Metallic Taste in Mouth During Pregnancy

image001 Some women experience an odd metallic taste in mouth during pregnancy and this is considered slightly unusual. At the beginning, this sensation may seem vague and unpleasant and even be difficult to describe. Despite this, it is a real issue and in fact is common enough to have its own name, dysgeusia. While some people use this name, others use the easier nickname of “metal mouth.” If during your pregnancy it seems as if there is metal in your mouth, you can learn about this taste and how to stop it.

Metallic Taste in Mouth During Pregnancy—Is It Normal?

Dysgeusia is actually a fairly common symptom of pregnancy that generally occurs during the first trimester. It is the medical term referring to the change in your taste buds, specifically the feeling of a metallic or sour taste while pregnant. It tends to be present even if you aren’t currently eating.

Dysgeusia is most common during the first trimester of pregnancy and will usually disappear as you get farther along in your pregnancy. Although it is commonly described as being a taste similar to having loose change in your mouth, it can also be a sour taste and in either case will permeate the taste of your food as well as when your mouth is empty.

Unfortunately, dysgeusia and pregnancy nausea are most common at the same times of pregnancy. In some cases, finding a way to successful deal with your pregnancy nausea can help the taste in your mouth as well. Other women don’t experience a link between the two symptoms.

What Causes Metallic Taste in Mouth During Pregnancy?

1. Pregnancy Hormones

The most common cause of dysgeusia is pregnancy hormones, particularly oestrogen. This hormone increases to high levels during pregnancy and affects how we perceive taste as well as food enjoyment and cravings. As your oestrogen levels change throughout pregnancy, so will your sense of taste which explains why your cravings and food preferences change so drastically during pregnancy.

2. Taste and Smell

In some cases, dysgeusia is because of the relationship between taste and smell. Most pregnant women will have a heightened sense of smell and this increases the relationship with taste. If you feel that something smells very strong, “off,” or simply unpleasant, then it is very probably that you will have an increased metallic taste of your mouth because of the link between taste and smell.

3. Water Retention

It is also possible for dysgeusia to be due to water retention. Most people think of water retention in a particular area of the body, but it can really occur anywhere including the taste buds. A large concentration of taste buds is located on the tongue.

4. Other Possible Factors

Certain people feel that dysgeusia helps protect pregnant women from eating foods that could potentially be harmful to the baby (or themselves). This does account for the repulsion to certain foods via dysgeusia, but it fails to explain why pregnant women experience the unpleasant metallic taste when they are eating safe foods or not eating at all.

Others believe that dysgeusia protects the mother by ensuring that she eats enough trace elements such as iron, sodium, and calcium.

Those who believe in a natural cause of the metallic taste in mouth during pregnancy say that it occurs because of toxins produced by the body’s lymph glands. Their protective mechanisms make sure that the fetus is protected from potential harm.

How to Get Rid of Metallic Taste in Mouth During Pregnancy

1. Talk to Your Doctor

Unfortunately, the only way to truly eliminate the metallic taste associated with pregnancy is to attempt to neutralize it. You should always talk to your doctor or health care provider about any symptoms you notice during pregnancy, including a metallic taste in your mouth. This will allow your doctor to make sure it is not due to an illness or disorder which may cause your taste buds to change. In some cases a vitamin may cause this problem and the simple solution would be to try another one. At other times, you simply need to experiment and try other solutions.

2. Try Different Solutions

The following foods and drinks are helpful for some women when it comes to eliminating the metallic taste:

  • Baking soda solution
  • Salt water solution
  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods and beverages (oranges, lemons, orange juice, and lemonade)
  • Foods made with vinegar (like pickles)
  • Foods and beverages that are ginger-flavored
  • Green apples
  • Potato chips with salt and vinegar
  • Sour candies

Ginger is a popular choice as it can relieve nausea and control your senses of smell and taste. Acidic foods will work to reduce the metallic taste in mouth during pregnancy and increase your production of saliva, neutralizing bad tastes. The baking soda and salt solutions are each made with a quarter teaspoon for a cup of water and can neutralize your mouth’s pH level. You will notice that most sauces and foods that increase your flow of saliva will be helpful as this “washes away” the unpleasant sensation.

3. Drink Plain Water

Some women, however, don’t want to encourage their saliva production and turn to some of the other remedies not mentioned above. You can try drinking plain water during the day and adding a bit of fresh lime or lemon juice. You can even sip ice cold water or ice chips or freezing a small amount of one of the acidic juices mentioned above.

4. Brush Teeth

Some women experience relief by brushing their teeth (and focusing on the tongue) or chewing sugar-free gum. Flossing every day with a focus on areas where bacteria and food collect can also help. So can using mouthwash or gargling between your normal brushings (but before choosing a mouthwash check with your pharmacist to make sure it is safe for your baby).

Most of the time, the metallic taste will slowly disappear during your second trimester of pregnancy and be completely gone by the time you give birth. This occurs as your body adjusts to being pregnant and your hormones have begun to settle.