Bitter and Bad Taste in the Mouth: Causes and Remedies

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a bitter or acidic taste in your mouth? What caused the bad taste? This common condition may indicate a high number of bacteria in your body or a poor diet. Read on to discover all the possible causes and treatments for bitter tasting in mouth.

What Causes Bitter Taste in Mouth

Many factors leave a metallic or bitter taste in your mouth. In this section, the main causes of this bitter taste are outlined.

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

Ignoring your oral hygiene may lead to gum diseases and teeth problems such as tooth infection, periodontitis and gingivitis, which may leave a metallic taste. But the infection and bitter taste clear up with prescription medicine.

2. Certain Medication

Some prescription drugs used to treat cardiac and psychiatric cause a bitter taste. These include lithium, antibiotics like tetracycline, and allopurinol. The medicines come out in your saliva after absorption. The prescriptions and antidepressants may lead to a dry mouth and affect your taste buds.

3. Vitamin and Supplements

Multivitamins and prenatal vitamins with high amounts of heavy metals such as zinc, copper or chromium will cause a bitter taste in mouth. Calcium and iron supplements have the same effect. The taste disappears after the supplements and vitamins are absorbed in your body. The taste might persist if you overdose.

4. Inhaled Substances

Smoking affects your taste buds, which leads to a bitter taste. You suffer the bitter taste if you inhale some environmental chemicals such as rubber dust, gasoline or benzene.

5. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acids move up to the esophagus, leaving a bitter taste and a foul breath in your mouth. You can treat this condition by limiting your intake of greasy and spicy foods. Some helpful prescriptions for this condition include anti-acids, prokinetic agents, and suppressants.

6. Pregnancy

Hormonal imbalances may cause bouts of vomiting or nausea at certain pregnancy stages, which leave a bad taste. This condition is common among pregnant women and clears within a few days. Eating candies with a lemon or mint flavor clears the bad taste.

7. Other Causes of Bitter Taste in Mouth

  • A bitter taste may result from dehydration, glossitis, a dry mouth, allergies, salivary glands infections, lack of zinc and vitamin B12, and polyps in the nose.
  • Others include breathing through the mouth, inflamed upper airways, and autoimmune diseases like Sjogren's syndrome and Bell's palsy.
  • Some injuries and traumas that cause a bitter taste include head, nerve, mouth and nose injuries, and biting your tongue.
  • Dental appliances such as braces, any surgery on your ear, nose, teeth or throat, and radiation therapy on your neck or head cause a bitter taste.

How to Deal With Bitter Taste in Mouth

A metallic or bitter taste in your mouth can be frustrating, especially when you do not know the cause or appropriate remedy. Any of the remedies outlined below will clear a bad taste.

1. Use Baking Soda to Brush

Add a little baking soda (half a teaspoon) to your toothbrush before applying the toothpaste. Brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly for about two and a half minutes. Remember that you are supposed to brush your teeth twice in a day and use dental floss to control bacteria accumulation.

2. Try Tongue Scraper

Move a tongue scraper from the back of your tongue to its front part while applying light, gentle pressure. Repeat the process as you rinse the scraper after one stroke.

3. Use Mouth Rinse

Place one tablespoon of mouth rinse in your mouth and swish for about half a minute. You can continue for a longer period if it is necessary or as per the manufacturer's instructions. Use dental floss with a mint taste to clean your teeth after using the mouth rinse.

4. Try Over-the-Counter Antacid

Reflux and indigestion may leave a bad taste in your mouth. In such instances, you can buy antacid over the counter to clear the bad taste. However, you must take the antacid as directed on the label.

5. Eat Citrus Fruits

You can stimulate saliva production by eating citrus fruits, which clears the bitter taste in mouth. Alternatively, you can take juices such as orange and lemon juices to remove the bad taste.

6. Practise Good Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is a leading cause of a bitter taste. Make sure you clean your gums and tongue when you brush your teeth. Always use a mouthwash after brushing and brush your teeth at least twice every day. Dental specialists recommend flossing at least 3-4 times every week. Flossing every night is more effective in keeping your mouth clean.

7. Other Remedies

Some of the natural remedies that clear a metallic taste in mouth include:

  • Take enough water to reduce acid levels in your stomach and clear toxins from your mouth.
  • Chew citrus-flavored breath mints and peppermints after spicy meals.
  • Chew at least one teaspoon of cloves or cinnamons.
  • Eat small but frequent meals and limit consumption of fried and spicy foods that trigger acid reflux.
  • Take smaller portions of food, chew food thoroughly, and eat slowly to get rid of indigestion.
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