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close-up of patient with mouth open

There are times you experience a weird taste in your mouth; a strange or nasty taste is an annoyance at best. It usually goes away after brushing your teeth or rinsing out your mouth. However, in some cases the bad taste sticks around due to an underlying cause. Having a bad taste in your mouth can ruin your appetite, possibly leading to nutritional deficiencies and other problems. In that case work with your doctor to figure out what’s causing it.

Dysgeusia is the medical term for an impaired sense of taste. It can result in unpleasant taste sensations ranging from metallic to salty or bitter. This taste is described as foul or rancid and can last for a long time until the underlying cause is treated.

Causes

A bad taste in the mouth can be a result of a wide range of medical conditions and even everyday situations. Poor dental health and poor hygiene are other most common causes of a bad taste in the mouth.

It may occur after eating, after coughing, or constantly, depending upon the cause. Many different kinds of prescription or over-the-counter medications can interfere with the sense of taste and may produce an unpleasant sensation of taste.

Also consumption of certain foods, or the use of tobacco products, can result in an unpleasant or bad taste in the mouth. The severity of the bad taste varies among affected individuals. Dysgeusia can be caused by infections (cold, flu, sinus infections etc), inflammation, injury, or environmental factors. A history of radiation therapy for cancer treatment to the head and neck can also cause a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, women in the early stages of pregnancy find that their sense of taste appears to have changed, possibly resulting in a bad taste in the mouth. Depending upon the cause of the sense of bad taste, there may be other associated symptoms, such as nausea or dry mouth.

Treatment

Treating the underlying condition usually puts an end to the bad taste in the mouth. Half-yearly professional cleanings and regular brushing and flossing may keep gum disease at bay. Your physician might as well prescribe saliva replacements, pain relievers, nerve pain blockers or anesthetic oral rinses to treat burning mouth syndrome. If dental cavities, gum disease, or other oral health issues are causing the taste, a dentist will recommend a procedure, medication, or medicated mouth rinse.

Home remedies

In some cases, home remedies can help to resolve a bad taste in the mouth.

  • Brushing, flossing, tongue scraper and using mouthwash daily.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum to encourage the production and movement of saliva
  • Consumption of god amount of water to reduce acid levels in the stomach so as to prevent acid reflux. Alternatively, orange or lemon juices are equally effective in treating bitter taste in Mouth.
  • Use of peppermints after having a spicy meal
  • Chewing at least one teaspoon of cinnamons
  • Quitting tobacco, limiting or avoiding the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and sodas
  • Try and limit consumption of fatty and spicy foods