Metallic taste in the mouth: what is behind it?

A metallic taste in the mouth can be unpleasant. The causes for this are mostly harmless. In some cases, you should still see a doctor.

The most important things at a glance

  • Metallic taste in the mouth: That can be behind it
  • What helps against the metal taste?
  • When is a doctor’s visit necessary?

Very bitter, sour, or salty: Sometimes you have an unpleasant taste in your mouth, usually after eating certain foods. However, if you notice a metallic taste in your mouth, this should be checked out by a doctor. This is a form of taste disturbance, the so-called dysgeusia.

Doctors understand dysgeusia to be a taste disorder that can have different manifestations. Some sufferers are plagued by an inexplicable metallic taste in their mouths, others perceive sweets as bitter or taste nothing at all.

If there is a metallic taste in the mouth, the nerves that are important for taste perception are damaged or temporarily restricted. This sends the wrong signals.

Metallic taste in the mouth: That can be behind it

Finding the cause of the metallic taste is relatively complex, since very different factors can trigger it. An obvious reason is a small, bleeding wound in the mouth, because the iron contained in the blood is said to have a metallic taste. Poor oral hygiene can also trigger dysgeusia. There are also the following reasons:


A possible explanation for the unnatural, metallic taste can be diseases of the upper respiratory tract, such as a sinus infection . When you have a cold, your sense of taste changes. But once the disease is over, the taste of metal also disappears.

However, if the metallic taste persists for several days, this could also indicate more serious health problems. These include neurological disorders such as dementia , autoimmune diseases, liver or kidney problems and untreated diabetes.


Allergies can also be the cause. If the metallic taste comes after eating certain foods, it can be a sign of it.


Medications are also a trigger for a metallic taste in the mouth. This can occur, for example, with medicines for heart disease or depression, antibiotics or medicines for kidney stones. However, the effect usually disappears again when the drugs are discontinued. However, this should never be done without medical advice.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes also sometimes cause a metallic taste. Hypothyroidism , pregnancy or the onset of menopause are also common causes.

Chocolate: A few bites can make an unpleasant taste go away.
Chocolate: A few bites can make an unpleasant taste go away. (Source: Eva-Katalin/getty-images-pictures)

What helps against the metal taste?

So that the taste disappears quickly, you can test different means. Below:

  • a glass of salted water
  • a piece of chocolate
  • a slice of lemon
  • Brush your teeth or use mouthwash
  • lozenge or chewing gum

These remedies can bring the taste in your mouth back to normal. However, if there is a serious underlying cause, it can persist.

When is a doctor’s visit necessary?

If the metallic taste persists or occurs in combination with other symptoms, a doctor should be consulted. An examination can clarify the form and cause of the taste disorder. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor treating you will then suggest a suitable treatment.

Disclaimer: The information in no way replaces professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The content of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.


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