A metallic taste is not usually serious and can be a symptom of many different things. Treatment will depend on the cause.

Common causes of metallic taste

Cause and what you can do:

  • Gum disease - regularly brush your teeth, use dental floss, have a check-up at the dentist every 6 months
  • Taking medicine, like antibiotics - speak to a pharmacist for advice - don't stop taking prescribed medicine without medical advice
  • Cancer treatment, like chemotherapy or radiation therapy - eat stronger tasting food, like ginger, spices and 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
  • Being pregnant - the taste is usually temporary and clears up by itself

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

See a GP if:

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


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Selected links

NHS Direct Wales links

Gum disease

Bad breath

Sinus infection

Nasal polyps

External links

ENT UK: nasal polyps

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The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS Choices.
Last Updated: 16/11/2018 08:33:57