Momentum in the Mountains 2024


The 7 Reasons Why You Experience a Metallic Taste in Your Mouth

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 07/03/2024

Have you ever experienced a strange metallic taste in your mouth? It's like licking a penny or chewing on aluminum foil. This unpleasant sensation, known as dysgeusia, can be quite bothersome and may indicate underlying health issues.

Understanding the causes of a metallic taste is crucial for identifying potential problems and finding effective solutions.

As a health expert, I've encountered numerous patients dealing with this peculiar symptom. Let's explore what might be behind this odd flavor in your mouth.

Common Metallic Taste Causes

There are several reasons why you might experience a metallic taste. Some are harmless and temporary, while others may require medical attention. Here are the most common culprits:

1. Medications and Medical Treatments

One of the leading metallic taste causes is medication. Many prescription drugs can alter your sense of taste as a side effect. Antibiotics are notorious for this, but they're not alone.

Chemotherapy is another major contributor. The powerful chemicals used to fight cancer can impact your taste buds, often resulting in a persistent metallic flavor.

If you're taking any new medications and notice a metallic taste, it's worth discussing with your healthcare provider. They might be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to an alternative that doesn't affect your taste buds.

2. Pregnancy

Expectant mothers often report a metallic taste, especially during the first trimester. This is likely due to hormonal changes and increased sensitivity to certain flavors.

While it can be unpleasant, this metallic taste usually subsides as the pregnancy progresses. Staying hydrated and maintaining good oral hygiene can help manage this symptom.

3. Synthetic Vitamins and Supplements

Not all vitamins are created equal. Synthetic vitamins, often found in drugstore brands, can leave a metallic aftertaste. This is particularly true for multivitamins that contain minerals like iron and copper.

If you suspect your supplements are causing a metallic taste, consider switching to whole-food-based vitamins. These are typically better absorbed by the body and less likely to cause taste disturbances.

4. Heavy Metal Exposure

Excessive consumption of certain fish high in mercury can lead to heavy metal accumulation in your body. Species like shark, swordfish, marlin, and some types of tuna are known for their high mercury content.

It's not just fish, though. Cooking with aluminum pans or drinking unfiltered tap water can also expose you to heavy metals. Over time, this exposure can manifest as a metallic taste in your mouth.

To reduce your risk, opt for lower-mercury fish options like salmon or light tuna. Also, consider using stainless steel or ceramic cookware and investing in a good water filter.

5. Poor Oral Hygiene

Sometimes, the cause of a metallic taste is right in your mouth. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and infections, all of which can alter your sense of taste.

Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are crucial for maintaining good oral health and preventing these issues.

If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar levels in check is essential for preventing dry mouth, which can contribute to a metallic taste.

Less Common Metallic Taste Causes

While the above reasons are more frequent, there are other, less common causes worth considering:

1. Zinc Deficiency

Zinc plays a crucial role in our sense of taste and smell. A deficiency in this essential mineral can lead to taste alterations, including a metallic flavor.

Interestingly, severe zinc deficiency can cause a complete loss of taste, while a milder deficiency might result in that annoying metallic taste. If you're experiencing persistent taste changes, it might be worth getting your zinc levels checked.

2. Sinus Issues

Our sense of taste is closely linked to our sense of smell. Upper respiratory infections, allergies, or chronic sinus problems can all affect how we perceive flavors, sometimes resulting in a metallic taste.

If you're dealing with ongoing sinus issues alongside taste changes, addressing the underlying problem might help resolve the metallic taste. For instance, using a saline nasal spray can help clear out your sinuses and potentially alleviate the metallic taste.

3. Neurological Conditions

In rare cases, a metallic taste can be a symptom of neurological disorders like Bell's palsy or brain tumors. These conditions can affect the nerves responsible for taste perception.

While it's unlikely that a metallic taste alone indicates a serious neurological issue, persistent taste changes should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.

Other symptoms like facial drooping, numbness, or weakness might accompany a metallic taste in these cases.

