What is a metallic taste in the mouth a symptom of?

Updated April 17, 2017

Having a metallic or foul, bitter taste in the mouth is called dysgeusia. Treating this condition at home includes consuming citric juices, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda water or salt water.

Gum Disease

A metallic taste is a known symptom of teeth and gum problems. Gingivitis (gum disease), the breakdown of dental work and poor oral hygiene can present this symptom.

Metal Poisoning

Lead or mercury poisoning symptoms can cause a metallic taste in the mouth; copper toxicity can nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting. With lead poisoning, a blue-grey line forms along the gums, along with the metallic taste.

Medication Side Effects

Several medications have a metallic taste as a side effect, such as Capoten, which is used to treat high blood pressure; lithium, used to treat bipolar disorder; and Biaxin, an antibiotic.

Prenatal Drugs

Women taking prenatal vitamins, antibiotics and antidepressants may experience a metallic taste in their mouth.

Hormone Fluctuations

When oestrogen levels fluctuate, a metallic taste in the mouth can sometimes occur.


Treatments for metallic taste in the mouth include breath mints, brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue afterward, and mixing a teaspoon of salt into water for a mouth rinse.

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About the Author

Eric Tilden is a fantasy novelist and author of a weekly newsletter for P*JET * IMAGES, an online art website. He has been working on his fiction novels since 2005, and has written for Demand Studios since June 2009. Tilden attended the University of Michigan-Flint, obtaining an education in art, music theory, archaeology, accounting, calculus and basic graphic design.