The bitter taste in the mouth can have several causes, ranging from simpler problems, such as poor oral hygiene or the use of some medications, to more serious problems, such as yeast infection or reflux, for example.
In addition, the use of cigarettes can also give a bitter taste in the mouth, which lasts between a few minutes to a few hours. Typically, this type of taste change improves after eating other foods, drinking water, or brushing your teeth.
However, if the bitter taste persists for a long time or if it appears very often, it is recommended to consult a general practitioner or a gastroenterologist to identify if there is a disease that may be causing the symptom and to start the appropriate treatment.
1. Poor oral hygiene
This is the most common cause of bitter taste in the mouth, especially on waking, and it happens due to the accumulation of saliva and bacteria on the tongue, teeth and gums, causing bad breath.
What to do: just brush your teeth and maintain a routine of at least 2 brushings a day, one after waking up and the other before going to sleep, for example. In addition, it is also very important to brush the tongue well because the accumulation of dead bacteria cells, also known as lingual coating, is the main cause of bitter taste in the mouth.
2. Use of antibiotics or antidepressants
There are some remedies that, when ingested, are absorbed by the organism and released into the saliva, leading to an alteration in the taste, leaving the mouth to loam. Some examples are antibiotics, such as tetracyclines, remedies for gout, such as allopurinol, lithium or drugs used to treat some heart diseases.
In addition, people who use antidepressants may also experience dry mouth more often, which alters the taste, as the taste buds are more closed.
What to do: usually the bitter taste disappears after a few minutes of taking this type of medication. However, if it is constant and uncomfortable, you can consult your doctor to assess the possibility of using another remedy that does not cause this type of side effects.
Dysgeusia, also known as metallic taste in the mouth, is a very common symptom for many women during the first trimester of pregnancy. This happens due to the hormonal changes that happen in the woman’s body, leaving the palate more refined.
Thus, some pregnant women may report a taste similar to having a coin in their mouth or having drunk water from a glass made of metal, for example.
What to do: a great way to eliminate the bitter taste in your mouth is to drink lemonade or suck on a lemon popsicle. This change usually lasts for only a few days, disappearing naturally.
4. Use of vitamin supplements
Some vitamin supplements that contain high amounts of metallic substances, such as zinc, copper, iron or chromium, can lead to the appearance of a metallic and bitter taste in the mouth. This side effect is very common and usually appears when the supplement is completely absorbed by the body.
What to do: in these cases, wait a few minutes to allow the body to absorb the supplement. If the bitter taste is very intense or appears very often, you can consult your doctor to evaluate the possibility of reducing the dose or switching supplements.
5. Gastroesophageal reflux
Reflux happens when the stomach contents reach the esophagus, after digestion begins, transporting acid to the mouth, which leaves the mouth with a bitter taste and, even, with a bad smell.
What to do: Avoid eating very fatty or difficult to digest foods, as they increase the production of acid by the stomach. In addition, it is also important to avoid very large meals, as they make it difficult to close the stomach.
7. Cold, sinusitis and other infections
Infections of the upper respiratory tract, such as colds, rhinitis, sinusitis or tonsillitis, for example, can cause the appearance of bitter taste in the mouth, due to the substances produced by the bacteria of this type of infections.
What to do: in these cases it is important to drink at least 2 liters of water a day, as it helps to relieve the bitter taste and facilitates recovery. However, it is important to consult a general practitioner to identify the specific cause and initiate appropriate treatment.
8. Diabetic ketoacidosis
Ketoacidosis is a consequence of diabetes, in which due to the large amount of glucose in the blood and little inside the cells, there is a greater production of ketone bodies in an attempt to provide sufficient energy for the proper functioning of the body.
Due to the greater amount of ketone bodies circulating in the blood, there is a decrease in blood pH, which can be perceived through the appearance of some signs and symptoms such as bitter mouth, intense thirst, bad breath, dry mouth and mental confusion.
What to do: it is important that the blood glucose of the diabetic person is measured regularly and, if it is found that the amount of glucose is 3 times higher than normal, it is extremely important to go immediately to the emergency room or hospital, as it is indicative of ketoacidosis.
At the hospital, the person is monitored and insulin and serum is administered directly into the vein to maintain the person’s hydration and decrease the amount of glucose in the blood.