Metallic Taste in Your Mouth? Here Are 9 Possible Reasons Why. Battery acid taste

Metallic Taste in Your Mouth? Here Are 9 Possible Reasons Why

A metallic taste is usually nothing to worry about, but may signal a larger health problem.

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Does your mouth taste like you’ve been munching on old coins? There’s a medical name for that: dysgeusia, a condition that can make your mouth taste metallic, salty, or rancid.

When you think about how your sense of taste works, it’s easy to see how it can get a little messed up. It’s not all about your tongue—it’s a complex system controlled by your taste buds and your olfactory system, which includes your nose and nasal cavity. If signals get crossed anywhere between your tongue, nose, and brain, then it might bring on that metallic taste.

Many causes of metallic taste in mouth are benign, and clear up on their own. But others may be work bringing to your doctor and/or dentist. Here, nine possible reasons why your mouth tastes a little funky:

From Prevention

You’re taking certain medications

Antibiotics (including tetracycline and amoxicillin), lithium (used to treat psychiatric disorders), certain cardiac medications, and allopurinol (which treats gout and kidney stones) all commonly cause metallic taste in mouth.

They can vary in the way they mess with your taste. Some cause dry mouth, which subsequently disturbs taste by decreasing the amount of saliva you produce, says Summer Allen, MD, a family medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic. Other drugs may contain metals that are excreted through your saliva. And still others can muck up the signals your taste buds sends to your brain, which makes you perceive a metallic taste.

You’re taking over-the-counter meds or vitamins

“Multivitamins may contain high amounts of metals, which cause taste disruption by disrupting ion channels that signal our perception of taste,” says Donald Ford, MD, a family medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic.

Aside from multivitamins, cold medicines and prenatal vitamins with high amounts of copper, zinc, chromium, calcium, or iron, could all be causing the metallic taste.

You have poor oral hygiene

Skipping brushing and flossing doesn’t just give you stinky breath and cavities. Over time, you may develop gum disease, also known as gingivitis, which puts you at risk for infections like periodontitis. “With presence of infection, blood flow to the tongue may be reduced, taste buds may become blocked or saliva output can decrease which also impacts taste buds and results in impairment of taste,” says Dr. Allen.

Since poor oral hygiene can lead to infection or periodontal disease, that’s why it is important to brush and floss regularly and keep up with your routine dental visits, according Gary Silverstrom D.D.S.

You have a sinus infection

As if a stuffy nose, sore throat, and headache weren’t enough, a sinus infection may also be a reason why your mouth tastes metallic.

“Swelling and blockage in the salivary ducts can impair salivary flow” says Dr. Ford. “Reduction in saliva output may cause injury to taste buds and their activity.”

And if you’re taking zinc lozenges or cough drops to soothe your sore throat, that could also be contributing to your metal-mouth.

You’ve had head trauma

“Head trauma can cause direct injury to the nerves that control our sense of taste and smell. Any changes to these nerves can create permanent alterations in our perception,” says Dr. Ford.

Neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis and Bell’s Palsy can also impact your body’s sense of taste by disrupting the central nervous system.

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You’re being treated for cancer

Radiation and chemotherapy can both alter sense of taste. This happens when the cancer treatments are injected into the bloodstream, and also get into saliva.

You’re a smoker

As if you need another reason to quit smoking, lighting up distorts your sense of taste. All those chemicals you inhale throw off the ability of your taste buds to regenerate, which can cause a metallic taste—or dull your taste altogether. A 2014 study published in Chemosensory Perception found thats smokers have a tougher time recognizing certain flavors, especially bitter ones.

You have acid reflux

That burning sensation you feel when you have heartburn is caused by stomach acids creeping back up your digestive tract. Sometimes, they can reach your mouth. “When the digestive acidic enzymes in your stomach intended to help digest food reflux into your throat/back of your mouth, it can damage the taste buds/receptors and lead to the metallic taste,” says Dr. Allen.

You’re pregnant

One common early sign of pregnancy is a sudden aversion to certain foods. Similarly, the surge of hormones you are experiencing can also screw with your taste, making you feel like you’re suddenly sucking on a penny.

Related Story

Emily Shiffer is a former digital web producer for Men’s Health and Prevention, and is currently a freelancer writer specializing in health, weight loss, and fitness. She is currently based in Pennsylvania and loves all things antiques, cilantro, and American history.

Madeleine, Prevention’s assistant editor, has a history with health writing from her experience as an editorial assistant at WebMD, and from her personal research at university. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience—and she helps strategize for success across Prevention’s social media platforms.

Nausea Or Vomiting And Taste Of Acid In Mouth

These symptoms may be indicative of multiple medical conditions, including acid reflux, food poisoning, or infection. If home remedies, such as over-the-counter antacids, are not helpful then you may want to contact your doctor.

