Since we don’t normally chew on coins and nails, having a metallic taste in the mouth shouldn’t be normal. A metallic taste might be a cause of alarm when accompanied by other symptoms as it might indicate a severe condition such as diabetes, a liver problem or a kidney problem. However, these serious illnesses are rarely the reason for such a taste, the more common reasons are:
1. Respiratory Infections
Although it is temporary, a weird taste may be caused by an upper respiratory infection such as sinusitis and colds.
2. Prescription Drugs
Certain groups of medicine get absorbed by the body and enter the mouth through saliva giving a metallic taste. Examples include tetracycline, an antibiotic; lithium; and allopurinol, the gout medicine. Other medicines such as antidepressants dry the mouth and close its taste buds; thus affecting the overall taste.
3. Chemical Exposures
Breathing air that is contaminated with high levels of mercury or lead would probably cause a metallic taste.
4. Bad Hygiene
Oral cavity problems like tooth infection, gingivitis and periodontitis are often caused by not brushing or flossing regularly. Unless eliminated by prescription from a dentist, a metallic taste would persist in a patient’s mouth.
Dementia messes up with the nerves of the brain. If the nerves responsible for taste in the brain get affect, an individual suffering from dementia might get metallic taste signals that seem to come from the taste buds.
6. Over-the-Counter Supplements
Supplements that contain heavy metals like zinc, chromium, iron, calcium or copper may give a metallic taste. This taste is supposed to go away when the body processes the supplements. If it doesn’t, make sure you are not taking too much.
7. Cancer Treatments
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy used in treating cancers can produce a metallic taste in a patient’s mouth.