Metallic taste in mouth – causes and counter-measures

A metallic taste in the mouth is usually harmless causes, but it can also be a symptom of serious diseases such as for example for poisoning, or allergies.

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Metal taste in the mouth – The most important facts

  • If it tastes good in the mouth to metal, this can have different causes. The most common is blood: The red blood cells contain iron, what we taste, as soon as the blood gets into the mouth.
  • In the exercise of high-performance sports, it can sometimes lead to slight bleeding in the respiratory tract, which is why marathon runners or extreme mountain climbers often have a metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Other causes can be the use of certain medications, changes in hormone levels, and poisoning with lead, zinc oxide, or mercury, but also to a high proportion of minerals such as iron, zinc or copper in the body. These signs are not trivialize it, since a too high rise in potassium levels (Hyperkalemia), for example, can lead to death.
  • In the first few weeks of pregnancy is a metallic taste in the mouth of Pregnant women, which is caused by changes in hormone levels, however, this is harmless.
  • Infections in the oral cavity also lead to a metallic and sometimes putrid altered taste.


In the first third of the pregnancy, many women complain of a metallic taste in the mouth. There is no reason to fear: It is a normal consequence of the changes in hormone levels. The taste usually disappears by itself.


Infections in the oral cavity and mouth rot, particularly by fungi, and on the tongue, to disturb the taste buds. These changes in taste some people perceive as “metallic”.

Blood and iron

Our blood consists of red blood cells, which contain iron. When we taste blood, we perceive this on the iron ions on our tongue. Consequently, we taste with very light injuries and bleeding in the mouth, metal on his tongue. Frequently, such metal is caused to taste, but also due to bleeding gums. Also bleeding from the nose, attacked the mouth, mucous membranes or bleeding in the stomach and esophagus can be the trigger for such a metallic taste.

Inflammation of the gums (Gingivitis) and the periodontium (periodontitis) are formed by Plaque – a bacteria to go through to the lining. This mineralized with Calcium in the saliva to dental stone. Here, bacteria from the oral flora to settle reinforced, multiply and feed with adhering food residue. The acids of the bacteria cause tooth decay, may be responsible for ensuring that the gums of the teeth solves. As a result, it comes to bleeding and iron taste in the mouth. Possible causes for gums scurvy, caused by a lack of Vitamin C, or HIV infection can be bleeding but.

Ulcers of the oral mucosa

Sores in mouth (canker sores) are small and cause pain. These Bodies return often, bleeding in the middle and cause the typical taste in the mouth. The canker sores, can develop, especially on the inside of the cheeks, the soft parts of the palate and of the pharynx as well as on or under the tongue.

Infections in the mouth

Infections in the mouth, caused by fungi, viruses and bacteria lead to bleeding of the mucous membranes, where it is usually cold-related diseases. The injured mucous membrane bleeding, which, associated with pus, leading to a foul taste of iron. Also herpes viruses and the Candida fungi can trigger such bleeding.

Infections of the lungs and bronchi

Both a pneumonia, a Bronchitis lead to severe cough. Please note that we cough up a small part of the injured mucous membranes. We feel that the cough particles are often called metallic, which is due to the fact that the mucous membranes to bleed.


In order to supply the body with sufficient oxygen, while we are doing sports, bleeding of the lungs stronger. Therefore, the exercise of extreme sports can lead to bleeding. The more a Person breathes, the more the valves of the lungs have to work. It now comes to extreme efforts not to be supplied to the respiratory tract with sufficient moisture. Dry mucous membranes, as a result, cracks may form on them, and tiny doses of blood with the breath in the mouth. However, it must not be operated necessarily extreme sports, hard physical work can be a potential trigger.


Dentures, bridges and implants can cause metal taste, unless you are made of metal. Although the effect is in the case of the usually used stainless steel is minimal, as this is corroded, the action of acids on the prosthesis can cause such a taste and trigger. Since it is mostly fruit acids, it is sometimes surprising when people who are wearing a dental bridge and an Apple to bite, a taste of metal.


The Inhalation of toxic substances can also lead to a chemically-metallic taste, for example, when working with paints, but particularly in contact with mercury. Mercury poisoning is not only due to a metal taste in the mouth but also through accompanying cough and swollen mucous membranes. Lead poisoning causes, in addition to the metallic taste, increased salivation, Nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramps and constipation. In both cases, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Who zinc oxides exposed in the long term, not to feel metallic taste in the mouth, but also gets a strong fever, which is a zinc fever known.


This is a rather rare disease in which electrolytes move, because too much potassium in the blood. Life-threatening this can be, because of the potassium levels affect the heart rhythm and Impulse between nerves and muscles.

The reasons can be the inadequate elimination of potassium as a result of a kidney problem, drugs such as ACE inhibitors, artificially supplied to the potassium, or potassium-containing food such as bananas or dried fruits in Excess.

A metallic taste in the mouth is a typical Symptom, but not the only one. Disturbances of heart rhythm are also part of the disease picture as “false reports” of the nervous system, if you feel a burn, for example, Skin. Occasionally paralysis of the arms and legs. Such an Excess of potassium must be treated, regardless of the cause, immediately, because with further increase in dangerous life consequences. It is important that you stop the intake of potassium, and your medication to the food, and the hormone administration.

Add to this a Potassium removal by ion exchange, the potassium ions are replaced by sodium ions. Such treatment requires time to have an effect. Also, renal replacement procedures, such as dialysis can be considered.

When you need to see a doctor?

There is no innocent explanation for the metallic taste in the mouth, you should consult a doctor immediately, since both in the case of a lead poisoning, as well as a to high potassium level, very serious damage. It is different, if you have been bitten, for example, on the tongue, in the course of a cold, a cough, and the blood-iron taste. The cause should be cleared, and the taste after a few days still metal, it must be clarified the cause medically.

What flavor do against Metal?

If you experience a dental plaque-induced unpleasant taste in the mouth, brush the teeth and rinse the mouth with salt water. First, salt water is very good against plaque bacteria, and, secondly, it removes the remains of food from which they feed and thirdly, it distributes the metal taste.

Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, tangerines, or limes stimulate the flow of saliva, so that the metal is reduced taste due to the increased saliva.

Lozenges with mint flavor or licorice does not only mask the metal taste, stimulate the flow of saliva into the bargain. By Chewing cloves or cardamom to the annoying taste can also distribute. In addition, clove has a very good anti-inflammatory effect in the oral cavity.

The taste of metal prevent?

Due to the many different causes and triggers, there is no General preventive measures, the metal taste in the mouth. It is, as in the case of a cold, not avoid, to occasionally have small amounts of blood in the mouth.

Particularly frequent triggers for this taste you can prevent: bleeding gums, dental caries, and dental plaque is caused mainly by lack of oral hygiene. Regular mouth rinses several times daily brushing helps to prevent. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)