Why do I have a metallic taste in my mouth?

Why do I have a metallic taste in my mouth?

A metallic taste is a common complaint. It is a byproduct of many conditions and medications.

These are the most common causes of a metallic taste:

  1. Poor oral hygiene (bacterial infections, including gum disease, fungal infections)
  2. Trauma to the mouth (including tooth extraction)
  3. Complications of ill-fitting dentures (ulcers, for example)
  4. Sinus problems (colds, sinus infections, allergies, nasal polyps, middle ear infection, recent middle ear surgery, sinusitis, other upper respiratory infections)
  5. Sjogren’s Syndrome
  6. Some medications
    1. Some antibiotics (metronidazole)
    2. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimer’s Disease
    3. Some thyroid medications
    4. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
    5. Lithium (mood stabilizer)
    6. Ethionamide (antibacterial treatment for TB)
    7. Lorcainide hydrochloride (for arrhythmia)metallic taste - shutterstock 1491384491
    8. Gallium nitrate (to reduce high blood calcium levels)
    9. Some other drugs, such as anticholinergics
  7. Cancer therapies (chemo and radiation, due to the treatment or its complications)
  8. Some vitamins (substances that contain metals (iron, zinc, copper). Prenatal vitamins and calcium
  9. Liver failure
  10. Dementia, MS, Depression Head or Neck trauma.
  11. Older age, especially in those receiving residential care
  12. Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  13. Allergies
  14. Kidney failure 
  15. Indigestion (sometimes)

What you can do at home

  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Brush and Floss regularly
  • Chew sugar-free gum or eat sugar-free mints

When to see a Doctor

  • The taste doesn’t go away
  • It is accompanied by other symptoms
  • There is no apparent cause for the taste.


Better Oral Health in Later Life


Maintaining good oral health is vital to developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age. In addition, oral health is a key indicator of overall health in older age. Ensuring better oral health in later life enables you to live and enjoy a vital existence in older age.older woman with dentist - dreamstime s 21154743


What can you do to achieve better oral health later in life?  Here are a few critical insights and suggestions.

  1. Care for your entire mouth and throat. Monitor and care for your tongue, cheeks, and throat.. Ensure that you can comfortably and effectively chew, swallow and speak. Decline in these functions can lead to impaired swallowing, swallowing disorders, malnutrition, and withdrawal from social contact.
  2. Your dentist may recommend exercises to strengthen muscles in and around your mouth. This could be as important as good oral hygiene in maintaining function. Also, attend to the variety of your diet and be sure to include hard types of foods – raw vegetables and fruits, for example.
  3. If appropriate, try to facilitate cooperation between your medical doctors and your dentist. This can be helpful when treating diabetes, cancer, and a number of other conditions.
  4. If you are in a nursing home, make plans with your dentist and your family to ensure your dental health.  In many cases, the staff of nursing homes lack the time and the training to assist you with oral health. It may be up to you to ensure quality dental hygiene, regular dental visits, and identification and treatment of any emerging problems, such as cavities, gum disease, loose teeth, sores in your mouth, and more.
  5. Act immediately and effectively in response to any emerging dental problems. Delaying action can result in further damage to the tooth or teeth. Losing teeth directly affects your diet, your speech, your appearance, and your sense of well-being. Caries (cavities) are a problem throughout life. But root caries (at the root of the tooth) are common in older age.

Maintaining and protecting your oral health is important to your general health and to your happiness and vitality. Your dentist and dental hygienist can help you maintain excellent dental health in older age. 

A Helpful Reminder During Heat Waves

A Helpful Reminder During Heat Waves

Many people in the world are experiencing a heat wave. Exposure to the heat can affect your breathing, your heart rate, and more. It is also important to remember that heat waves affect our teeth.

In this kind of heat, we know that hydration is critical. But what you drink to hydrate might be harming your teeth more than you realize. Some of us will reach for a soda to quench their thirst. Othersheat wave - dreamstime s 58102280 may choose diet soda, sports drinks, or flavored sparkling water.

What we often do not consider is that it is not just the sugar, but the acid in these drinks that can cause tooth erosion (a process that wears away the enamel that protects your teeth. Tooth erosion makes your teeth vulnerable to the bacteria that cause cavities and infection. It can also make your teeth look yellow. This occurs because erosion of the enamel exposes the yellowish dentin beneath the enamel.

A recent study compared the effects on teeth of several beverages:

  • Non-carbonated bottled water
  • Flavored sparkling water
  • Plain sparling water
  • 7 different sugar-free beverages
  • 1 soda with sugar.

Researchers exposed teeth to the equivalent of a year’s worth of exposure.

According to the researchers When measuring the results of soda with sugar versus sugar-free soda, they found acids in both caused dental enamel to erode. Sweetener type was less of a factor. It was the acid in the beverages that eroded the tooth enamel. The researchers also observed erosion from flavored sparkling waters (although less) caused erosion of tooth enamel.

The only beverages in the study that did not cause enamel erosion were non-carbonated, non-flavored bottled waters.

Sometimes we feel that we must have a carbonated beverage. In this case, you might want to follow the tips from the American Dental Association to reduce tooth erosion from acidic foods and beverages:

  • Use a straw, sip and swallow – don’t swish or hold in your mouth
  • Wait 1 hour before brushing – give saliva time to work
  • Rinse with water, drink milk or eat cheese afterward to help neutralize the acid
  • Chew sugarless gum to keep saliva working to control acid and protect teeth.
  • Practice good oral health daily: brush twice daily, floss daily, eat a healthy diet, see your dentist regularly.

Getting through a heat wave will require hydration. But with the right kind of hydration, you can keep your teeth strong and your enamel healthy. 

Mouth Pain Causes - Infographic

tooth pain infographic

Care Tips for Toddler Teeth

Care Tips for Toddler TEeth -- Infographic


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