Reasons for metal taste in mouth

Updated April 17, 2017

There are many reasons for having a metal taste in one's mouth. Some conditions that are indicated by a metallic taste have far more symptoms than just a metal taste in the mouth, so if you have this condition and have other major health problems, it's best to see your doctor. Your doctor can then determine if you have a serious illness or condition. But if a metal taste in your mouth is the only thing that is out of sorts with you, there are several causes, meaning there are several possibilities to rule out.

Whether dietary, due to drugs or a physical condition, a metal taste is a symptom and not a disease itself. The main reason for a metal taste is something in your system that is reacting with your body chemistry to produce a metal taste.

Oral Hygiene

Periodontitis, tooth infection and gingivitis are common causes of a metal taste in the mouth. All of these are infections of the gum or tooth and can be cleared up with a prescription from your dentist. You need to rid yourself of the infection before you can determine if the metal taste is still there. Most people suffering from dental infections will have the taste problem cleared up along with the infection.


Many of us take several over the counter medicines, many on a daily basis. Some of these might be responsible for a metallic taste in the mouth. Prenatal vitamins, iron and calcium are particularly found to cause a metal taste in someone's mouth. Usually the taste will go away as the medicine makes it way through your system. If not, check to make sure that you are not taking too many of the supplements. Also, over the counter cold remedies can cause a metallic taste in the mouth because antihistamines dry the mouth and sinuses out. This can sometimes cause you to taste metal. Many alcoholics have a metal taste. This can be caused by a number of systemic issues relating to alcoholism. Anyone with an alcohol problem should attend to that first to see if the taste goes away.


A metal taste in the mouth can be an indication of some serious illnesses including kidney stones, heart failure, cancer and diabetes. Be sure to check other more prominent symptoms (like heart rate and sugar levels) before deciding a metal taste in your mouth is a determination of a serious illness.

Other Reasons

After having surgery with anaesthesia, you can have a metal taste in your mouth until the drug is completely out of your system in a day or two. A metal taste can also be a side effect of taking antidepressants and antibiotics. Weight loss can also tend to make someone's mouth taste like metal.


Brush your teeth and while you're there, brush your tongue. Gently brush the over your tongue from front to back. If the metal taste is gone after brushing, but then returns a few minutes or hours later, you probably have the taste from some drug or supplement you're taking. If you can't brush it away for even a few moments, it might be an indication of something more serious.


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About the Author

Rebecca Cioffi worked in the entertainment industry for almost 20 years and is currently living in Phoenix, Ariz., where she is working on a book. She is also a phlebotomist.