We all have moments when we think: “I brushed my teeth thoroughly. Where’s this weird taste in my mouth coming from?” A lingering bad taste in your mouth after brushing is a common problem. Whether you describe the taste as sour, bitter, metallic, or just plain funky, everyone experiences it from time-to-time.
There are many causes for weird tastes in your mouth, and it’s not just about what you eat. Here are the most common causes and treatments to help you get rid of that bad taste in your mouth.
Vitamins, Medications and a Bad Taste in Your Mouth
Medications used to treat depression, neurological disorders, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, and even glaucoma are all linked to a bad or metallic taste in the mouth.
Sometimes your body absorbs a medication and the lingering bad taste comes out in your saliva. (Have you ever tried chewing a pill you were supposed to swallow? Yuck!) In other cases, the bad taste in your mouth is secondary. A bad taste in the mouth is often a symptom of dry mouth, which is a common side effect to some medications.
Multivitamins, iron and calcium supplements, and over-the-counter cold remedies sometimes contain heavy metals, and these heavy metals cause a metallic taste in your mouth as well. The bad taste should go away after a few hours as your body processes the vitamins. If it doesn’t, check the dosage to make sure you aren’t taking too much.
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Pregnancy and a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth
During pregnancy, your mouth changes along with the rest of your body. This is especially true during the first trimester, when hormones really rage. Dysgeusia — or a change in your sense of taste — is likely caused by increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. Sometimes, this also causes a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth.
Brushing and flossing well is extra important during pregnancy. Eating acidic foods like citrus juices or food marinated in vinegar also helps rid your mouth of the metallic taste. Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to banish that bad taste in your mouth during pregnancy. But rest assured, it usually disappears soon after giving birth.
Acid Reflux or Digestive Issues
When stomach acid seeps into your throat due to acid reflux or other digestive issues, this often results in a bitter taste in your mouth. Brushing your teeth more frequently helps, as does sucking on sugar-free gum and mints. But contact your doctor if your acid reflux persists. The presence of stomach acids eventually damages your esophagus and erodes your teeth.
Tooth Decay and Gum Infections
Tooth decay and gum infections cause both bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth. Cavities and decay are a breeding ground for foul-smelling, and foul-tasting, bacteria. Infections in your gums and mouth also emit an unpleasant odor and bad taste.
Colds, Allergies, and Nasal Blockages
Your sense of taste is directly linked to your sense of smell, so it comes as no surprise that when your nose is blocked, things usually don’t taste quite right. Colds and allergies sometimes cause a bad taste in your mouth. So do persistent sinus infections and the presence of nasal polyps.
Even if your nose doesn’t feel particularly plugged up, the bacterial or viral remains of post-nasal drip taste bad when they make their way down to your throat and mouth.
Sometimes, that weird taste in your mouth is caused by plain old bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis.
Certain pungent foods, a poor diet, smoking, and a host of other factors contribute to bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth. In many of these cases, the cure for bad breath and bad taste is straightforward and often resolves itself quickly.
Treatments for the bad taste in your mouth
There are many remedies to mask or cover up a lingering bad taste in your mouth. These include sugar-free gum and mints, breath fresheners, and mouthwash. However, the best cure for a bad taste from your mouth is simply maintaining good oral health.
Brush for two minutes, twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. Proper brushing includes giving your tongue a thorough scrubbing. And don’t forget to floss between your teeth at least once a day. Flossing cleans the 40% of tooth surfaces your brush can’t reach.
If you step up your dental hygiene but still experience a persistently weird taste in your mouth, it might be the sign of something more serious. Visit your dentist to identify the cause and treat the problem once and for all.
If the bad taste in your mouth persists, please see your dentist.
They’ll help identify the cause and help you treat the problem.
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