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Tasting Pennies? Why You Have a Metallic Taste in Your Mouth.

Having a metallic taste in your mouth isn’t fun. Here’s what might be causing it and how to avoid it in the future.

If you’re tasting pennies, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing dysgeusia. Dysgeusia, also known as parageusia, is a distortion of the sense of taste.

While it’s unpleasant, there are a few possible causes of that metallic taste in your mouth and some simple ways to solve it.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what causes a metallic taste and how to avoid it in the future.

And if you need to see a doctor, you can find one near you on the Air Doctor app.

12 Possible Reasons Why You Have A Metallic Taste In Your Mouth

  1. Hay Fever. Allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) has some common symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and a stuffy nose, but some people also experience a metallic taste as a result of an inflamed nasal passage.
  2. Sinus, Respiratory or Ear Infections. Apart from the usual headaches, fevers and ear pain, infections of your sinuses, ears and upper airways cause inflammations that can also change your sense of taste and smell.
  3. Side Effects of Medications. According to a 2019 study by the Wiley Online Library, a survey of around 1,645 drugs found that roughly 17% of them (282) mentioned dysgeusia as a side effect, which includes medications such as antibiotics, Captopril, Disulfiram, and iron supplements.
  4. Vitamin B12 Deficiency. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a wide variety of symptoms, that includes shortness of breath, pins-and-needles, yellow skin and mood changes. Another sign is fatigue, which can impair your body’s ability to produce red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. If the deficiency is severe enough, it can affect the nerves, which results in a metallic taste in the mouth.
  5. Pregnancy. A common complaint during the first trimester of pregnancy is a metallic taste in the mouth. Because of how the hormones in the body fluctuate, the senses can be warped, which causes oddly specific cravings, and can make some foods and smells off-putting.
  6. Kidney Failure. When your kidneys stop functioning properly, waste begins to build up in the blood. That build-up can cause fatigue and dysgeusia.
  7. Disorders of the Central Nervous System. Your taste buds send signals to your brain via your cranial nerves. That means that any injury in the CNS, such as strokes, head trauma, or Bell’s palsy, can cause a taste disorder coupled with fatigue.
  8. Cancer Treatments. As many as 86% of people going through chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of the two have reported a change in their taste. The change is (thankfully) only temporary and will eventually return to normal.
  9. Poor Oral Health. Infections such as gingivitis and oral issues like periodontitis can leave a bad taste in your mouth – or a metallic taste in the mouth.
  10. Indigestion. The metallic taste in your mouth can also be caused by things such as heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion.
  11. Dementia. Those living with dementia often experience a change in their senses, and their taste is no different. The part of the brain that controls taste sometimes stops working.
  12. Exposure to Chemicals. Inhaling high levels of mercury or lead can also lead to a metallic taste in the mouth. Lead poisoning is common from lead-based paints or lead-contaminated dust in older buildings.

How To Prevent A Metallic Taste In Your Mouth

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush at least twice a day and floss regularly to make sure you keep your teeth and mouth clean and avoid the metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water rinses your mouth and keeps oral infections at bay. It also helps avoid a dry mouth, which can also cause parageusia.
  • Swap Out Your Cutlery: Metal cutlery can cause that metallic taste. Try swapping it out for glass, plastic, or ceramic cutlery instead.
  • Rinse Your Mouth With Baking Soda And Warm Water: Rinsing your mouth with a mixture made of baking soda and warm water before you eat helps to regulate the pH in your mouth and neutralize acids, which can be the cause.
  • Stop Smoking: Smoking can also worsen any unpleasant taste in your mouth.
  • Suck On Ice: Sucking on ice chips and cubes is a great way to help with the taste as well!
  • Chew A Mint Or Piece Of Gum (sugar-free): Breath fresheners are designed to change the smell of your breath, and the taste in your mouth. Just make sure to keep it sugar-free!
  • Eat Foods That Mask The Taste: Foods like citrus, sour foods, and sweeteners such as maple syrup (in small amounts) can help.

When to See a Doctor

While the taste may be unpleasant, it can go away without too much trouble on its own. However, if you’re experiencing fatigue along with it, or if it persists after trying some remedies, then it’s time to see a doctor.


Can Liver Problems Cause a Metallic Taste in Your Mouth?

Yes. While it is rare, liver problems can cause a metallic taste in your mouth.

Can Dehydration Cause a Metallic Taste?

Yes. The metallic taste in your mouth could be a symptom of dehydration.

Can Stress Cause a Metallic Taste?

Yes. Anxiety can cause a huge range of symptoms, including a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth.


Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.