Medically Reviewed by Evan Frisbee, DMD on January 07, 2020

Not Flossing or Brushing

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Ignoring your dental health can lead to tooth or gum infections like gingivitis or periodontitis. A more severe condition called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis can happen suddenly. Along with other symptoms, these issues can trigger bad breath and a metallic taste in your mouth.

Sinus Trouble

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Your senses of smell and taste are closely linked. So any issues with your sinuses might affect your taste buds. Once you’ve kicked the infection clogging your sinuses, your mouth should go back to normal.

Prescription Drugs

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Changes in taste and dry mouth (which can lead to that metallic flavor) are side effects of some medications. The most common culprits include antibiotics like tetracycline, the gout medication allopurinol, the psychiatric drug lithium, and some heart meds.

Vitamins

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Everyday multivitamins with heavy metals like zinc, iron, or copper can leave behind a metallic aftertaste. The same goes for prenatal vitamins, iron and calcium supplements, and cold remedies that have zinc in them. The problem usually goes away once your body processes the medication.

Indigestion

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Heartburn, bloating, extra gas, reflux -- these symptoms of indigestion can lead to a metallic flavor in your mouth. Once you treat your indigestion, the problem should go away.

Pregnancy

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You’re growing another human. And all those hormones surging through your body can do a number on your taste buds. You might lose taste for your favorite foods or crave weird snacks. You may get a metal tang in your mouth, too.

Dementia

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Although your tongue is what tastes things, it’s your brain that tells you what flavor it is. Dementia can affect the parts of your brain that control this. When they don’t work right, you might have a metallic taste in your mouth.

Cancer Treatment

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Radiation and chemotherapy can give you a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth. You can ease the problem some by brushing your teeth well and keeping your mouth clean with rinses. The side effect typically goes away once you’re done with your treatment.

Kidney Failure

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Chronic kidney failure caused by nerve damage from diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus, chronic infections, or kidney diseases can lead to multiple problems in your body, like a metallic taste in your mouth.

Pine Mouth

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Also known as pine nut syndrome, this is a rare disorder that causes an intense bitter or metallic taste after eating pine nuts. It can take 1-3 days for the metallic taste to hit, and it lasts for several weeks. It usually goes away on its own.

Brain Surgery

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It’s not common, but your sense of taste can change after brain surgery to remove a tumor. The surgery itself might be the reason. Or it may be due to nerve damage that causes disorders like Bell’s palsy, a condition that temporarily numbs the nerves in your face.

Chemicals

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If your job puts you in the path of metal fumes like zinc oxide, it might mess with your sense of taste. Welders are at high risk of a condition called metal fume fever. It makes you very thirsty and causes a metallic taste in your mouth. It typically goes away in 6-12 hours.

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