Woman eating salad

How to Address Metallic Taste Causes

Now that we've explored the various metallic taste causes, let's look at some strategies to manage this symptom:

1. Improve Oral Hygiene

Start with the basics. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, and use an alcohol-free mouthwash. This can help eliminate bacteria that might be contributing to taste alterations.

Consider using a tongue scraper as well. The tongue can harbor bacteria and dead cells that affect taste perception. Additionally, ensure you're scheduling regular dental check-ups to catch and address any oral health issues early on.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help rinse away any lingering tastes in your mouth. It also promotes saliva production, which is essential for maintaining oral health and proper taste function.

If plain water doesn't cut it, try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime.

The citrus can help neutralize the metallic taste. Additionally, sucking on ice pops or sugar-free hard candies can also help stimulate saliva production and combat dry mouth.

3. Adjust Your Diet

If you're experiencing a persistent metallic taste, certain foods might help counteract it. Try incorporating more acidic foods like citrus fruits or vinegar-based dressings into your meals. Sour foods can help mask the metallic taste and make your meals more enjoyable.

Conversely, you might want to avoid foods that can exacerbate the metallic taste, such as red meat or overly sweet foods. Experimenting with different spices and herbs can also help improve the taste of your food.

For example, ginger, mint, and cinnamon are known for their flavor-enhancing properties.

4. Review Your Supplements

If you suspect your vitamins are causing the metallic taste, don't just stop taking them. Instead, consult with a healthcare provider about switching to food-based supplements or adjusting your dosage.

Remember, vitamins and minerals are essential for your health. The goal is to find a balance that supports your nutritional needs without causing unpleasant side effects.

Your healthcare provider can help determine the appropriate type and dosage of supplements for your individual needs.

5. Address Zinc Deficiency

If a zinc deficiency is behind your metallic taste, increasing your intake of zinc-rich foods can help. Oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, and lentils are all excellent sources of zinc.

In some cases, your doctor might recommend a zinc supplement.

However, it's important not to self-diagnose or self-treat, as too much zinc can be harmful. Always consult with your healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, including zinc, to ensure it's safe and appropriate.

6. Manage Underlying Health Conditions

If your metallic taste is related to a health condition like diabetes or kidney disease, working with your healthcare provider to manage these conditions effectively is crucial.

This might involve adjusting medications, making lifestyle changes, or exploring additional treatments to address both the underlying condition and the taste changes. Effectively managing these conditions can help alleviate the metallic taste and improve your overall health.

When to Seek Medical Help for Metallic Taste

While a metallic taste is often harmless, there are times when it warrants medical attention:

  • If the taste persists for more than a few weeks.

  • If it's accompanied by other symptoms like unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or changes in appetite.

  • If it's severe enough to interfere with your daily life or eating habits.

  • If you suspect it might be related to a medication you're taking.

In these cases, don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. They can help identify the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatments.

Metal Mouth Mysteries

Common causes include dental issues, medication side effects, poor oral hygiene, dehydration, pregnancy, chemotherapy, and sinus infections. Addressing these underlying factors is key to resolving the metallic taste.

One effective remedy is maintaining optimal oral hygiene with hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, which helps eliminate bacteria and reduce oral infections that can contribute to the unpleasant taste.

Additionally, staying hydrated, managing medication side effects with your doctor's guidance, and addressing any dental concerns promptly can also help restore normal taste sensations.

By understanding these causes and incorporating solutions like hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, you can effectively tackle the issue of metallic taste and enjoy better oral health.


Understanding metallic taste causes is the first step in addressing this bothersome symptom. Whether it's due to medications, nutritional deficiencies, or underlying health conditions, there are usually ways to manage or resolve the issue.

Remember, your sense of taste is an important part of your overall health and quality of life. If you're struggling with persistent taste changes, don't suffer in silence.

Reach out to a healthcare professional who can help you get to the root of the problem and find a solution that works for you.

By addressing metallic taste causes head-on, you can get back to enjoying your favorite foods and living life to the fullest, without that annoying penny-like flavor getting in the way.


Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan