Bitter taste in my mouth: what can it be and what to do?

It is not good to have a bitter or sour taste in your mouth. In addition to being bad for those who have the problem due to the unpleasant taste, it can also be negative because it causes insecurity at specific times. That’s because the bitter taste is usually accompanied by bad breath .

This can be a symptom of many conditions, as there are several causes. It is often simple to treat, but it is important to investigate what is causing this bad taste.

In the following text, we list the main causes of bitter taste in the mouth. Check out!


What can be a bitter taste in your mouth?

The bitter taste in the mouth can have many causes. It can be something simple, caused by food, medication, poor hygiene or dry mouth (common after waking up). It can also be something present in pregnancy or an indication of more serious problems, such as infections, gastric diseases, in the liver and gums, for example.

Better understand each of these possible causes:


The Gingivitis is an inflammation caused by plaque that adheres to the teeth, but that affects the gums. The cause of this problem is poor tooth hygiene, which can be very harmful if not corrected in time.

In addition to the bitter taste in the mouth, gingivitis can cause other symptoms such as bleeding, swelling of the gums, etc. They can progress to periodontitis (the most severe form of the disease).

Read more: Home remedies for toothache: how to reduce the discomfort?


Some medications, such as antibiotics , hypertensive drugs, gout drugs and antidepressants, can cause a bitter taste in the mouth as a side effect.

When you notice this reaction, it is important to consult the doctor and see what can be done to treat or alleviate the problem, especially in the case of medicines for continuous use.

Dry mouth

The dry mouth (or xerostomia) is the low production of saliva by the salivary glands. Thus, the proliferation of bacteria and fungi is favored, as there is not a good pH balance in the oral region.

Consequently, the person may have a bitter taste in the mouth as a symptom.

Lack of hygiene

Not brushing your teeth in the correct amount or brushing inefficiently can cause a bitter taste in your mouth. This is due to foods that can get between your teeth or even stuck to the amygdala.

In addition to the bitter taste, poor hygiene causes bad breath.

Read more: What is oral health? Know your importance and care tips


The presence of cavities, usually caused by bacterial presence and poor oral hygiene, can also be one of the causes of the bitter taste in the mouth.

Tongue with fungus

When the tongue has a more whitish appearance (coating), it can be an indication of fungal infection. In addition to the bad smell, the condition is also associated with a bitter or sour taste in the mouth.


There are vitamin supplements that contain metallic substances (copper, zinc, iron and chromium) in quantities that can interfere with the appearance of this more bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.


Gastric disorders, such as reflux, can cause a bitter taste in the mouth because the contents of the stomach can reach the esophagus.


The anxiety relates to the bitter taste for letting the person suffering from the condition with dry oral cavity, by reducing the amount of saliva.

With this, the patient may feel a more bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.


The fever caused by dengue can leave the patient dehydrated. With that, the person may have the sensation of a more bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.

Flu and other respiratory infections

Some respiratory infections, such as flu and chronic sinusitis , can also be associated with a bitter taste in the mouth.

In such cases, when the person has a large volume of secretion in the nasal cavities, it can happen that the mucus reaches the throat and causes a bad taste.

To avoid this, it is important to clean the nose with saline and drink plenty of fluids. If it does not resolve, it is recommended to seek an otorhinolaryngologist to drain the secretion.

Liver problems

The liver is the organ that transforms ammonia (a toxic substance) into urea, which must be excreted in the urine.

When it is not working perfectly, there is an accumulation of ammonia in the body and this ends up interfering with the taste.

Therefore, patients with a liver disorder may experience a characteristic fish or onion-like taste in their mouths.

Bitter taste in the mouth can be pregnancy?

Although not one of the symptoms most associated with pregnancy, the bitter taste in the mouth is a condition that may be present during pregnancy. It is a problem that may be a consequence of the woman’s hormonal changes in the period or a side effect of vitamin supplements and medications.

It is not something that happens in all cases, but when it occurs it can distort or reduce the sensitivity of the taste, being called dysgeusia.

It is not known exactly what causes the condition. But there are some hypotheses that seek to understand why women are more likely to experience a more sour, bitter or metallic taste in their mouths during pregnancy.

One of the hypotheses is the fact that the woman’s body suffers from many hormonal fluctuations during this period, which can alter some of the senses, such as taste and smell.

There are also studies that show that the taste buds in the pregnant woman’s tongue undergo growth during pregnancy, which would alter the way the woman perceives the taste.

In addition, the use of medications, vitamins and supplements may also be related.

What is important to note, above all, is that this bitter taste is not considered a serious problem and does not pose a risk to the health of the woman or the baby.

But, to clear up doubts, it is important to consult with a doctor, so that the professional can assess what is causing, eliminating the hypothesis that it is a disease.

Read more: When to take the pharmacy and blood pregnancy test?

Is it normal to wake up with a bitter mouth?

It depends. Waking up and realizing that your breath is not very pleasant is not a difficult scene to imagine. After hours of sleep, bad breath is considered normal. This is because, with a lesser amount of saliva flow, the pH of the mouth becomes more acidic. What favors the concentration of microorganisms that cause a bad smell.

This condition, also called non-pathological halitosis, has the main characteristic of bad smell. The bitter taste in the mouth can happen in these cases, but it is more associated with other problems.

It is not considered a cause for concern, as it is just a discomfort that is resolved with proper oral hygiene in the morning.

However, if the bitter taste is a persistent problem or becomes even more intense over time, the ideal is to investigate the cause with a doctor.

What is iron taste in your mouth?

The taste of iron in the mouth, as well as bitter, can occur for different reasons. Hormonal changes in pregnancy, diet, illness and the use of medications are the main causes related to the symptom. Among other causes of this metallic taste, similar to the bitter taste, are:

  • Use of antibiotics;
  • Vitamin B12 and iron deficiency;
  • Dry mouth due to decreased saliva;
  • Lead and mercury poisoning;
  • Dengue;
  • Renal disorders;
  • Neurological disorders;
  • Infections.

How to get bitter taste in the mouth?

It depends a lot on the cause, so it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis. What can be recommended for all people who suffer from this problem is proper hygiene.

Performing an efficient cleaning, at least three times a day, depending on the cause, helps to treat or ameliorate the bitter taste in the mouth.

So it is important to remember to brush your teeth well. Gargling and maintaining good hydration are also tips that can help.

The use of candies and chewing gum, although temporarily improving the problem, does not solve it definitively. The ideal is to understand the cause and seek the right treatments.

The bitter taste in the mouth can be a symptom of pregnancy, poor hygiene, use of medications, cavities, gingivitis or more serious illnesses. The causes are several, but the discomfort is the same for everyone who goes through it.

If this is a problem that bothers you and does not go away even with good hygiene, see a doctor to investigate what it is.

Thanks for reading and share this information with your friends!