Experiencing a bad taste in your mouth is an experience we all have from time to time. If it’s a mild experience, then simply brushing your teeth or a quick rinse may rid of a nasty or bitter taste in your mouth.
Of course, a bad taste in your mouth may occur for multiple days or even weeks. If this happens, then you’re likely to be dealing with a cause beyond something you’ve eaten or drunk.
If an unpleasant taste in your mouth is causing you to eat less or avoid certain foods it may also mean you miss out on nutrition your mouth and body needs. The taste can vary, and you may have a metallic taste in your mouth or a different sensation.
To keep your mouth and teeth healthy you need to ensure bacteria that are built up when you eat and drink are regularly cleared out with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.
If not, you may notice a bad taste in your mouth andit is a key reason to ensure when brushing that you reach difficult areas such as your wisdom teeth.
Your symptoms will let you and dental professionals have a better sense of what may be causing your bad taste but for now, we’ll run you through some of the most common causes and treatments.
What causes a bad taste in the mouth?
If you’ve experienced a bad taste in your mouth, you’ll likely be wondering where the problem might come from. The causes of a bad taste in the mouth are wide-ranging but some of the most common are the following.
1. Poor Hygiene & Dental Problems
An unpleasant taste in your mouth can be a sign of several oral issues. One of the most common is gingivitis, which results from a build-up of plaque if you fail to brush and floss regularly. Other common root causes of a bad taste in the mouth are abscesses, infections, and wisdom teeth coming through.
2. Dry Mouth
A lack of saliva can also contribute to a bad taste in the mouth as your saliva removes food debris and bacteria after eating. However, certain prescribed medication, diabetes, smoking, and a blocked nose can leave you with a dry mouth which can slow down the mouth’s natural processes.
3. Oral thrush
A yeast infection of the mouth, known as oral thrush, is another reason you may experience a bitter taste in your mouth. If you spot white bumps, redness, and have trouble swallowing and a dry mouth, you should see a dental professional as these are all symptoms of oral thrush. This condition is also most likely to be seen in babies, the elderly, or those with suppression of their immune system.
4. Respiratory or viral infections
Viral infections are also a common cause of a bad taste in the mouth. If you experience a metallic taste in your mouth and nausea these can be early signs of Hepatitis B so be sure to check these with a medical professional. Alternately, if you are struggling to taste then a viral infection such as tonsillitis or the common cold can lead to an unpleasant taste and may be accompanied by congestion or an earache.
5. Hormonal Changes
Many women report a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth and throat in the first trimester of pregnancy or when going through menopause. This condition is medically referred to as dysgeusia and is caused by variations in your hormone levels. In particular, varying levels of estrogen have been linked to this metallic taste in your mouth.
6. Dietary supplements
Taking supplements for a vitamin deficiency and a bad taste in the mouth have also been connected and if you take supplements containing calcium, chromium, copper, iron, vitamin D, zinc, or a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin this may be a cause. If you are doing so raise this with your doctor or dentist and they can make recommendations to treat this bad taste in your mouth.
7. Chemotherapy and radiation
Finally, if you are undergoing treatment for cancer and a salty taste in your mouth is bothering you, this is a commonly reported side effect of chemotherapy on your tongue’s taste receptors. Speak to your health advisor for more support on this.
How to Get Rid of a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth
The first step when looking for a remedy to a bitter taste in your mouth is to ensure you are maintaining good oral hygiene and brushing and flossing daily to get rid of plaque and bacteria. Finding an Oral B mouthwash that works for you will help to remove particles and reduce plaque. Antibiotics including clarithromycin and metronidazole and other medications you may be prescribed after an operation can also cause side effects for your sense of taste. In terms of how to get rid of a bad taste in your mouth from antibiotics or after surgery, it’s recommended to tryusing a tongue cleaner or a saltwater rinse with one tablespoon of salt.
Beyond these preventative steps, a deep clean of your mouth from a dental professional can be a remedy for a bitter taste in your mouth. If these treatments don’t tackle the bad taste in your mouth, a medical professional may suggest pain relief options or medication help your mouth produce more saliva.