Bad taste, also known as dysgeusia, is a common symptom of gastrointestinal reflux disease, salivary gland infection (parotitis), sinusitis, poor dental hygiene, and can even be the result of taking certain medicines.
Taste problems can also be the result of an interrupted transfer of taste sensations to the brain or a dysfunction of the way the brain interprets these sensations. Dysgeusia can cause things to taste sweet, sour, bitter, or metallic.
What other symptoms might occur with bad taste?
Bad taste may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the digestive tract may also involve other body systems.
Gastrointestinal symptoms that may occur along with bad taste
Bad taste may accompany other symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal system including:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating from gas
Salivary gland symptoms that may occur along with bad taste
Bad taste may accompany symptoms related to salivary gland disease including:
- Decreased ability to open the mouth
- Dry mouth
- Pain in the face or mouth
- Redness over the side of the face or the upper neck
- Swelling of the face or neck
Nasal and sinus symptoms that may occur along with bad taste
Bad taste may accompany symptoms related to nasal and sinus conditions including:
- Postnasal drip
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose or nasal congestion
Other causes of bad taste
Bad taste can also be caused by other conditions including:
- Bacterial infections
- Mouth ulcers or abscesses
- Poor oral hygiene
- Sinus infections
- Sjogren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disease characterized by dry eyes and mouth)
- Tobacco use
- Viral infections
Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition
In some cases, bad taste may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious condition that should be immediately evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have bad taste along with other serious symptoms including:
- Difficulty breathing
- High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Loss of weight
- Other sensory loss, such as sight, hearing, or smell
What Are the Treatment Options?
The treatment options for an impaired sense of taste depend on the exact cause for the dysgeusia. If due to medications, switching to a different medication may help restore a normal sense of taste. Managing other disorders that can trigger loss of taste, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, or kidney problems, may also lead to improvement.
Reducing or stopping smoking or other forms of tobacco use as well as managing acid reflux either with medications or dietary modifications cannot be overemphasized. Drinking plenty of water can also help with dry mouth, radiation treatment, or age-related loss of taste.
Bad taste in your mouth can be a sign of a serious condition. Seek prompt medical care if the bad taste in your mouth is persistent or causes you concern. Contact us at Capozzi Dental if you have any questions or concerns.