Bad Taste in Mouth

Bad Taste in Mouth is a common condition that affects many people across the world. Read and know what are the causes, symptoms, diagnostic and treatment methods for this condition.

What is Bad Taste in Mouth?

As the name suggests, it is a condition that leads to a bitter taste sensation in the mouth. There are approximately 10,000 taste buds in the mouth that gives rise to different taste sensations like sweet, salty, sour, pungent and bitter. Some diseases and health problems often lead to a distorted taste sensation in the mouth. This is also known as Dysgeusia or an aberration of the taste sensation.

Bad Taste in Mouth

Causes of Bad Taste in Mouth

Some of the main causes of Bad Taste in Mouth are :

Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux refers to regurgitation or backflow of stomach acid into the mouth. This leads to a bitter or metallic taste in mouth. Also known as Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), this condition mainly arises from eating spicy and fatty foods, overeating and eating foods at irregular time periods. Other than Bad Taste in Mouth symptoms, the disease also causes abdominal bloating, bad breath, heartburn, headaches, nausea, sore throat and gas problems.

Nasal Problems

Constant bad taste is experienced in mouth if an individual suffers from sinusitis, common cold, nasal polyps, infection or nasal discharge due to allergies.

Metal Poisoning

Oral bitterness may also arise from mercury, copper and lead poisoning.


Many women suffer from bad taste in mouth during pregnancy. Severe cases of bad taste sensation arising from pregnancy may lead to acute morning sickness and nausea. Pregnancy-related cases of bad taste are generally temporary and slowly resolve as months proceed. During pregnancy, there is a rise and fall in the level of the estrogen hormone which leads to a bad taste sensation. The condition may also strike a woman during her periods.

Bad breath or Halitosis

Halitosis or bad breath also gives rise to bad taste sensation. Protein components are decomposed into sulphur molecules and other bacteria-friendly products in the mouth. These produce bad oral taste. Anaerobic bacteria also have a bitter taste.

Poor dental hygiene

Not brushing teeth daily can invite dental ailments and lead to deposition of food particles between teeth. These can lead to the growth of bacteria in the mouth and subsequently, a bitter taste.


Health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, liver and jaundice may also lead to a bitter taste sensation in the mouth. Injuries to the mouth, head and throat may also give rise to this condition.

Dry mouth

When saliva production in the mouth is much less than normal levels, it can lead to a dry mouth. Lack of sufficient production of saliva in the mouth can also lead to bitter taste.

Oral Cancer

In Oral Cancer, lesions arise on the gums, lips and floor of the mouth. In some cases, they may also develop in the throat. These may lead to bitter taste.


Oral consumption of zinc based medications, neurological medicines and anti-thyroid drugs can give rise to a bitter oral taste sensation. Chemotherapy treatments can also be a reason for this condition. Regular antibiotics, prenatal vitamins and antidepressant medicines may also cause this disorder.

Digestive disorders

Individuals suffering from digestive system diseases like Acid Reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease may also result in bitter sensations. Ulcers arising in the stomach or Gastroesophageal Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) can lead to pushing up of food contents in the stomach upwards through the esophagus, the tubular structure that connects the mouth with the stomach.

Some other lesser causes of this condition are

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Lack of certain minerals in the body
  • Smoking
  • Gum diseases
  • Fungal infections
  • Cancers affecting the tissues of the mouth and the throat
  • Tooth Decay
  • Periodontitis (a type of dental ailment)

In some cases, certain systemic disorders can lead to the release and discharge of by-products through the saliva. This can give rise to bad taste sensations in the mouth.

Bad Taste in Mouth Symptoms

Some lesser symptoms arising along with this condition may involve :

  • Sore Throat
  • Neck Pain
  • Stiffness of joints
  • Pain in muscle
  • Fever
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Difficulty in swallowing food and water
  • Tonsilitis
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Red throat with white spots in it

These symptoms usually arise if the individual suffering from bad taste sensations also has strep throat, that is, a Streptococcal bacterial infection of the tonsils and the oral pharynx.

Bad Taste in Mouth Treatment

Most cases of bad oral taste are temporary and therefore, easy to resolve. Eating yogurt may decrease bad taste in people suffering from fungal infections. Pregnant women can suck on mints and peppermints for temporary relief. However, mints should not be used constantly to keep bad taste at bay. Going for regular dental checkups may improve oral hygiene and prevent bad gustatory sensation.

Home Remedies

For bad gustatory sensation, home remedies may involve the following :


Regular flossing can clean the teeth and prevent bad mouth smell and taste.

Regular brushing

Brush your teeth regularly, preferably twice a day, followed by a good medicated mouthwash. This will prevent accumulation of bacteria and germs in the mouth. You may brush your teeth with a mixture of salt and baking soda to get rid of plaques and dental infection.

Fruit juices

Drinking juices of citrus fruits like lemon and orange can stimulate the production of saliva in the mouth and help in resolving bitter taste sensation.


Chewing on spices like cloves and cinnamon for three to four times every day may also reduce bad taste in your mouth.

Salt water gargle

Add one teaspoon salt to a glass of water and gargle with this mixture for at least two times every day. This will help kill any bacteria present in the mouth and resolve bad taste arising from infection.

Eating small meals, having frequent meals at proper intervals, consuming citrus fruits and vegetables and cleaning the mouth with water after having milk products or beverages may also help prevent this condition.

Bad Taste in Mouth after Eating

In some cases, individuals suffer from bad taste sensations immediately after eating. This happens if the individual consumes certain type of preservatives and pine nuts. A mouth that has bad taste originating from pine nut consumption is known as Pine mouth. People suffering from medical conditions like jaundice and diabetes can also suffer from this sensation just after having food.

Bad Taste in Mouth after Wisdom Teeth Removal

Approximately 1 or 2 out of 100 individuals suffer from infection after undergoing surgery for removal of wisdom teeth. This is known as a secondary infection and leads to constant bad taste in mouth as well as other discomforting symptoms like unusual swelling, pain and body temperature that is higher than 100 degrees.

If you are suffering from bad taste sensations, try home remedies for a few days. If the condition fails to improve, get in touch with a healthcare professional. This will help in early diagnosis and proper medical treatment which will help resolve the condition in a matter of a few days.

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