Metallic taste in mouth: A cause for concern?

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Metallic taste in mouth: A cause for concern?

Question

I've had a metallic taste in my mouth for several months. What might cause this?

Susan
Minnesota

Answer

A metallic taste in the mouth is a fairly common problem — and usually not serious. Although you don't have actual taste buds that detect metals, the perception of the taste is described as "metallic."

A metallic taste can be due to many factors. But the most common causes of a metallic taste are:

  • Medications such as some antibiotics, prenatal vitamins and antidepressants, as well as drugs used to treat high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and kidney stones
  • Oral problems, including oral infections such as gingivitis or periodontitis, tooth infections, and poor oral hygiene

Sometimes the cause of a metallic taste can't be determined. In many cases, the problem goes away on its own after several months or longer. Proper oral hygiene can help, including regularly brushing your teeth and brushing and scraping your tongue. Done properly, dental restorations — such as fillings and inlays — are rarely the cause a metallic taste.

Last Updated: 07/05/2006
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