Metal isn’t just rock; it’s that odd taste in your mouth

by WV Marshall

Think that lingering bad taste in your mouth could be morning breath that pushed into the afternoon even though you brushed your teeth and rinsed your mouth?

Sometimes bad breath can be traced to an underlying cause – and could result in ruining your appetite and possibly lead to nutritional issues. If the bad taste doesn’t go away after a couple of days, you should work with your healthcare provider to determine the cause, an article published recently on Healthline.com reported.

What constitutes a bad taste varies from person to person. For some, the off taste is metallic while others experience a bitter or foul taste, depending on the cause. Still others report a diminished sense of taste during meals, Healthline.com said. There are several causes, including poor hygiene, dental problems, dry mouth, oral thrush, infections, hepatitis B, cancer treatments, gastrointestinal causes, neurological disorders and medications.

Got a metallic taste in your mouth? It, too, is an issue that could have an underlying cause, namely hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and menopause, Healthline noted. If you’ve been pregnant, you probably remember food cravings or being repulsed by certain smells. But … a metallic taste in the mouth during the first trimester usually fades as the pregnancy advances.

Women who are perimenopausal or menopausal often mention having a bitter taste in their mouth, which typically can trace the source to dry mouth, a common menopause symptom.

Declining estrogen means parts of the body loses moisture, including the mouth, Genneve.com said.

But… we need saliva to taste food. That moisture combined with chewing breaks down the food to component chemicals that are ultimately detected by taste buds as sweet, salty, bitter, sour and savory (umami) flavors. So, having less saliva and dry mucus membranes in the mouth could reduce or change the taste sensation.

Aging also affects taste buds, offering the double whammy of slowing the regeneration of cells while shrinking their number, Genneve.com reported. Having fewer good taste buds affects men and women and is a function of age rather than menopause. But when you add dry mouth, the results can be women losing more of their sensation of flavor.

However, Healthline.com reported another possible origin of a bitter taste in your mouth during menopause is a condition known as burning mouth syndrome. While rare, menopausal women do have a risk of developing burning mouth syndrome due to lower levels of estrogen.

Besides a bitter taste in the mouth, women also could experience a burning sensation, especially near the tip of the tongue. Also, Healthline.com said, these symptoms may come and go.