Do you suffer from an altered sense of taste? A metallic taste, to be precise. If so, dysgeusia might be the reason. Dysgeusia may take away the joy of eating food. Some people might refer to it as “metal mouth.”
A distortion of the taste sense can affect your choice of food intake. That may result in weight loss, malnutrition, and impaired immunity. If you’re a senior citizen who takes multiple medications, dysgeusia can increase your chances of depression.
Dysguesia can also cause anorexia. And people can misinterpret the behavioral changes as psychological delusions regarding food. Having complete knowledge of this condition will help you to prevent metal mouth, or at least reduce its effect.
What is Dysgeusia?
Dysgeusia is a medical disorder that causes a metallic taste in your mouth. Everyone can suffer from a strange taste from time to time, but this condition is both unpleasant and persistent. Usually, the cells in your taste buds collect information about taste and send it to your brain. It’s interesting to note that the perception of flavor and taste occurs from smell-related nerve cells. And if you have dysgeusia, you may experience a change in your smell as well.
Causes and Symptoms of Dysgeusia
Tongue dysgeusia manifests itself as a lingering unpleasant sensation in your mouth. The only symptom you might experience is the change in taste. If you encounter a metallic, salty taste for a long time, then you might suffer from this condition.
A variety of causes exist for dysgeusia, and many of them are related to your respiratory system. Although you may not be suffering from a smell disorder, a temporary interruption of your sense of smell can affect your taste. Common causes that can lead to dysgeusia include:
- Sinus infections
- Common cold
- Salivary gland infections
- Strep throat
Other reasons for dysgeusia include:
- Gingivitis or periodontal disease
- Thyroid medications
- Cancer treatments
- Oral Cancers
- Nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B12 and Zinc
- Ear or head injuries
- Sjogren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disease that leads to dry eye and mouth)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Bell’s palsy
- Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
The doctor may examine you and ask your medical history to diagnose the problem. Your physician may even ask you some questions regarding the causes of the problem. Blood tests and saliva are the significant tests to diagnose this condition.
Dysgeusia during pregnancy
One of the more unusual symptoms you’ll undergo during pregnancy can be a strange metallic taste in your mouth called dysgeusia. This condition generally occurs in your first trimester and disappears as your pregnancy progresses.
Dysgeusia may sometimes be due to the hormone estrogen. The level of this hormone, which plays a vital role in your perception of taste, may fluctuate during pregnancy. Plus, water retention can also cause dysgeusia.
How to deal with dysgeusia during pregnancy?
Listed below are some tips to help you reduce this problem:
- Brush your teeth frequently with a minty flavored toothpaste
- Brush your tongue with a toothbrush
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice in a jar of water and drink it all through the day.
- Freeze ice chips with a dash of lemon juice and allow it to melt it in your mouth.
- Eating citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and kiwi can be helpful.
Home Remedies for a Metallic Taste in Mouth
You can treat metallic taste with simple home remedies. If dysgeusia is chronic, then be quick to consult your doctor. Below are some of the best home remedies that help you treat dysgeusia.
Saltwater rinses restrict the microbes in your mouth and neutralize acids to get rid of the metal taste.
Just add a teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water. Stir it well and rinse your mouth with 2-3 times daily.
Organic honey and cinnamon powder
This spice stick is an excellent source of iron and plays a crucial role in activating the gums. Raw honey contains lots of flavonoids and polyphenols that function as active antioxidants.
Mix a teaspoon of raw organic honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Blend it to form a paste. Keep the paste on your tongue for ten minutes, and rinse well. Repeat this method for a month to get rid of the metallic taste in your mouth.
Salt and baking soda
Baking soda, which is found naturally in mineral springs, has a mild abrasive action. Moreover, it helps to freshen your breath, remove plaque and deodorize your teeth. Raw salt neutralizes the acids and restricts bacterial growth.
Mix some salt and baking soda. Sprinkle this powdered mixture onto your toothpaste before brushing. Repeat this procedure for a week to reduce the foul taste.
