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Metallic taste

A metallic taste is not usually serious. It can be a symptom of many different things. Treatment will depend on the cause.

Common causes of metallic taste

Cause What you can do
Cause Gum disease What you can do regularly brush your teeth, use dental floss, have a dental check-up every 6 months
Cause Taking medicine, like metronidazole What you can do speak to a pharmacist for advice – do not stop taking your prescribed medicine without medical advice
Cause Cancer treatment, like chemotherapy or radiation therapy What you can do eat stronger tasting food like ginger, spices and boiled sweets

Colds, sinus infections and other airway problems

What you can do the taste should go away once the problem has cleared up
Cause Indigestion What you can do the taste should go away after treating indigestion
Cause Being pregnant What you can do the taste is usually temporary and clears up by itself

Sometimes a metallic taste can be linked to a problem with your sense of smell.

Non-urgent advice: Contact your GP if:

  • the metallic taste does not go away
  • the metallic taste has no obvious cause

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 14 April 2021
Next review due: 14 April 2023

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.