Taste of Blood in Mouth

Accidentally biting one’s own tongue can give one of the worst feelings and sensations ever; especially the taste of blood it leaves in mouth can make it even more disturbing. The taste has some feel of metal mainly because our blood contains iron as the key hemoglobin element. Some individuals feel this taste after small injuries that goes away with time but others may feel it all the time which may makes it difficult to taste the food correctly. If left untreated, it may result in the loss of affected person’s appetite and overall health due to declining interest in eating.

What Causes Taste of Blood in Mouth?

There are a number of physiological as well as pathological factors that may cause taste of blood in your mouth, or metallic taste in mouth, these include:

1.       Bleeding Gums

Gums bleed when your oral hygiene is inappropriate. In all such cases, the bacteria enters into the mouth and grows uncontrollably that irritates gums in the mouth. The gums get inflamed and bleed; this condition is known as Gingivitis. Gums can also bleed due to infected tooth. Its symptoms include toothache, pain in gums and bad smell while breathing.

It is highly recommended to maintain optimal oral hygiene by brushing the teeth regularly. In addition, also clean your tongue with the help of a tongue scraper to maintain better hygiene in the mouth. You may also consult your dentist if you have some dental issues. Drink approx. 8 glasses of water to keep your body well- hydrated.

2.       Nasal Congestion

Taste and smell are two highly related senses. That is why if you are having a stuffy nose, flu, sinus problem, strep throat and you are unable to smell what you are eating, then there is a possibility that you may feel strange taste in the mouth, including metallic taste which may makes you think there is a taste of blood in mouth.

3.       Side Effect/Reaction of Medications

Some medicines also leave metal like taste in the mouth due to presence of iron in the chemical formula. This does however go away once you stop taking the drug. Most common pharmacological preparations include antibiotics, vitamin pills and anti-hypertensive drugs, etc. You may also feel blood like taste in the mouth if you underwent a major surgery (due to use of anesthesia for the surgery).

Other medications that cause metallic or blood like taste in mouth are broadly classified under:

  • Antifungal medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diuretics
  • Steroids
  • Nicotine

If you think that the blood or metallic taste in mouth is due to any medication then you can confirm via side effects listed on the label of the drug package.

4.       Dryness

Dryness is another possible cause that may lead to a taste of blood in mouth. Saliva actually helps you to recognize the taste of food but when it dries out (due to dehydration, breathing by mouth, severe asthma or some drugs), your oral cavity loses its ability to sense the taste.

5.       Other Reasons

  • Some other possible medical conditions are stones in kidney, diabetes (or anti-diabetics), disease like cancer and heart problem. An injury in head or nose can also reduce your ability to taste food and may develop taste of blood in mouth.
  • These strange tastes could also be due to problem in taste control nerves. This condition is called dysgeusia which is responsible for making alterations in taste.  
  • You may also face alterations in taste sense if you are in early stages of pregnancy.
  • Exposure or inhaling of chemicals like lead or mercury can also produce metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Anxiety can be one more possible cause for it. It can be due to a fight or flight response but there are no clear medical justifications for it; even there is no activation of taste buds.

What About Taste of Blood in Mouth After Exercise?

Hardcore physical training or vigorous exercise can also cause the blood taste in the mouth due to asthma attack or sinus congestion. If you don’t have any of these breathing issues then it could be due to the high pressure of blood into the lungs or the bronchial tree through membranous tissue. This is most frequently observed when your body is pushed in an anaerobic state threshold and there is no support from the cardiopulmonary apparatus. This is the reason why athletes face this issue; it has certainly no harmful effects but can limit your exercise to a certain frequency.

Researches are still unsure why the occasional and average runners face similar symptoms as that of the aggressive athletes. If you are faced with any of these symptoms; then it is highly recommended to avoid excessive exertion without consulting your physician.

Taste of Blood in Mouth: What to Do?

There are some suggested remedies to remove the taste of blood from the mouth (metallic taste in mouth). These include:

  • Keep a strict check on your oral hygiene. Brush at least 2 times a day followed by a mouthwash. You can also use water with a pinch of salt in it to clean your mouth and prevent it from oral infections.
  • Keep a check on your stomach and overall food intake. If you have chronic constipation or other long term gastric issues, the chances of developing taste of blood/ metal in mouth increases significantly. Make sure to incorporate healthy nutrients and avoid junk foods. Also it is strongly recommended to add vinegar and citrus juices in your diet.
  • Use crockery and utensils made of plastic or bone china instead of steel to minimize the exposure to metals.
  • If you are facing this issue due to medications, speak to a primary care provider regarding a different prescription or alternative pharmacological options. Talk to your doctor if the taste doesn’t go away even after the prescription ends.
  • Add cloves and cinnamon in your meals as a temporary solution. Just keep it in your mouth instead of chewing whenever you feel that stingy smell in your mouth. They just don’t treat the problem of smell but also solve the problems related to your gums.
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