FranUlloa/flickr.com, Tom Harrington/flickr.com
A metallic taste in the mouth is a common symptom, and even though it may be unpleasant, it is typically not an indicator of a serious problem. What you perceive to be a metallic taste can be happening for a variety of reasons. In most cases, you have that funny taste in your mouth due to prenatal vitamins or prescription antibiotics. Of course, there are situations where a metallic taste is an indication of a condition that requires your attention.
Different medicines have different side effects, but one side effect that a surprising number of medicines can cause is a metallic taste in the mouth. General antibiotics can trigger this, as well as antidepressants, anesthetics such as lidocaine and prenatal vitamins.
Medication for weight loss, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, alcoholism, heart failure, giardiasis and trichomoniasis can all cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
Poor Oral Hygiene
How are your brushing and flossing habits? It's possible that the presence of bacteria in the mouth, or gingivitis or periodontitis, are causing your mouth to have a metallic flavour. Tooth infections can also cause your mouth to have a metallic taste. If you're prone to bleeding gums, that might factor in as the source of that metallic taste.
If you are not currently under a dentist's care for gingivitis or other mouth, tooth or gum problems, make an appointment and find out if the metallic taste you're experiencing is a sign of a problem.
If you take in too much iron, or you're experiencing a food allergy, that may be the reason for the metallic taste in your mouth. Certain cancers, peptic ulcers, lichen planus, kidney disease, acute kidney failure, burning mouth syndrome and overdoses of copper, selenium, mercury or iodine are also reasons for a metallic taste in your mouth.
Check Your Water Supply
Copper is a mineral that is found in the body, but when you ingest too much of it, you put yourself at risk for copper toxicity. Even a bit of excess can result in headaches, dizziness, weakness, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Copper can flake off the copper pipes that supply water to many homes and buildings. If your water comes from a well, it's possible that the water levels may need to be checked for the amount of copper and other minerals that are present.
Preventing a Metallic Taste in the Mouth
If the metallic taste in your mouth isn't from your water source, it isn't caused by a certain medication or oral hygiene problems, and you've had a recent health check-up and you're certain that you're not suffering from any medical problems, then you can try improving your daily brushing habits. Brush twice daily, and be sure to scrape or brush the surface of your tongue.
Of course, there's a good chance that there's no real reason for the metallic taste in your mouth, and there's nothing you can do to prevent it or make it go away. If this happens to be the case, use mouthwash and chewing gum or mints to alleviate the unpleasantness.
- FranUlloa/flickr.com, Tom Harrington/flickr.com