Bitter Taste in Mouth – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

A bitter taste in mouth is a very common issue that affects millions of people. The first thing you will have to know is that it can happen at any given moment and there are a lot of reasons why it happens.

On the other side, this issue can go away after some time and no medical attention is required. However, if it is a constant issue, a medical attention is mandatory as and it should be called as soon as possible.  Luckily, in most cases a bitter taste in mouth happens as a result of some food or a substance. In those cases, it will vanish after some time.

In rare cases a bitter taste in mouth can be a symptom of a severe medical issue that can be even life threatening. As the result, most experts suggest that if a bitter taste lasts for more than 24-48 hours, visiting a doctor is required.


There are a lot of causes for a bitter taste in the mouth. The most common reason is tobacco and it is a well –known fact that smokers feel this taste all the time.

However, it also may be as a result of poor oral hygiene. In those cases, a person doesn’t require medical attention and this feel will disappear after some time. If it is not, it means that you should stop smoking or improve your oral hygiene.

Some medications may cause a bitter taste in mouth. In those cases, you don’t suffer from any condition and this is just a side effect those medications. In addition, this may occur as the result of a surgery related to the mouth and gums.

Dysgeusia is a condition that is defined as the loss of sense of taste. If you suffer from this condition, you won’t be able to feel any taste. Now, there are a lot of causes of this condition, but the most common ones are infections and allergies, including a sinus infection.

On the other side, it may be a side effect of a pregnancy, environmental factors and as a side effect of a surgery. The latest studies have proven that this condition occurs to people who have cancer treatments. In some rare cases, pregnant women can develop it during the first months of a pregnancy. No matter what a reason is, a person will require medical attention and it is recommended to visit a doctor as soon as possible. It isn’t possible to determine the cause by yourself and this may be a symptom of another medical issue. Luckily, all treatments are simple and they don’t cause pain.

Certain conditions are well-known for causing a bitter taste in mouth. They can occur at any given moment and they are usually related to something else. In those situations bitter taste in mouth is a side effect of a condition, and it shouldn’t be treated, but the condition that caused it should.

Don’t forget that some of these conditions may be severe and they may have a severe impact on your health. The most common conditions that cause bitter taste in mouth are:

  • Dehydration
  • If you breathe with your mouth for a longer period of time
  • Dry mouth

No matter which condition you may have, it should be treated as soon as possible.

Diseases that may cause bitter taste in your mouth

As aforementioned, there are a lot of issues that may cause bitter taste in mouth. However, in most cases this is a symptom of a disease or a disorder.

Luckily, now you can see diseases that cause this condition. In any case, they must be treated as soon as possible. Once they are sorted, the bitter taste will be solved as well. The most common diseases are:

  • Deficiency of zinc or B12
  • Infection of salivary glands
  • Certain infections
  • Gingivitis
  • Glossitis
  • Issues with a stomach acid, followed by vomiting
  • Infections of the throat, sinuses and etc.

Other causes of bitter taste in your mouth

There are some rare and almost irrelevant causes of bitter taste in mouth. They can occur at any given moment, but they are usually easy to solve and the treatment last for a few days. These causes are:

  • Dental surgery
  • Injury of mouth, nose and head
  • Injured tongue
  • Damaged nerve for taste
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery of the nose or ears
  • Exposure to poisonous substances (must be treated carefully and as soon as possible, due to the fact it can be life threatening, depending on the substance in question)

Symptoms that are related to bitter taste in mouth

Beside aforementioned symptoms that are treated as the most common and the most severe there are a lot of other, minor symptoms that are connected to bitter taste in mouth.

In most cases, they are related to another medical issue that requires a medical attention, so it is important to treat these symptoms as soon as possible. Those symptoms are:

  • Vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Affected sense of smell
  • Salivation
  • Dry mouth

All of these symptoms are minor and they are not life threatening, so there are no reasons to be concerned. In most cases, they will vanish after some time, but a medical attention is more than just recommended.

Keep in mind that a bitter taste in the mouth can be related to just one, or several symptoms, so pay attention to them. If they last for a longer period of time, they won’t disappear, so a medical attention is mandatory. Another fact you should know is that treatment is simple and it takes just a few days.

Beside minor and non-dangerous symptoms, a bitter taste in the mouth has been related to some severe symptoms. Keep in mind that it is mandatory to call medical attention as soon as they occur. The situation is the same and these symptoms can occur as just one, or a mixture of several of them. They are dangerous and they may have a severe impact on your health. That’s why most doctors recommend that you need their help as soon you notice them. The treatment will depend on the condition you have, but in general, these treatments are not painful and they don’t last for a long time. The more severe symptoms are:

  • You cannot swallow
  • Cannot move the face
  • Have issues with speaking
  • Swelling
  • Confusion and issues with concentration

In most cases, just one symptom will be treated to bitter taste in the mouth, but it is a severe one and it may have a negative effect on your health. Waiting for the symptoms to pass is the most common mistake most people make, simply because these symptoms, don’t look severe, so people believe that they are not dangerous.

Keep in mind that they are related to severe medical issues and conditions and they must be treated by a doctor. Waiting will just make the things worse and can make your condition even more dangerous.

Treatment for bitter taste in mouth

As you already now, a bitter taste in the mouth may be a side effect of many conditions, disease and other causes. In most cases, it is a simple thing to solve and it won’t have a negative effect on your health.

However, this condition is treated as severe, if it happens as a side effect or a symptom of some disease. Then, it must be treated as soon as possible and you will have to go to a doctor.

If bitter taste in the mouth is caused by a minor cause, you can try by yourself to solve it. This included cleaning your mouth, washing your teeth and stop smoking. In general, doing all three should solve the main problem.

However, if this doesn’t solve it, you may have a zinc or B12 deficiency. Then you must eat food rich in these vitamins and minerals in order to solve the problem. If nothing of this solves it, you will have to visit a doctor.

Visiting a doctor is mandatory and it is the best thing you can do, no matter what the main cause is.

Keep in mind that there are severe diseases linked with this symptom. In any case, a doctor will ask you several questions and try to determine the cause with a several test. The questions he/she may ask are:

  • When the bitter taste has started?
  • Are you taking some medications?
  • Did you have an injury of your mouth, nose, ears or head?
  • Did you were in contact with an unknown substance?
  • Are you a smoker?
  • Do you take some herbs or unknown food?

Keep in mind that additional tests are mandatory and the treatment will depend on them, so make sure you pay attention to your health in general. After the test, a doctor will prescribe you certain medications. Now, which medication you are going to get depends on the main condition. If there is anything obvious that causes bitter taste, a doctor may suggest you that you change your lifestyle. No matter which treatment you get, medications are mild and they don’t have side effects. All of this means that the treatment is minor and it won’t cause pain nor other side effects on the health.

If a bitter taste in the mouth is a result of a radiation, as a cancer treatment, there is no treatment for this. In general, the bitter taste will disappear once the therapy is done. However, eating a lot of fruit and vegetables may make the bitter taste in the mouthless severe.

If you have a dysgeusia, you should know that 28% of it has been caused by certain medications. Simply said, changing the medications will solve the problem. Another fact you should know is that this condition is linked to reduce amount of saliva, so using artificial saliva may solve the problem, or make it minor. Changing the therapy is usually the main treatment in this case and it is more than just successful. Doctors and experts claim that it is mandatory to ask help as soon as possible, in order to get the treatment as soon as possible. No matter why you developed this condition, changing medications will solve it, due to the fact there are a lot of different medications that can be used as a substitute.