Bad Taste in Mouth


Having a bad taste in mouth is an irritating and disagreeable one can experience. This can lead an individual to lose appetite. Alteration in the ability to taste indicates problem in taste perception and the olfactory sense. It can be a temporary nuisance but bad taste can also be long term.

Bad Taste in Mouth Causes

A lot of reason can be attributed to cause a bad taste in the mouth. Some of the causes may be common while the rest of the cause may be due to certain health condition which may be serious and often bad taste in mouth is a symptom.


Halitosis is characterized as odorous smell from exhaled breathing. It is an oral health condition often from bacteria thriving in the food remnants deposit, post-nasal drip and dead epithelial cells which gives anaerobic bacteria an ideal habitat. The growth and accumulation of anaerobic bacteria disrupts and distorts the ability of gustatory sense. Bacterial breakdown of protein produces byproducts which can be tasted as rotten and unpleasant.

Dental Caries

Cavitations of the tooth as a result of decalcification of tooth enamel. Bacteria thrive and grow within the cavities and the accumulation causes bad taste in mouth.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD

Reflux of stomach content reaching the throat can result to acidic or metallic taste. This is often common to individual suffering from this disease.


It is a condition resulting from food particles or plaque trapped between the teeth and gums causing the gums to become inflamed and swollen. The gums also bleed when brushing the teeth.

Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a result of excessive growth of bacteria normally found in the mouth. It is a rare form of oral bacterial infection causing the gums to swell and form ulcers.


Stomatitis is defined as inflammation of mucus membrane of the oral cavity as a result of bacterial and viral infection.

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is damage to the facial nerve also affecting the sense of taste. Production of saliva is also affected that bacterial growth is possible due to absence or inadequate disruption as an action of saliva. Bacterial growth in excess disrupts the sense of taste.

Medications can also cause bad taste in mouth usually as a side effect. Individual experiencing bad taste in mouth and yet under medication should consider this as a side effect and may possibly ask consulting doctors if possible to change the medicine being taken.

Medicines and treatment therapy that can cause bad taste in mouth include but not limited to:

  1. Flagyl
  2. Metronidazole
  3. Diethylpropion
  4. Antithrombin III
  5. Cod liver oil
  6. Chemotherapy
  7. Radiation therapy

Common causes of bad taste in mouth include:

  1. Poor oral hygiene
  2. Smoking cigarette
  3. Head trauma damaging nose, mouth and other facial structures
  4. Excessive alcohol consumption
  5. Aging process which in time decrease the ability to taste as the taste buds are decreasing
  6. Pregnancy
  7. Allergy

Bad Taste in Mouth after Eating

Bad taste in mouth can lead one to lose appetite. The possibility of having bad taste could be due to the medicine that has been taken and may be the side effect. The bad taste however, can easily subside and is only temporary.

Eating food heavy on garlic and onion can also give a bad taste as they leave a tinge on the tongue. There are also certain foods that can give bad taste such as the pine nuts.

Decaying tooth can also give bad taste in mouth after eating which may be due to bacteria collecting in the cavity and the fluid pus that may go with the food or that may leak on the tongue.

Acid reflux may also cause bad taste after eating especially when an individual lies down right after eating and the muscle on the stomach relaxes causing the undigested food to spill back to the throat.

Bad Taste in Mouth during Pregnancy

Having a bad taste in mouth in one common complain of pregnant women. The hormone level of pregnant woman is fluctuating and estrogen level is directly affected. Estrogen level surges during early pregnancy causing havoc on the hormones that affect the sense of taste and smell of pregnant women. Weight loss is common in early pregnancy as a result of bad taste in the mouth combined with morning sickness.

Taste buds of pregnant woman can slightly swell as brought about by changes in her body. Swelling of the taste buds results to bad taste or changes is perception of taste during pregnancy.

How to Get Rid of Bad Taste in Mouth

It is best to identify what is causing bad taste and assess if the condition is persisting or just temporary. It is also ideal to take note of what has been taken to cause bad taste. But if you think bad taste is associated with other symptoms then it would be best to seek medical advice.

Getting rid of bad taste includes:

  1. Practicing proper oral hygiene
  2. Flossing teeth after eating to remove food particles between the teeth and gums
  3. Take plenty of water especially after eating to help wash down the food eaten
  4. Quit smoking cigarette
  5. Avoid or lessen consumption of coffee, tea and chocolates
  6. Citrus varieties can help rid of bad taste in the mouth
  7. Gargle with salt water at least twice a day

Treating bad taste in mouth also start with identifying the underlying condition that is causing it. It is best to consult with medical health practitioner to be guided properly and accordingly on how to treat and get rid of bad taste in mouth.


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