Metallic Taste In Mouth During Pregnancy: Its Causes & Tips

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A positive pregnancy test brings loads of unexpected events for a pregnant woman. Along with impending nausea and fatigue, there is a metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy that is common (1).

The general change in the taste is called dysgeusia and is commonly seen along with the symptoms of fatigue and nausea (1). This change usually occurs during the first trimester and feels similar to having coins in the mouth or a taste that is hard to describe. Metallic taste in the mouth is a harmless condition and is rarely a cause for concern (2).

Read through the post to learn the onset, causes, and management of metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy.

Is It Normal To Have A Metallic Taste In Your Mouth During Pregnancy?

Dysgeusia is normal and frequently seen in most pregnant women, with most of them reporting at least some changes in taste during pregnancy (1). It is not a cause for concern. Nevertheless, you may inform the doctor about it, especially if the metallic taste is accompanied by other symptoms such as dry mouth or pain in the mouth.

When Does The Metallic Taste Start During Pregnancy?

The metallic taste mostly starts to appear in the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy). This change in taste is sudden or maybe felt randomly at any time of the day, even without eating or drinking (3). You may also have other taste-related sensations or increased sensitivity to certain tastes. For instance, a few studies have shown an increased sensitivity to bitter taste during pregnancy, although this may vary from one pregnant woman to another (4).

What Causes Metallic Taste During Pregnancy?

There is no specific reason for metallic taste during pregnancy, and many pregnant women may not experience it at all. Dysgeusia and a metallic taste in pregnancy may most likely occur due to the following factors.

  • The alteration in the levels of pregnancy hormones may affect the taste buds’ functions, contributing to metallic taste in pregnancy.
  • A change in the sense of smell is also connected to taste alterations and food aversions (5). These could occur due to the effects of hormones. Consequently, some women have strong cravings for certain foods, which may increase the chances of a strange metallic sensation in the mouth. It may be due to iron supplements.

Non-pregnancy-related factors may include medications, gum infection, cold, and sinus infection (2).

When Can You Expect The Metallic Taste To End?

Dysgeusia is most common in the first trimester. The taste buds return to normal once the hormones begin to settle down. In some women, the metallic taste might be present throughout the pregnancy with decreased severity. Dysgeusia in pregnancy is not serious, as long as it doesn’t affect the appetite of pregnant women. There is no treatment required as the condition gets better with the progression of pregnancy (5).

How To Tackle Dysgeusia During Pregnancy?

Having an unpleasant or bad taste can be awful during pregnancy. Though one cannot prevent the incidence of dysgeusia, certain measures may help ease the discomfort.

Here are some tips to combat the metallic taste in pregnancy.

  • Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, pineapples, and green apples, may cut through the metallic taste. Also, try adding vinegar to your foods or drinks.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day (with toothpaste containing baking soda) followed by thorough tongue cleaning.
  • Rinse your mouth with a mild salt solution periodically.
  • Chew a minty gum to increase saliva production, which helps to wash away the bitterness in the mouth.
  • Certain prenatal vitamins may have high iron content, making this condition worse. Talk to your doctor if you feel the prescribed medicines are worsening your condition (6).

A woman’s body encounters several changes during pregnancy. The first trimester symptoms are due to a sudden surge in pregnancy hormones and affect most organs and systems of a pregnant woman. The mouth and taste buds are no exception. A metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy is usually manageable with simple lifestyle changes. However, if it becomes too bothersome or interferes with your food intake, do not hesitate to consult a doctor about it.

Infographic: Seeking Your Dentist’s Help To Manage The Metallic Taste

A metallic taste in the mouth is one of the many unusual and weird side effects of pregnancy. While it may not be preventable, your dentist may help curb its severity. Find management options for metallic taste during pregnancy in this infographic.

managing metallic taste during pregnancy [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • The metallic taste emerges at any time during the first trimester, even when you aren’t eating or drinking.
  • If you have dry mouth or mouth pain along with the metallic taste, consult your doctor.
  • Pregnancy-related hormonal fluctuations are the primary cause of metallic taste in pregnant women.
  • Eating acidic foods, chewing mint-flavored gum, and drinking plenty of water can help manage the metallic taste.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Vidya Tadapatri

Vidya did her post-graduation in Biotechnology from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Her interest in scientific research and writing made her pursue a career in writing, in which she now has over four years of experience. She has done certified biotechnology-related training programs under renowned organizations such as Centre For Cellular & Molecular Biology and Department of Biotechnology. Vidya writes health-based articles... more

Dr. Richa Hatila Singh

(MS)
Dr. Richa Hatila is an experienced gynecologist practising in Varanasi. She did her MS in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DNB, and a Fellowship in Laparoscopic surgeries (FMAS). She is currently associated with Shubham Hospital and Sah Speciality Clinic in Varanasi. 

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