Why you shouldn’t ignore that metallic taste in your mouth

Why you shouldn’t ignore that metallic taste in your mouth

When describing a bite of food, a metallic taste usually doesn’t come to mind or sound too pleasant. However, some people face this reality if they have dysgeusia.

This taste alteration can indicate poor oral hygiene, or it can stem from your daily vitamin consumption.

“Vitamins, such as iron, zinc and chromium, contain metals and can leave an unpleasant aftertaste that is not a cause for concern,” explains Dr. Connor Harmann, a family medicine physician at Aurora Health Care. “This is common in prenatal vitamins and iron deficiency supplements.”

While it could be as innocent as needing to brush your teeth more often or change up your vitamins, you potentially could have a more serious underlying condition.


About 30% of people who suffer a stroke experience altered taste, according to the Stroke Association. This occurs due to damage to the part of your brain that interprets the taste of food and drinks.

Chronic kidney disease

Uremia is a sign your kidneys are not filtering waste products normally, causing your breath to have an ammonia scent and metallic taste. This is one of the ways your body tries to remove urea buildup.

Sjogren’s syndrome

This autoimmune disorder is characterized by the immune system attacking the glands that keep your mouth and eyes moist. A dry mouth can make food taste different and even metallic-like.


When you have heartburn, stomach acid rises to your mouth, leaving a metallic taste behind.

Allergic reaction

You may be experiencing anaphylaxis if you begin to taste metal along with other symptoms of an allergy, such as burning or itching in your mouth.

“If you experience prolonged taste alteration or accompanying symptoms of another health condition, notify your doctor or call 911,” says Dr. Harmann.

Want to learn more about your risk for stroke? Take a free online quiz.

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About the Author

Anna Kohler
Anna Kohler

Anna Kohler, health enews contributor, is an external communications specialist for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She received her bachelor's degree in public relations from Illinois State University and has worked in health care public relations and content marketing for over five years. In her free time, she enjoys working out, exploring new places with her friends and family, and keeping up with the latest social media trends.