Home » 6 Possible Causes Of A Bitter Taste In The Mouth

6 Possible Causes Of A Bitter Taste In The Mouth

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Acid reflux, lack of oral hygiene, and yeast infection are common reasons for a bitter mouth. In addition, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption may leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth. Generally, the bitter aftertaste in the mouth goes away after brushing your teeth or drinking water, but it spells trouble when it lingers for a long time. So, what are the reasons for the bitter taste in your mouth? Let us learn more.

What Is A Bitter Taste In The Mouth A Symptom Of?

Chronic or recurrent bitter taste in the mouth is a symptom of an underlying health issue. It can be due to compromised dental hygiene and health, pregnancy, dyspepsia, and dry mouth, among others.

What Causes A Bitter Taste In The Mouth?

As mentioned, there are many causes of a bitter taste in the mouth. A thorough oral health check-up by a dentist is the best way to determine the exact reason for the bitter taste in the mouth. Here are a few most common reasons.

1. Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the numero uno culprit behind a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. It mainly occurs after waking up because of saliva build-up and bacteria on the gums, tongue, and teeth, leading to foul-smelling breath and altered taste perception.

2. Pregnancy

Changes in taste perception, also called dysgeusia, are expected during the first trimester of pregnancy. It results from hormonal changes and goes away without medical intervention within a few days. Metallic taste, as if sucking on a coin, is an example of dysgeusia during pregnancy.

3. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

GERD makes stomach content flowing back into the esophagus during digestion. It brings acid back to the mouth, causing bitterness, nausea, and regurgitation.

4. Antibiotics, antidepressants, and multivitamins

Ingestion or absorption of some drugs (for example, antibiotics, lithium, gout medication, and medicines to treat heart disease) leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. People who take antidepressants may experience a change in taste perception because of dry mouth. Multivitamins with minerals such as zinc, chromium, copper, and iron contain metallic traces, causing bitterness in the mouth afterward.

5. Respiratory infections

A bitter taste develops in the mouth when bacteria infect the upper respiratory tract, causing (e.g., colds, sinusitis, rhinitis, tonsillitis).

6. Liver problems

Toxins, such as ammonia, pile up when the liver does not function properly. In a healthy body, the liver converts ammonia into urea, which is flushed out when urinating. However, a fishy or onion-like taste develops in the mouth when this process gets hampered, and ammonia increases in the body.

How To Avoid A Bitter Taste In The Mouth?

Try these tips to help keep your mouth free of bitter or unpleasant tastes.

  • Brush your teeth after waking up and before going to sleep at night.
  • Scrape your tongue to avoid the build-up of bacteria that causes bad breath.
  • Try lemonade or a lemon popsicle when experiencing a bitter mouth during pregnancy.
  • Avoid eating foods that cause or worsen acidity-related issues.
  • Keep a check on your liver health. Some common symptoms of liver problems are fatigue, nausea, swelling on feet and ankles, dark yellow urine, and itchy skin.
  • Drink adequate water every day as it helps relieve bitterness in the mouth.

In most cases, bitterness in the mouth resolves on its own. However, if it persists, consult a dentist to identify its cause.

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