• Bleeding, medications, vitamin B-12 deficiency, chemotherapy and radiation, pregnancy, and a number of other conditions can cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
  • It is important to see a doctor if the metallic taste persists for an extended period of time. Do not delay seeing a doctor if other symptoms occur.
  • Depending on the underlying cause, treatment options may include a change in medication, dental treatment, or medical intervention for more serious conditions.
  • Get help with metallic taste in your mouth. Use Authority Dental to locate a nearby walk-in emergency dentist.

Is the metallic taste bothering you? Here's everything you need to know.

Certain medications

A metallic taste is one of the typically harmless side effects of common medications.

Certain antibiotics, antidepressants and lithium medications can cause such side effects.  Gout, hypertension, heart and diabetes medication are typical culprits too. Other examples are iron, calcium, zinc, chromium or prenatal vitamin supplements.

Some people notice a taste of metal even when they drink plain water. If the bad taste bothers you, you should see your doctor and for a diagnosis and possibly treatment.

Deficiency of Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 deficiency can also be an issue causing a metal mouth. In this case, you may also suffer from fatigue, headache and loss of appetite.

Studies have shown that a vitamin B-12 deficiency blocks the adequate production of red blood cells. This prevents your organs from receiving enough oxygen.

Vitamin supplements usually help to address the problem.

Chemotherapy and radiation

Radiation cancer treatment and chemotherapy can impair the sense of taste. Such procedures can make it bitter or metallic.

This effect will be with you through your entire treatment. You will experience an improvement when you finish therapy.


An atypical sense of smell and taste is a common condition during pregnancy. It is a natural consequence of the complex changes of the body.

Altered perception can cause morning sickness and affect eating habits. Inform your doctor about severe taste disturbances. Attempt to consume a well balanced diet even in the presence of a take disturbance. 

Your prenatal vitamins, especially calcium- and iron-containing products, may also be the cause of metallic taste.

Liver or kidney failure

Acute liver and kidney disease make waste products that circulate inside the body. This alters the taste perception.

Fatigue, nausea, weakness, and confusion are typical of both liver and kidney disease. In kidney failure, fluid retention also occurs. Pain in the right upper abdomen and yellowish skin and eyeballs are also common for liver failure.

Any of these symptoms requires urgent hospitalization and medical attention.

Sinus infection or an upper respiratory infection

Taste disorders are common companions of upper respiratory tract and sinus infections. After recovery from the infection your normal taste sensation should return. 

Note, however, that a constant metallic taste can also be a sign of a chronic condition. This requires diagnosis and complex treatment. Seek diagnosis from your medical provider if you suspect the metallic taste has been present for an extended period of time. 

Neurological diseases

It is typical for many neurological diseases to cause a metallic taste. Some of them are dementia, multiple sclerosis and Bells' palsy.

Seek medical attention if you suffer from persistent headache, numbness, and memory loss. These can be signs of a neurological disorder. 

Gum disease

A metallic blood taste is one of the most common symptoms of periodontitis. Periodontitis or periodontal disease  is a gum disease that results from chronic inflammation of the gum tissues from bacteria and calculus deposits. 

Periodontal disease affects your oral health. You may notice frequently or constantly bleeding gums. If you suspect you have periodontal disease seek treatment options form your dental provider. Infections in your gums can be dangerous and can require immediate medical attention. 

Periodontal disease and infections associated with periodontitis  can destroy the jawbone that surrounds your teeth. Without the support of the surrounding bone the teeth can become loose and require extraction.

Poor oral hygiene

Inadequate oral hygiene can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis means inflammation of the gum tissue. This condition can lead to some gum irritation and an unusual metallic taste.

If you experience gum pain, swelling or bleeding, visit your dentist. Address this problem as soon as possible before it progresses to periodontal disease which can severely compromise your dental health. 

Food allergies

Eating an allergen, especially pine nuts and shellfish, may cause a metallic taste. In this case, it can last up to three days. 

If you believe you have had a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis this is an emergent medical condition and requires immediate attention. 

Discuss allergic experiences with your doctor to avoid potential anaphylactic reactions.

Exposure to mercury or lead

Mercury and lead are widely used heavy metals that can poison the human body. A metallic taste can often be a side effect of heavy metal poisoning. 

Industrial sites and landfills are common sources of heavy metal contamination. Some household items also contain these hazardous substances too. Lead, for example, is present in batteries. You can find mercury in older thermometers.

If you have developed symptoms of poisoning, contact your doctor immediately.

COVID vaccine side effect

If you have recently undergone COVID -19 vaccination, you may experience a metallic taste in your mouth. Although this is not a common side effect of the procedure, the vaccine is also one of the causes of altered perception.


Is a metallic taste in the mouth serious?

It is harmless when it is a side effect of medical treatment. At the same time, it can also be a symptom of serious illness or poisoning. Inform your doctor about any alarming symptoms and determine the cause.

What vitamins can cause a metallic taste in your mouth?

A metallic taste is one of the main symptoms of vitamin D overdose or hypercalcemia. It is a serious health condition. Microelements that can also change perception are iron, calcium and zinc.

Can anxiety cause a metallic taste in the mouth?

A metallic taste may be your reaction to anxiety. In some people it is the result of a dry mouth. In others the taste becomes metallic due to the release of certain chemicals.