Sour Taste in Mouth (Prevention, Causes and Treatment)
September 30, 2022
Have you ever noticed a sour taste in your mouth that bothers you between meals? Is it because your appetite is suffering from food that doesn’t taste as good as usual? Have you wondered what causes it?
Having a sour, sour, or foul taste in your mouth may be a reaction to something you ate. It’s not uncommon to suddenly “burp up” something that did not agree with you. Howbeit, this symptom can be discomforting if it happens again and again. Some people will endure a sour taste in their mouth, and most will tell you it’s incredibly unenjoyable. A sour flavour in one’s mouth may result from an unwanted oral condition.
How to Prevent Sour Taste in Mouth
There’s often little you can do to prevent a sour taste in your mouth. If a sinus issue is to blame, the taste distortion should disappear once the problem resolves itself. If a medication causes taste distortion, speak to your doctor about alternative options.
Finding ways to mask the sour taste may help while you wait for it to go away, mainly caused by chemotherapy, pregnancy, or other long-term treatments or conditions.
Then are some ways you may reduce or temporarily exclude taste deformation.
- Chew sugar-free gum or sugar-free mints.
- Brush your teeth after meals.
- Experiment with different foods and spices.
- Use non-sour dishes, utensils, and cookware.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes.
- Some medications may ameliorate taste after developing parosmia ( smell distortion) or ear surgery.
Causes of Sour Taste in Mouth
1. Poor oral hygiene
This is the most common cause of a sour taste in the mouth, primarily if it occurs after waking up. In addition, a build-up of saliva and bacteria on the tongue, teeth, and gums can lead to bad breath and changes in taste perception.
Solution: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, once after waking up and before sleep. It is also imperative to brush the tongue to prevent coated tongue, a build-up of bacteria and dead cells that can also contribute to foul breath.
2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
GERD happens when stomach content backs up into the oesophagus during digestion. As a result, the acid can flow back to the mouth, leaving a sour taste.
Solution: Avoid eating foods that are very fatty or difficult to digest, as they increase the acidic content in the stomach. Avoiding substantial meals is also essential, making it difficult for the stomach to digest efficiently.
3. Antibiotics or antidepressants
There are some drugs that, when ingested, are absorbed in the body and then released in the saliva, causing a sour taste in the mouth. Some examples include antibiotics (e.g. tetracyclines), gout medication (e.g. allopurinol), and lithium. In addition, some drugs used to treat heart disease can also cause a sour taste.
People who use antidepressants may experience a dry mouth, altering taste perception.
Solution: The sour taste usually resolves within a few days of taking a new medication. However, if it is constant and unpleasant, notify your prescriber, who may suggest an alternative remedy for you.
4. Vitamin supplements
Some vitamin supplements that contain high amounts of sour substances, such as zinc, copper, iron, or chromium, can cause an acidic and sour taste in the mouth. This side effect is pervasive and usually appears once the supplement is completely absorbed in the body.
Solution: It is recommended to wait a few minutes to allow the body to absorb the supplement fully. If the sour taste is very intense or persists, you should discuss the possibility of changing your dose or using an alternative supplement with your prescriber.
Dysgeusia, a change in taste perception, is a prevalent symptom for many women during the first trimester of pregnancy. It arises due to hormonal changes and usually resolves within a few days. However, some pregnant women may report a taste similar to having a coin in their mouth or drinking water from a metal cup.
Solution: An effective way of getting rid of the sour taste in the mouth is to drink lemonade or suck on a lemon popsicle.
6. Liver problems
When the liver is not working correctly, the body accumulates high amounts of ammonia, a toxic substance generally transformed into urea by the liver and eliminated in the urine. Increased ammonia levels cause a change in taste, similar to fish or onion.
Solution: Liver problems usually present other symptoms, like fatigue or general malaise. Therefore, you should seek a medical opinion to confirm a diagnosis and start treatment if necessary if liver disease is suspected.
7. Respiratory infections
Bacterial infections in the upper respiratory tract, such as colds, rhinitis, sinusitis or tonsillitis, can cause a sour taste in the mouth due to by-products produced by the bacteria.
Solution: It is essential to drink at least 2L (about 8 cups) of water per day, which helps relieve the sour taste and speed-up recovery. However, it is also recommended to consult a general practitioner to confirm any diagnosis and start treatment as indicated.
Treatment for Sour Taste in Mouth
Treatment for a persistent bad taste in your mouth depends on the cause. Treatment may not be necessary for a few cases, such as the hormonal changes that cause the taste. Viral infections can also go away without treatment, and the taste should go away.
And if you are required to undergo treatment, a few treatment options are mentioned below.
Medication or supplement adjustment
If a drug or supplement is responsible for the taste, a doctor may suggest an alternative or change the recommended dosage. If cancer therapy is causing the taste, it will usually go away when the treatment ends.
Address medical conditions
Treating the underlying condition will generally end the bad taste in your mouth. However, gum complaints or other oral health problems are causing the taste, If tooth decay.
Home Remedies for Sour Taste in Mouth
Sometimes, home remedies can help resolve a bad taste in your mouth. These should use with medical or dental treatment.
Seven effective home remedies for sour taste
- Brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily
- Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production and movement
- Drink enough water every day
- Stop using tobacco
- Limit or avoid the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and soft drinks
- Reduce the amount of sugar consumed, as it can contribute to oral yeast infection
- Avoid acid reflux triggers, similar to fatty or spicy foods
1. Why do I have a sour taste in my mouth?
A sour taste in the mouth can be due to various causes, including pregnancy, acid reflux, and dry mouth. In addition, multiple infections or illnesses cause inflammation which can increase the sense of sour taste. Similarly, not brushing regularly or maintaining poor dental hygiene can create a sour taste.
2. How to get rid of a sour taste in the mouth?
Practice good oral hygiene, including regular dental checkups and an antibacterial mouthwash. Rinsing your mouth with a half-teaspoon of salt plus a teaspoon of baking soda added to a glass of water may help reduce the sour taste. Avoid spicy or fatty foods, which promote acid reflux.
3. Is a sour taste in the mouth a sign of coronavirus?
According to a previous study, people with Covid-19 can have a reduced taste and a distorted sense of taste. As a result, everything tastes sweet, sour, sour or metallic (dysgeusia); or a total loss of all taste (ageusia).
4. What causes a sour taste in the mouth?
Many things can cause a sour taste in the mouth, including medications, nutritional deficiencies, GERD, and other health conditions that lead to a dry mouth.