Metallic taste in the mouth

A metallic taste in the mouth is not usually serious and can be a symptom of many different things. Treatment will depend on the cause. You should only see your GP if the taste doesn’t go away or if there is no obvious cause.

Common causes of metallic taste

There are a number of things that can potentially cause a metallic taste, including:

  • taking medicine, such as antibiotics - speak to a pharmacist for advice but don't stop taking prescribed medicine without medical advice
  • cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy - you should try eating stronger tasting food, like ginger, spices or boiled sweets
  • colds, sinus infections and other airway problems - the taste should go away once the problem has cleared up
  • indigestion - the taste should go away when you treat your indigestion
  • pregnancy - the taste is usually temporary and clears up by itself
  • gum disease - regularly brush your teeth, use dental floss, have a check-up at the dentist every six months

Sometimes, a metallic taste can be linked to a problem with your sense of smell.

When to see your GP

You should speak to your GP or dentist if:

  • the metallic taste doesn't go away
  • it has no obvious cause

The information on this page has been adapted from original content from the NHS website.

For further information, read terms and conditions.

This page was published May 2018

This page is due for review December 2020

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