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Bad taste in mouth? Causes and solutions

Bad taste in mouth? Causes and solutions

Created: December 7, 2023 | Updated: February 8, 2024

A bad taste in the mouth can be an unpleasant and distressing problem with several possible causes. This taste can range from chemical or metallic to just plain weird or unpleasant, which is often perceived as very uncomfortable. Let’s delve deeper into possible reasons behind this unpleasant taste and offer suggestions to address this problem.

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Causes of a bad taste in the mouth

A foul taste in the mouth can have several causes 1 , but with the right approach and care, most cases can be solved.

Poor dental hygiene and dental problems

One of the most common reasons for a foul taste in the mouth is related to dental problems and poor oral hygiene. Tooth decay, gum disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis, and accumulation of bacteria on the tongue or between the teeth can lead to an unpleasant taste, including a foul taste in the mouth.

Dry mouth and bad taste

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can lead to a foul taste. Reduced saliva production can allow bacteria to accumulate and cause a feeling of dryness that results in a weird taste, such as a chemical taste in the mouth.

Mildew infection in the mouth

A fungal infection, such as thrush, can develop in the oral cavity, especially in people with weakened immune systems or who are on antibiotics. This can cause a “weird taste in the mouth”.

Cold

A cold or sinus infection can cause postnasal drip, where mucus flows from the nose to the throat and causes a foul taste.

Supplements or medications

Taking certain supplements or medications can cause a weird taste in the mouth as a side effect, such as a “strange taste in the mouth”.

Bad taste in mouth, weird taste

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

To relieve or eliminate a bad taste in the mouth, there are several approaches:

  • Improve your oral hygiene: Regular brushing, flossing and use of mouthwashes can help reduce bacteria that cause bad taste.
  • Keep your mouth hydrated: Drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth and thus stimulate saliva production.
  • Use tongue cleaners: Clean your tongue regularly to reduce bacteria that can cause a foul taste.
  • Consult a specialist: If the taste persists or if you suspect medications are the culprit, consult a doctor for advice and possible alternatives.

What treatment helps with a foul taste?

Treatment for a foul taste in the mouth depends on the underlying cause. A dentist can address dental problems, while a GP or specialist can prescribe the right treatment for infections or side effects of medication. With preventive oral care, you can help prevent foul taste.

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Related Trusted Sources

  • 1. Hsieh JW, Daskalou D, Macario S, Voruz F, Landis BN. How to Manage Taste Disorders. Curr Otorhinolaryngol Rep. 2022;10(4):385-392. doi: 10.1007/s40136-022-00428-z. Epub 2022 Sep 21. PMID: 36158900; PMCID: PMC9490708.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9490708/

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Frequently asked questions

A bad taste in the mouth can have several causes, but with the right approach and care, most cases can be solved.

Good oral hygiene, adequate hydration and regular dental checkups can help prevent foul taste.

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