While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are: heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. Effective treatment is available for most patients with GERD.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is common, but can also be life threatening. The symptoms for food poisoning are fever, abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Food poisoning has many causes, for example, chemicals (from toxic fish or plants) and bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus or Salmonella). Treatment of food poisoning depends upon the cause.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication of type 1 diabetes that is life threatening. If a person thinks they may have diabetic ketoacidosis they should seek medical care immediately. Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when a person’s insulin levels in the blood become dangerously low. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include dehydration, abdominal pain, confusion, and nausea and vomiting. Diabetic ketoacidosis needs medical treatment. It cannot be treated at home.


Constipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week. Constipation usually is caused by the slow movement of stool through the colon. There are many causes of constipation including medications, poor bowel habits, low fiber diets, laxative abuse, and hormonal disorders, and diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon.

At MedicineNet, we believe it is important to take charge of your health through measures such as a living healthy lifestyle, practicing preventative medicine, following a nutrition plan, and getting regular exercise. Understanding your symptoms and signs and educating yourself about health conditions are also a part of living your healthiest life. The links above will provide you with more detailed information on these medical conditions to help you inform yourself about the causes and available treatments for these conditions.

symptom checker

Health concerns on your mind? Click here to visit our Symptom Checker.

What is Sulfuric Acid? (H2SO4)

Sulfuric acid is a mineral acid that is also known as battery acid and vitriol. It is composed of two hydrogen and two oxygen groups covalently bonded to a central sulfur atom. Sulfuric acid can be colorless to slightly yellow depending on its purity and is odorless but has a strong acid taste.

Sulfuric acid is also a dense, syrupy liquid that is synthesized in highly exothermic reactions, which means it should be diluted by adding acid to water and not water to acid. It also acts as a catalyst, is highly corrosive, and has a great affinity for water, which means it can be used as a remarkable drying agent.

Industries and Applications for Sulfuric Acid

  • Production of phosphate fertilizers
  • Field spraying before potato harvest
  • Used as a desiccant
  • Aids in the manufacturing of other chemicals
  • hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, phosphoric acid, etc.
  • Gasoline
  • Jet fuel
  • Kerosene
  • Oil Refining
  • Drain cleaning products
  • Petroleum refining
  • Ore processing
  • Paper manufacturing
  • Lead-Acid batteries
  • Leather
  • Printing
  • Rayon
  • Used as catalyst in oil refinement
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Veterinary drugs
  • Iron and steel pickling
  • Food and dairy
  • Wastewater treatment

Fun Facts

These are some additional things you might not know about sulfuric acid:

  • Johann Glauber was the first chemist to prepare sulfuric acid by burning sulfur with saltpeter, potassium nitrate, and KNO3 in the presence of steam.
  • Sulfuric acid shares 6% of the acid production around the world.
  • The lead chamber process was the main method used to produce sulfuric acid acid for almost 2 decades.
  • Acid rain consists of diluted sulfuric acid, which is the result of atmospheric oxidation of sulfur dioxide in the presence of water.

Chemical Safety

Health Rating: 3 – The chemical has met Safer Choice Criteria for its functional ingredient class, but has some hazard profile issues. In other words, a chemical with this code is not associated with a low hazard concern for environmental endpoints and human health.

Sulfuric acid can cause serious or permanent injury under emergency conditions, such as contact with skin or eyes that may lead to severe burns, and ingestion that may lead to severe irritation of the mouth and stomach.

Refer to this Safety Data Sheet for more regulations on how to handle sulfuric acid safely.

If you would like to purchase sulfuric acid, contact Ecolink at (800)-563-1305 or email

If you have any further questions, submit an inquiry through our online form.

Why is there a metallic taste in my mouth?

Taste involves various neurological functions. When a person notices a metallic taste in the mouth, it can be due to a number of factors, including changes in health, diet, or medication.

The tongue has thousands of sensory organs called taste buds and taste papillae. Smell, texture, and temperature also contribute to taste.

If a person experiences changes in their health, diet, or the medication they use, they may perceive taste in a different way.

Dysgeusia is the name for a distorted taste in the mouth, including a metallic taste. This can sometimes occur with a painful, burning sensation as part of burning mouth syndrome. Ageusia is when a person loses their sense of taste.

In this article, learn more about a metallic taste in the mouth, including causes, symptoms, and home remedies.

Several factors can trigger a metallic taste in the mouth. The problem may go away without intervention or when a person makes a lifestyle change, such as stopping a certain medication.

Sometimes, however, it can indicate an underlying condition that needs medical attention.

The following are some potential causes of a metallic taste in the mouth.