Improper oral care and toxins are the main reasons behind dysgeusia. Oil pulling, an old Ayurvedic remedy, removes toxins and germs that cause odor in your mouth. This method significantly stimulates the principal meridians in your tongue where the taste buds meet the organs.
Swish one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in your mouth for about 10-15 minutes. Spit the oil out once it turns milky. Rinse your mouth thoroughly. Continue oil pulling once every day until the metallic taste is gone. Follow it up with once or twice a month for proper oral care.
Wild mango leaves
Spondias Pinnata (wild mango) leaves have an abundance of natural phenolic compounds and flavonoids. These compounds exhibit antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. Most significantly, the presence of gallic acid in these leaves helps to reduce the metallic taste in the mouth.
Wash a few fresh wild mango leaves in water. Chew them raw or add it to your dishes. Not only it gives a tropical flavor but also removes the foul taste in your mouth. Warning: This remedy is not suitable if you’re suffering from heart problems.
Apple Cider vinegar
ACH helps to balance the pH levels in your mouth. It does so by alkalizing the acidic environment in your mouth. It flushes away the salty and metallic taste by stimulating the saliva because of its sour taste.
Add one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered ACV in a glass of water. Drink it once daily by using a straw to prevent teeth damage. Alternatively, you can add a little honey to this mixture to improve the taste.
Foods to Reduce Metallic Taste in Mouth
An impaired sense of taste can be alarming and bothersome. It may also lead to reduced appetite. Nevertheless, certain foods can help to reduce the metallic taste.
Eggs, fish, peanut butter, dairy, and beans
People with dysgeusia usually find meat and poultry to be intolerable. Consuming protein-rich alternatives will help you to get adequate protein. Including fish, eggs, peanut butter, dairy products and beans can help you to get the recommended daily allowance of protein.
Sorbet, smoothies and fruit juice
The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center says that fruit smoothies, fresh fruits, vegetables, sorbet, and sherbet are usually well tolerated by people with dysgeusia. Add orange, lemon or lime juice, or orange marmalade to salsa, salads, oil-based salad dressings, sauces, and vegetables enhance the flavor of such dishes. Furthermore, adding these citric juices to soups such as gazpacho or broth-based soups disguises the metallic taste in the mouth with tart taste.
Mouth rinses and hard candies
Munching peppermint candies, mints, lemon drops, or chewing on gum can help to reduce dysgeusia. Rinsing your mouth with wine, tea, fruit juice, ginger ale, salted water or club soda can help reduce the taste.
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Taste
Mostly you can improve your sense of taste by making simple adjustments to your lifestyle. Proper dental hygiene can reverse the foul taste in your mouth. Good oral hygienic habits include brushing, flossing and limiting your sugar intake. An example of poor oral health is gingivitis. It is the beginning of gum disease which occurs when plaque remains on your gum line.
Try to use electric toothbrushes than regular manual ones. By investing in an electronic toothbrush, you can significantly reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth. Additionally, rinse your mouth with alcohol-free anti gingivitis mouthwash.
If you’re a smoker, quitting smoking can significantly increase your sense of taste. And you can thoroughly enjoy your food. Surprisingly, some people begin to regain their sense of taste just after two days after they’ve kicked the habit.
Preventing dysgeusia also includes treating the underlying health problem. Following the necessary precautions can vastly improve your quality of life. As a final note, keep these pointers in mind to ward off the unpleasant taste in your mouth:
- Follow proper dental hygiene
- Brush your teeth with an electronic toothbrush
- Quit smoking
- Seek nutritional counseling if you suffer from vitamin deficiencies
- Include foods that reduce metallic taste in your mouth
- Try the simple home remedies which we’ve discussed.
- Drinks lots of water during pregnancy to flush away the toxins, bacteria and metallic taste from your mouth.
- Regular dental checkups significantly boost your oral health.
If you suffer from dysgeusia, what measures do you take to improve your situation? Please let us know in the comments section below.