Many people complain of having a “bad taste in mouth” some or all of the time. If you have bad breath, you may notice this symptom more than you notice the odor on your breath because it is very difficult for individuals to detect their own halitosis. An odd taste is not always associated with halitosis, however – there are other possible causes.
Some drugs can cause a bad taste in mouth. If you read the information on side effects for a variety of prescription and over the counter drugs, you will probably be surprised at how many of them list a mouth bad taste or something similar. This does not mean that all of the people who take that medication will experience a bad taste in mouth, but a certain percentage will – if you are taking any medication, you should consider the possibility that this is the cause of the problem.
Many pregnant women complain of a mouth bad taste for at least part of the pregnancy. If it is bad enough, it may be nauseating and make the discomfort of morning sickness considerably worse. Commonly, women turn to strong mints or lemon flavored candy to make a bad taste in mouth less bothersome. The good news is that it will eventually pass, and it often does so long before the birth, so it is just a matter of waiting it out.
Some diseases, of course, cause a bad taste in mouth, or at least an odd taste. Diseases that affect the tissues of the mouth and throat are the most obvious: gum disease, tooth decay, cancers, bacterial infections and other conditions are included here. Some systemic diseases contribute to a mouth bad taste because of byproducts that get carried into the saliva or excreted in the breath. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, see your doctor or dentist immediately.
Again, some cases of mouth bad taste are simply caused by bad breath. Bacteria in the mouth that break down protein and produce sulfur molecules that you can smell on your breath, also produce byproducts that can be tasted. The taste of anaerobic bacteria and their byproducts is a rotten, unpleasant taste. Trapped food particles between the teeth, tooth decay, and gum disease all encourage the growth of these organisms and make the taste and smell worse. If you suspect that you have tooth decay or gum disease, see your dentist; if it’s just uncomplicated bad breath, establish a personal oral hygiene routine and use a good mouthwash with other breath products to manage the condition.