Have you ever thought about what life would be like without the ability to taste? Along with allowing us to taste all our favorite foods, this sense also allows us to detect things that may be a cause for concern. For example, a bitter or bad taste in the mouth may be a normal reaction to consuming something sour or pungent, but read on to learn 12 other potential causes.
#1: Dry Mouth
Also called xerostomia, this occurs when you aren’t producing enough saliva. Xerostomia may be caused by factors like pre-existing disorders, medications, and tobacco use and can lead to a bad taste in the mouth.
#2: Dental Issues
If you don’t practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice and flossing once per day, this can result in a bad taste in the mouth. A bitter taste can also be caused by an increase in the number of cavities you have, oral infections, and gum disease.
#3: Hormonal Changes
During the first trimester, many pregnant people report experiencing a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth. This is because the fluctuations in their hormones can affect the senses. This bad taste usually goes away later in the pregnancy or once they’ve given birth. Menopause, which marks the end of menstrual cycles, may also cause a bad taste in the mouth due to lower estrogen levels.
#4: Burning Mouth Syndrome
This condition causes a burning sensation in the mouth and is often said to be similar to eating hot peppers. Some people with this condition also experience a bitter or bad taste in the mouth.
#5: GERD or Acid Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux, occurs when the muscle or sphincter at the top of the stomach is weakened. This allows acid or bile to rise into the food pipe and can cause a bad taste in the mouth that may persist as long as the other symptoms.
#6: Oral Thrush
This is an oral yeast infection that may cause a persistent bitter taste in the mouth. It is characterized by white spots or blotches on the tongue, mouth, or throat and can be caused by weakened immunity, diabetes, a vaginal yeast infection, medications, and other oral conditions. The bad taste should go away once the infection is treated.
#7: Pine Nut Syndrome
Some people get a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth when they eat pine nuts. This often occurs one to three days after eating them and shows no other symptoms. It will likely go away within a few weeks.
#8: Stress and Anxiety
High stress and anxiety levels can stimulate the stress response in the body, which often alters a person’s sense of taste. Anxiety can cause dry mouth, which frequently results in a bitter taste.
#9: Nerve Damage
This can result from a head injury and can change how someone tastes or cause a bitter flavor in the mouth. It can also result from conditions like multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, Bell’s palsy, dementia, and epilepsy.
#10: Medications and Oral Supplements
Certain antibiotics, cardiac drugs, vitamins that contain minerals or metals, and lithium drugs may cause a bitter taste in the mouth. This may just be how these medicines taste, but it can also be related to the chemicals in them being excreted into the saliva.
Illnesses like sinus infections or colds can be accompanied by a bad taste in the mouth. This is because the body sends out inflammatory proteins to capture harmful cells that may also affect the tongue and taste buds.
#12: Cancer Treatment
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation may irritate the taste buds. This can result in a bad taste in the mouth when eating or drinking.
As you can see, there are several things that can cause a bad taste in the mouth. When in doubt, speak with your doctor or dentist to determine the cause so you can ensure that your smile and the rest of your body remain in good shape!
About the Practice
If you could use some help keeping your pearly whites looking their best, Dr. Wendy Winarick and her team at Dental Station Family Dentistry are here to help. They offer a range of preventive dental treatments to keep oral health issues at bay so you can spend more time enjoying your smile to the fullest. For more information or to make an appointment with Dental Station Family Dentistry, call (254) 772-1827 or visit their website.