Copper Taste In Mouth

Ever Have A Copper Taste In Your Mouth?

Having a copper taste in your mouth, or any kind of a metallic taste for that matter, isn't all that uncommon. That isn't to say that such taste in your mouth isn't something you shouldn't be too concerned about, but unless it occurs frequently or appears to be chronic, it's a symptom of something that is very likely not terribly serious.

The most likely cause of a copper taste in your mouth would be either a medication or a dental problem. A cause that could require medical attention would be copper toxicity. Copper is one of the minerals our body requires, but only in small amounts. We get copper from certain foods we eat, and trace amount from water flowing through copper pipes, which is still less of a potential problem than water flowing through lead pipes. Our body needs copper, but doesn't require lead. Copper toxicity can result either from ingesting copper in excessive amounts, a rather rare situation, or from other conditions in the body which promote the retention or buildup of copper to amounts greater than the body can handle.

Causes Of Copper Toxicity - In general, we don't ingest more copper than we need, or if we do, we seldom ingest truly excessive amounts. One would probably have to chew on a copper pipe for that to occur, although a one-year old may be capable of doing just that. There are certain conditions however which can cause an excessive retention of copper that could possibly lead to a problem. A deficiency in either magnesium or zinc, two elements our body needs, may cause copper levels to increase. Estrogen imbalances can increase copper levels, particularly in the kidneys. Birth control pills often are the root cause of copper toxicity due to improper estrogen levels. Copper retention in the kidneys can cause a buildup of copper in the liver, interfering with the liver's ability to act as a detoxifying organ.

If a copper taste in your mouth is accompanied by feelings of over stimulation, as one might feel after one or two too many cups of coffee, or mood swings or restlessness, copper toxicity could be the cause.

Most other causes of a copper taste in your mouth present less of a danger, if any at all. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can give one symptoms of a copper or metallic taste, but that does not mean a copper toxicity is problem exists. We often experience a metallic taste, be it copper or something else, when we have heartburn or have a dental problem such as gingivitis, or periodontitis. An overdose of selenium can give a distinct metallic taste as can a more serious situation, fish poisoning.

There are quite a few drugs and medications which can contribute to the taste, such as certain antibiotics and drugs used to treat hyperthyroidism as well as high blood pressure. Even the drug used to treat an excess of copper in the body, penicillamine, will often leave you with a copper taste in your mouth.

Preventive Measures - You may not be able to discontinue taking certain medications that give this kind of a side effect, though you should certainly consult with your doctor to see if there is an alternative. One of the best ways of preventing such a taste from occurring is practicing goo dental hygiene. Brushing the tongue as well as the teeth, and flossing regularly can prevent gingivitis or fungal infections, which often give off a metallic taste. Even a periodic rinsing of the mouth with salt water can be very helpful in this respect. If a copper or metallic taste is present already, a small taste of vinegar or citrus juice will often effectively counteract it.

In the world of health and well-being, a single symptom often carries with it little meaning. If a copper taste in your mouth is truly something you need to be concerned about, one or more of the other symptoms associated with toxicity will likely be present as well.