At the McGinty Dental Group, we understand that much like car maintenance, most of our patients don’t think too much about their oral health until something goes wrong. While a toothache or problems eating may have a pretty clear cause, there are other common oral health conditions that can leave patients wondering. One issue that patients frequently experience that can have a variety of causes is a persistent metallic taste in the mouth.
While having a metallic flavor in the mouth may not seem like a big deal, the issue can dramatically change the way we taste, eat, drink, and enjoy the foods we eat. Fortunately, once the cause behind the metallic taste is treated the problem goes away. But determining what exactly is behind the issue can be difficult to detect. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of metal mouth.
By far the most common cause of a metallic taste in the mouth is from the medications we take. Antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antibiotics have all been found to cause a tinny taste as a side effect. When the body absorbs and ingests the medication, the substances can be released in saliva. The end result is a metal taste in the mouth.
Frequently, vitamin supplements that contain calcium, chromium, iron, and zinc cause the side effect as well. Of course, antibiotics and cardiac medications may also be to blame, so be sure to talk to your doctor if the change in how you taste continues.
Changes to your taste buds are fairly common during pregnancy. The changes that occur may be due to the change in hormones that occurs during pregnancy. This change to your taste buds will typically happen during the first trimester and will usually go away sometime during the second.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Failing to brush and floss enough could be another cause of a metallic taste in your mouth. Not taking the time and making the effort to properly clean your teeth could lead to the development of gum disease. The beginning stages of the disease, known as gingivitis, could cause a metal taste. Fortunately, you can help to prevent this terrible taste for occurring by visiting the McGinty Dental Group every six months for a regular exam and cleaning.
The congestion and buildup of mucus that occurs during a respiratory infection may cause a metallic of foul taste to develop in the mouth. In these cases, mucus from the nose and throat will be testable on the tongue (gross). This type of sinus problems could be the result of anything from a cold to a sinus or middle-ear infection.
Too Much or Too Little Zinc
Dysgeusia, a condition that causes an abnormal or impaired sense of taste, could be the result of a lack or excess of zinc. Malnutrition, which could include a zinc deficiency, may slow down cell renewal, resulting in a change of taste. Conversely, individuals that consume too much zinc through excessive supplement usage could experience nausea, abdominal discomfort, or dysgeusia.
Problems with Pine Nuts
Within 12 to 48 hours of eating pine nuts you may experience a consistent metallic taste in the mouth, according to the Food and Drug Administration. This common salad topping and pesto ingredient are creating an allergic reaction, rather some component in the nut causes the change. Unfortunately, researchers don’t know what exactly causes the metallic taste to develop, only that it will go away once the body has had a chance to fully process the nuts out.
Kidney or Liver Disease
While rare, kidney or liver disease could cause a metallic taste to develop in the mouth due to a buildup of chemicals in the body. Once these chemicals are released into saliva, the cause a metallic taste.
If you have a persistent metallic taste in your mouth, make sure to contact our team at the McGinty Dental Group to schedule an appointment. While this may seem like a minor nuisance, it could reveal a more serious medical condition lying beneath.