Why do my lips taste like metal?

Answered by Edward Huber

Ignoring your dental health can have serious consequences, one of which is a metallic taste in your mouth. This unpleasant taste can be caused by various factors, but it is often associated with dental infections such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Gingivitis is a common condition characterized by inflammation of the gums. It occurs when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up on the teeth and irritates the gum tissue. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. In periodontitis, the bacteria in plaque can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. This infection can lead to the destruction of the bone and tissues that support the teeth.

When you have an infection in your gums or teeth, the body’s immune response kicks in to fight off the bacteria. This immune response can result in the release of certain chemicals and enzymes, which can give rise to a metallic taste in your mouth. Additionally, the presence of pus or discharge from the infected area can also contribute to the unpleasant taste.

Another condition that can cause a metallic taste in your mouth is acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG), also known as “trench mouth.” ANUG is a severe form of gingivitis characterized by painful sores, bleeding gums, and a foul odor. The bacteria involved in ANUG can produce sulfur compounds, which can give your breath a particularly unpleasant odor and taste.

Apart from dental infections, there are other factors that can contribute to a metallic taste in your mouth. These can include certain medications, such as antibiotics or antihistamines, as well as certain medical conditions like acid reflux or dry mouth (xerostomia). In some cases, the metallic taste may be a side effect of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

It is important to note that a metallic taste in your mouth can be a symptom of a more serious underlying health issue, such as kidney or liver problems. If you are experiencing persistent or unexplained metallic taste, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Ignoring your dental health can lead to tooth and gum infections, which can manifest as a metallic taste in your mouth. Gingivitis, periodontitis, and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis are common dental conditions that can cause this unpleasant taste. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, to prevent these infections and their associated symptoms. If you are experiencing a metallic taste in your mouth, it is advisable to seek professional medical advice to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.