You probably do a lot of thinking about how your breath smells to other people when you talk to them, and what you can do to make it feel as fresh as possible. However, you may have also recently begun to notice an odd taste in your mouth—like something bitter, metallic, or even rancid.
There are quite a few reasons that you could have a persistent bad taste in your mouth, some of which are more serious than others. Here’s why this could be happening to you.
Gum disease is remarkably common—it’s estimated that around 50% of adults in the U.S. have it to some extent. If you’re one of them, that could potentially cause a bitter or foul taste in the mouth.
Gum disease is degenerative, meaning that it will only get worse if nothing is done about it. If the foul taste in your mouth is accompanied by other symptoms of gum disease—bleeding gums, inflammation, gum recession—you should contact your dentist before the issue gets worse.
Pregnancy can have all kinds of funny effects on the body, some of which may come as a surprise to expectant parents. This is one of them; people often say that they experience a metallic taste in the mouth, especially during the first trimester or so of pregnancy.
GERD and acid reflux can allow acid from the stomach to travel up the esophagus, which can cause not only the tell-tale burning in the chest, but also a foul taste in the mouth.
Pine Nut Syndrome
When was the last time you had pine nuts? It may sound a little strange, but they could be the cause of what you’re experiencing. Pine nuts have been known to give people a metallic taste in their mouth as much as 1-3 days after eating. So-called “pine nut syndrome” is completely harmless, and the symptoms will fade on their own after a week or two.
You may be familiar with the sticky, dry feeling in the mouth that comes with dehydration. You might associate it with waking up first thing in the morning, or with exercise. This can also cause a foul taste in the mouth due to a lack of saliva, which leads to an excess of food particle buildup in the mouth.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Camenzuli became a dentist because he saw how many people were uncomfortable with their teeth—he loves nothing more than helping people like that smile proudly when they leave his office! Dr. Camenzuli received his doctorate from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. He is now a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, a distinction earned by less than 7% of dentists across the U.S. and Canada.
If you have any questions about gum disease, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (504) 584-4225.