Acid Taste In Mouth

Possible Causes and Remedies For Dysgeusia - Acid Taste In Your Mouth

A sour or acid taste in your mouth is referred to medically as dysgeusia. This term encompasses total loss of ability to taste as well as taste disorders. It can occur from things you eat or drink, or from certain health problems. The most common causes of the acid taste are artificial sweeteners, stomach problems, especially acid reflux, and poor oral hygiene (not brushing thoroughly, not flossing). You may feel like you just had something metal in your mouth even though you have not eaten anything.  This condition is usually not related to severe health problems.  

Specific causes of acid taste in your mouth include the following:

  1. Medicines, especially antidepressants, some types of vitamins--e.g. prenatal, gingivitis (gum inflammation or disease), led or mercury poisoning, heartburn, use of excessive selenium, fish poisoning.

  2. Stomach problems, e.g. acid reflux, heartburn, pain in abdomen.  Have you had acid tasting fluid come into your mouth, or almost come into your mouth?  This feels similar to vomiting, but is actually the acid in the stomach coming up the esophageal tube; this occurs sometimes in people who have acid reflux. You should try over the counter medicines such as Prilosec or Zyntac.

  3. If you have recently donated plasma, that may be the cause. It should go away in a short while.

You may not need to see a physician if the following measures succeed in making the bad taste go away. If it is related to something that may be serious, the following will help temporarily, but you should seek professional medical advice.

Simple home remedies:

  1. Eating or drinking citrus, or foods high in vinegar.  Their natural acidity counteracts the acid taste

  2. If you can make changes in the medications you take without disregarding dosing instructions, try that and see if it gets your taste buds back to normal

  3. Brushing your tongue and flossing, in addition to brushing your teeth, 2-4 times a day.

  4. Rinsing your mouth with water and baking soda several times a day.

  5. Try eliminating certain foods and see if that ends the bad taste. Common offenders are high fat foods, alcohol, chocolate, and coffee.

  6. If you smoke, see if the taste goes away when you stop.

If these measures fail to help, you should make an appointment with your health care provider.  

Information needed to help diagnose the cause of acid taste in your mouth

  1. Is the taste in your mouth best described as sour, bitter, foul or other?  If other, how would you describe it?

  2. Is the taste present all the time? If only certain times, when? What are you doing when you first begin to notice it?  Certain physical activities or body movements?

  3. What over the counter and prescription drugs do you take?  Be sure to include vitamins, and drugs you take occasionally as well as daily.

  4. Do you salivate more than normal at the time the acid taste occurs?

  5. When the acid taste occurs are you nauseous.  Have you been vomiting?

  6. Have you been having trouble swallowing?

  7. Do you have seizures, epilepsy or convulsions, or does anyone in your family have any of these?  Sometimes the bad taste will happen just before a seizure.

  8. Jaundice may cause the acid taste. Do you have black stool, and/or does your skin have a yellowish appearance?

Make note of the answers to these questions before your doctor’s appointment.