Poor oral health

People who do not brush their teeth or floss regularly may experience changes in taste, including a metallic taste.

  • bacterial infections, such as gingivitis or periodontitis
  • fungal infections
  • trauma to the mouth, including tooth removal
  • ulcers and other complications of ill fitting dentures
  • tumors

Treating any infections and maintaining good oral hygiene may help prevent or resolve a metallic taste in the mouth.

Sinus problems

Because smell and taste are so closely linked, sinus issues can impair a person’s sense of taste or cause a metallic taste in the mouth. A blocked nose is one symptom of a sinus issue.

Once the sinus problem subsides, the metallic taste should also go away.

Sinus problems are very common and include:

  • the common cold
  • sinus infections
  • allergies
  • nasal polyps
  • middle ear infection or other upper respiratory infections
  • recent middle ear surgery

People with sinusitis often report dysgeusia.

Sjogren’s syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome can cause dryness in the mouth, sinuses, and eyes. Also, people with this condition sometimes report a constant metallic taste in their mouth and in food and water.

Sjogren’s syndrome is a type of sicca syndrome. People with other sicca syndromes also experience a dry mouth and a metallic taste.

Certain medications

Some medications can cause an aftertaste as the body absorbs them.

People who use metformin, for example, often say that they have a lingering metallic taste in the mouth. Metformin is a treatment for diabetes.

Research shows that the body excretes metformin into the saliva. The taste will continue as long as the drug remains in the person’s system.

Some other medications that can cause a metallic taste in the mouth include those for chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as:

  • some antibiotics, such as metronidazole
  • acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, for Alzheimer’s disease
  • systemic anesthesia (in rare cases)
  • some thyroid medications
  • adenosine (in fewer than 1% of people)
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
  • lithium, a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder
  • ethionamide, an antibacterial treatment for tuberculosis
  • lorcainide hydrochloride, for arrhythmia
  • gallium nitrate, for reducing high blood calcium levels

In addition, some drugs — such as anticholinergics — may cause a dry mouth. People may experience this as a metallic taste.

Cancer therapies

Taste changes are a common side effect of many cancer therapies, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

This can be due to the treatment itself or its complications, such as mouth ulcers.

The American Cancer Society suggest the following tips for people who experience taste changes due to cancer treatment:

  • Avoid using metal eating utensils.
  • Use sugar-free lemon drops or mint.
  • Opt for fresh or frozen foods rather than canned.
  • Add flavors such as lemon, spices, and mint to foods.
  • Brush the teeth regularly.
  • Use a mouthwash before eating.
  • Eat foods cold or at room temperature.
  • Opt for chicken, tofu, or dairy products instead of red meat.


Substances that contain metals — such as iron, zinc, and copper — can also cause a metallic taste in the mouth. Experts believe that this happens when the mineral causes oxidation of the salivary protein.

Prenatal vitamins and calcium supplements may have this effect. Scientists have found that closing the nasal passage may reduce the metallic taste from iron, but not from other minerals.

The taste should go away as the body absorbs the vitamins.

People with liver failure may experience a metallic taste, possibly due to deficiencies in B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, and copper.


The National Health Service (NHS) suggest that early pregnancy often causes taste changes, including a metallic taste in the mouth.

Pregnancy can also cause cravings or a dislike for certain foods. Both of these symptoms tend to go away with time.


A number of neurological conditions — including head and neck trauma, multiple sclerosis, and depression — can also affect a person’s sense of taste.

Because the taste buds send signals to the brain, taste changes can occur if part of the brain is not working as it should.

Older age

Aging can affect the way the nerves function, and this can affect taste recognition. Research suggests that dysgeusia commonly affects older adults, especially those receiving residential care. It may affect their appetite and nutritional status.

Guillain-Barre syndrome

A metallic taste in the mouth can sometimes be a symptom of Guillain-Barre syndrome. This is an autoimmune condition that affects the peripheral nervous system.

A 2003 review stated that this can be due to the “dysfunction of small nerve fibers.”

In 2020, researchers described a person with this syndrome whose only symptom in the early stages was dysgeusia.


A metallic taste can be an early symptom of anaphylaxis. a severe allergic reaction.

If a person develops itching, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing after exposure to a possible allergen, they need immediate medical attention. Anaphylaxis can be life threatening.

Kidney failure

People with end stage kidney disease often complain of a metallic taste in their mouth.

  • high levels of urea and other substances in the body
  • low levels of zinc
  • metabolic changes
  • the use of medication
  • a lower number of taste buds
  • a change in the flow and composition of saliva

Other causes

Other possible causes of a metallic taste include:

The symptom is usually temporary and disappears when the underlying issue clears up.

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