Bitter Taste In The Mouth: 8 Possible Causes And Tips To Get Rid Of The Problem

Date November 20, 2017 16:23

A bitter taste in the mouth: a common and very annoying problem

Having a lingering bitter taste in your mouth is not only an unpleasant distraction from your activities, but can also be a sign of a medical problem. In most cases, it’s nothing serious and goes away after the underlying cause is addressed.

What causes a bitter taste in the mouth?

Causes of a bitter taste in the mouth vary widely and include the following:

Acid reflux (heartburn)

When the lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t work the way it should, stomach contents spill back into the esophagus causing a burning sensation in the chest, sore throat, nausea, and also a bitter taste in the mouth, among other symptoms.


Many women complain of a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy. This altered perception of taste is related to hormonal changes pregnant women experience. The problem usually goes away after the first trimester, sometimes later in the pregnancy or after delivery.

Problems is the oral cavity

Periodontitis (also called ‘gum disease’), gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and tooth decay may be one of the causes of a constant bitter taste in your mouth. If you also have tooth pain and your gums are inflamed, you should pay a visit to your dentist.

Oral yeast infection may also cause a bitter taste in the mouth.


Smoking deserves a special mention here. Smoking harms your health in many ways, and changed perception of taste is one of them. Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that damage taste buds, but the damage can be reversed. But if a person has smoked a lot for many years, the damage to the taste buds may be irreparable.

Certain medicines

A bitter taste in the mouth may be a side effect of certain medications. These include chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, antihistamines, lithium, and drugs for high blood pressure. Ask your doctor whether he or she can prescribe you a different medicine.


People who have a cold or flu often experience a loss of taste or a changed perception of taste.

Burning mouth syndrome

Symptoms of burning mouth syndrome include a burning sensation in the oral cavity, dry mouth, and a bitter or metallic taste. It’s often related to the use of medicines for diabetes, cancer treatments, and hormonal changes during menopause.

Heavy metal poisoning

Although it’s rare, but a bitter taste in the mouth may be caused by lead, mercury, or bismuth poisoning.

How to get rid of a bitter taste in the mouth?

Here are a few tips that may help get rid of the problem:

  • drink plenty of water;
  • practice proper dental hygiene – that includes brushing your teeth twice daily, cleaning your tongue, rinsing, and flossing;
  • visit your dentist twice a year;
  • if you’re prone to heartburn, avoid trigger foods and drinks, such as spicy and fatty foods, alcohol, and coffee;
  • increase saliva production by chewing sugarless gum or eating citrus fruits;
  • you may also try rinsing your mouth with baking soda solution.

Source: HealthLine, HealthyAndNaturalWorld, SteadyHealth

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.