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Mouth Diseases

Metal taste in mouth

10/11/2000

Question:

If I have a metal taste in my mouth, what is this a symptom of?

Answer:

An altered or metallic taste sensation is referred to as dysgeusia. There are many possible factors or conditions that can lead to or be associated with this symptom.

Deterioration of an old silver (amalgam) filling or a cap (crown) can sometimes be the culprit. Gum disease (periodontitis) or dental abscess could also be considered. A wide variety of drugs (over 200) have been associated with taste disturbances or alterations. Vitamin or micronutrient deficiencies, especially zinc deficiency, have been related to metallic or altered taste. Inflammation of the stomach (gastritis), esophageal reflux and even sinus infections have been contributory in some patients. Finally, some cases appear to have no definite (or identifiable) cause.

The first step would be to rule out a local dental or gum problem with a visit to your dentist. Next, I would check with your physician to rule out other conditions that may be more systemic in origin.

Good luck.

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean of Dentistry Administration
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University