Metallic Taste: An In-Depth Look

Posted by Suzanne Grier on September 9, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Lingering metal taste in mouth and sweet taste in mouth are just two of the most common taste disorders that can affect anyone. During my pregnancy, I remember having some kind of taste disorder especially in the morning, but it just went away on its own without treatment. However, I have also read that some people suffer from a more serious taste disorder, particularly the lingering metallic taste. Many of them neglected their condition at first, thinking it is nothing serious but in the end, it is already a sign of a life-threatening condition. It is a good time that we should have an in-depth look on the metallic taste disorder which is one of the most common disorders affecting the sense of taste.

Usual Symptoms

A metallic taste disorder may occur as the only symptom, or it may also come with other symptoms which may vary depending on its underlying cause:

  • Bleeding gum
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive salivation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stuffy nose
  • Vomiting
  • Inflamed or swollen tonsils
  • Abnormalities in facial movement
  • Flu-like symptoms

Serious Symptoms to Watch Out For

In some cases, metallic taste may come with other more serious symptoms such as the following, which may signify a life-threatening problem that should be evaluated by your doctor:

  • Confusion
  • Lack of consciousness or alertness
  • Inability to swallow
  • Fever of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Drooping of face or paralysis
  • Abnormalities in breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden swelling in the mouth, tongue or lips


Possible Causes of Metallic Taste

A metallic taste with the usual symptoms as listed above may be caused by any condition or disorder that interferes with the normal taste process. This includes:

  • Smoking
  • Common cold
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Nasal infection
  • Sinusitis
  • Infection in the salivary gland
  • Sore or strep throat
  • Viral infection
  • Dental problems
  • Hay fever
  • Neurological disorders
  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Certain medications
  • Surgery in the ear and throat or nose

In most cases, the abnormal taste caused by the above conditions just disappears on its own as soon as the underlying condition is resolved, or when smoking or the use of certain medication is stopped.

Moreover, if the metallic taste already comes with the serious symptoms listed above, it would be best to seek emergency help.

Possible Complications Due to Metallic Taste Disorder

Depending on the underlying cause, some people may experience complications as a result of suffering from prolonged metallic taste disorder. Complications may also develop if the underlying condition is not identified and treated:

  • Depression as a result of the inability to enjoy food
  • Changes in eating habits or loss of appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss

Because metallic taste may not be just a metallic taste but may be a more serious condition, it is best to seek medical attention: when the abnormal taste comes with others symptoms, when the metallic taste lingers even if the underlying condition is treated, or when the metallic taste is recurring. Sometimes, the underlying cause of metallic taste can be hard to identify, so it is important that you work closely with your doctor for correct diagnosis so that proper treatment can also be identified.

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