Bitter Taste in Mouth

Do you have mornings when your mouth tastes acidic, bitter or metallic? It’s more common than you’d think. A bitter or metallic taste may indicate diabetes, liver or kidney problems, and even some types of cancer. But those illnesses are not common reasons for the taste.

If you are healthy otherwise, the cause for the bitter taste in your mouth is usually benign. Read on to learn about causes and treatments for bitter taste in the mouth.

What Causes that Bitter Taste in your Mouth?

There are various factors that can leave an acidic, bitter or metallic taste in the mouth. We’ll outline the main causes here.

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  1. Some Medications

Some prescriptions used in the treatment of psychiatric and cardiac conditions may cause bitter taste. They include allopurinol, tetracycline and lithium. The medicines enter your saliva after they are absorbed. Antidepressants and antibiotics can lead to dry mouth and affect the taste buds.

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene

Ignoring proper oral hygiene can lead to tooth problems and gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. These may leave metallic taste in the mouth. The taste and infection can be cleared up with the use of prescription medications.

  1. Inhaled Substances

Smoking has negative effects on the taste buds, leading to a bitter taste in your mouth. You may also experience bitter taste if you inhale environmental chemicals like benzene, rubber dust or gasoline.

  1. Supplements & Vitamins

Vitamins that include high percentages of heavy metals like chromium, zinc or copper can cause a metallic taste in your mouth. Iron and calcium supplements can also cause this taste. It will disappear after these vitamins and supplements have been absorbed by your body.

  1. Pregnancy

Imbalances in hormones can cause nausea or vomiting at certain stages of pregnancy, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. This is common in pregnant women and will usually clear up after several days. Eating candy with mint or lemon flavors will clear away the bad taste.

  1. Acid Reflux

This occurs when your stomach acids travel back up into the esophagus, which leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. It can cause bad breath, too. This condition can be treated by limiting how many spicy or greasy foods you eat. Helpful prescriptions for acid reflux may include acid suppressants and prokinetic agents.

  1. Other possible Causes of Bitter Taste in the Mouth

Dental appliances like braces, or any surgery you have had on your throat, teeth, nose or ears, can leave a bitter taste behind. So can radiation therapy on the head or neck.

Some traumas and injuries that may cause a bitter mouth taste include injuries to the nose, nerves, head and mouth or biting your tongue.

Bitter taste can result from nasal polyps, lack of vitamin B12 and zinc, infection of the salivary glands, allergies, dry mouth, glossitis and dehydration.

Other causes include autoimmune diseases like Bell’s palsy and Sjoren’s syndrome, and other issues like inflammation in your upper airways and breathing through your mouth instead of your nose.

Dealing with a Bitter Taste in your Mouth

Bitter or metallic taste in the mouth may be quite frustrating, particularly when you don’t know the cause or proper remedy. The remedies below will help in clearing the bad taste.

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  1. Try Using a Tongue Scraper

Move a plastic tongue scraper from back to front on your tongue, while applying a gentle, light pressure. Repeat this process and rinse your scraper after each stroke.

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  1. Use Baking Soda to Brush your teeth

Place one-half a teaspoon of baking soda to your toothbrush and then add toothpaste. Brush your tongue and teeth for about three minutes. Brush twice a day, and always floss between your teeth, to control the accumulation of bacteria.

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  1. Try OTC Antacids

Indigestion and acid reflux can leave a bitter taste in the mouth. You can ease the problem with antacids purchased over the counter. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.

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  1. Use Mouthwash

Use a tablespoon of mouthwash and swish in your mouth for about 30 seconds. You can swish it longer if necessary to get rid of the bitter taste in your mouth, or if the manufacturer’s information states that it is safe. Using mint flavored dental floss will clean your teeth after you rinse.

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  1. Practice Good, Regular Oral Hygiene

One of the main causes of bad taste in the mouth is poor oral hygiene. Be sure that you pay attention to your tongue and gums when you brush your teeth. Brush twice a day or more and use mouthwash afterward. Flossing can be done as few as three to four times a week, but can be more beneficial if you do it every day.

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  1. Eat more Citrus Fruits

Eating more citrus fruits will stimulate the production of saliva, which will clear away the bitter taste in mouth. You can drink juice, too, like lemon and orange juice.

  1. Other Bitter Taste Remedies

Some natural remedies to help in clearing metallic taste in your mouth include:

  • Drinking sufficient water will clear the toxins from the mouth and reduce stomach acid levels.
  • Chew a teaspoon or more of cinnamon or cloves.
  • Chew peppermints or citrus breath mints after any spicy or greasy meals.
  • Eat smaller portions, chew your food well and eat more slowly, so that you won’t get indigestion.
  • Eat smaller and more frequent meals and try limiting your consumption of spicy and fried foods that could trigger your acid reflux.


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