account this is only one of several possible symptoms of renal disease.

12. Insulin and Hypoglycemia

Insulin and low glucose levels have both been linked to taste alterations, such as a lingering aftertaste in the tongue. Glucose, a popular diabetic medicine, is also a possible cause.

13. Allergy to Food

This refers to intolerances to foods. Some initial symptoms are marked by a metallic taste. You may have a gluten intolerance if you feel altered taste changes after swallowing a certain category of food, such as shrimp or tree nuts then you are facing a problem with food allergy.

Hypersensitivity reactions, particularly those to pine nuts and shrimp, can cause a nasty taste. The taste changes might be an advance warning indication of allergies. This is a possibly dangerous response so see a doctor if you feel the unusual taste is caused by a food allergy.

14. Sjogren’s Disease

Sjogren’s disease is an immunological illness that causes a reduction in saliva production in the mouth. Some people who have Sjogren’s syndrome describe a nasty taste in their tongue.

15. Anxiousness

Some anxious people describe having a foul or rusty taste in their lips. Anxiety causes your body’s stress chemicals to be released, which might impair your taste buds. It may also cause dry mouth, which may contribute to the faint odor.

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17. Ageing Rapidly

You may detect shifts in how you taste or smell food as you become older. Taste alterations are less typical than fragrance changes, yet the two are intimately related. Taste alterations owing to age may be more likely in males than females, in accordance with a 2021 research.

18. Pines Nut Disease

Pine nut fever is an unusual sensitivity to pine nuts that manifests itself 12 to 48 days after consumption. It leaves a bitter rusty flavor in your mouth for up to a lifetime.

20. Tumor Care

Irradiation and medication can leave your tongue with a harsh or metallic taste. You may help alleviate the condition by cleaning your teeth thoroughly and using mouthwash to keep your mouth clean. When you finish your therapy, the adverse effect usually fades away.

21. Dehydration

You cannot sense the taste if you don’t have adequate saliva in your mouth. This is due to the meal not being adequately absorbed and broken down in your mouth.

A moist mouth might be obtained by:

Moisture pills, for example, are Sjogren’s illness treatments.

22. Absence of B12 Enzyme

A lack of B12 enzyme can result in a variety of symptoms affecting your nerve cells and energy levels. Your body may stop manufacturing enough blood cells, resulting in weariness and a lack of energy. Your nerves may not work properly, causing vertigo, foul taste in your mouth or a bad breath.

23. Dyspepsia

Nausea can produce a change in flavor. Acid reflux and enzymes can alter taste, generating a sour sensation in the mouth. Your sensation of flavor will be restored once you’ve addressed the dyspepsia or indigestion. Changes in your sensation of flavor can also be caused by acid reflux (GERD). This, however, is a less classic condition. Conditions that impact the digestive tract, such as Psoriatic arthritis, can produce a change in taste.

24. Smoking

Cigarette use can also create alterations in your perception of taste including a metallic flavor. This is also true for nicotine-containing quit products. Because of the compounds in tobacco, smoking might induce this modification in your perception of taste. These molecules can linger on the tongues and in the throat, altering the body’s sensation of specific flavors.

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25. Trauma or Surgeries

The majority of persons who have taste disorders do so as a result of an accident or sickness. Injuries may include:

25.1 Expansion of the mouth: When the throat expands, taste apertures may shut. Vitamin deficits can often induce injury.

25.2 Injury to the nerves: The nerve supplying the front half of the mouth travels through ear and splits from the temporal lobe. You may lose your taste buds if this nerve is injured. This can occur as a result of a facial or neck injury, as well as disorders such as Bell’s ataxia.

25.3 Surgery: Head and neck operations, especially middle ear procedure, might result in taste alterations or loss owing to nerve injury.

How to Maintain Oral Health

Stay hydrated to avoid sore throat which can result in a metallic taste. Replace metal flatware and plastic bottles with glass, acrylic, or ceramic equivalents.  Before you eat, brush your teeth with a sodium carbonate toothpaste and luke warm water. It can assist in adjusting your tongue’s pH and counteract acid including, that unpleasant minty flavor.

Give up smoking since tobacco can aggravate the taste of metal.

Chew on mint leaves or consume mint sweets. To hide the taste of metal consume citrus, sour cuisine, or golden syrup. Green, menthol, or cinnamon tea are all good options. Oil pulling entails swishing sunflower oil in your tongue like cleanser. Drink it diluted.

Managing a Rusty Taste

The best methods for treating and preventing that rusty sensation in your mouth can vary depending on the source.  A few broad methods such as the below listed may make it more tolerable.

  • Regular brushing.
  • Between meals chew non-sugar gum.
  • Using herbs, spices, and sweet foods to mask the sour taste.
  • Smoking cessation.
  • Maintaining hydration.
  • Replacing your metal cutlery with glass or ceramic ones at least to some extent.

Important Hints

If you lose part or all of your sweet taste, there are a few things you can do to improve the taste of your food:

  • Prepare dishes of various hues and textures.
  • To enhance taste, use fragrant herbs and spices.
  • Consult your physician or a psychologist to select sauces that you may use into your diet to add flavor of your food.
  • Avoid combining diverse meals, such as curries, which can mask particular flavors and dilute taste.

When to See a Doctor?

Since a rusty taste might indicate an illness or other illness, you should seek medical attention immediately. Discuss your concerns with a medical professional. Inform your doctor if the taste continues, resurfaces, or causes you to worry. If you are having  difficulty in swallowing, get medical help right away.

Treatment and Preventive Care

The best way to cure a nasty taste in the tongue is to check what created it. See a physician if there is no clear cause. Occasionally, the metallic taste and its deeper motive will vanish on their own. Your doctor may advise you to make modifications or adjustments to your prescription regimen. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in minerals can hopefully minimize nutritional deficits that can cause a rusty odor in the mouth.

Some at-home remedies for a lingering aftertaste in your tongue include consuming meals of various colors and textures, and enhancing flavor with fragrant herbs and spices.


Gingivitis,  viruses, childbirth, loss of appetite, smoking, age, and injuries are all causes of a metallic aftertaste in the tongue. Contact your doctor if you develop a bitter taste in the mouth that will not go away by itself or has no evident reason.


Also Read : Does Depression Cause Memory Loss? (101 Mental Health Guide)

Proofreaded by:

Dr. Foram Bhuta

Dentist (B.D.S)

Apeksha Soni

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