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Metallic taste

A metallic taste is not usually serious. What you can do to get rid of it will depend on the cause.

Common causes of a metallic taste

There are lots of possible causes of a metallic taste in the mouth.

Common causes include:

  • gum disease
  • taking medicines, like metronidazole
  • cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • colds, sinus infections and other airway problems
  • indigestion
  • being pregnant

Sometimes, a lost or changed sense of smell can cause a metallic taste in your mouth.

How to get rid of a metallic taste

If you have a metallic taste in your mouth, what you can do to get rid of it depends on what’s causing it. It will sometimes go away by itself.

Possible causes of a metallic taste in the mouth.
Cause What you can do
Gum disease Regularly brush your teeth, use dental floss, have a dental check-up every 6 months
Taking certain medicines Speak to a pharmacist for advice – do not stop taking prescribed medicine without medical advice
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy Eat stronger tasting food like ginger and spices, and suck on boiled sweets
Colds and other problems with your airways The taste should go away once the problem has cleared up
Indigestion The taste should go away after treating indigestion
Being pregnant The taste is usually temporary and clears up by itself

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • you have a metallic taste that does not go away
  • the metallic taste has no obvious cause

Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020
Next review due: 09 September 2023