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Pregnancy can bring many changes in a woman’s life, and fluctuating pregnancy hormones are responsible for most of these changes. Symptoms like morning sickness, swelling in the feet, and pain are commonly experienced by a woman when she is pregnant. But some women may experience a strange, unpleasant metallic taste in their mouth during pregnancy. You might feel as if you are sucking on a rusty coin or chewing on a piece of aluminium foil. This occurrence of a metallic palate during pregnancy is called dysgeusia.
Dysgeusia or metal mouth during pregnancy is a harmless condition. The exact reason for dysgeusia is not known, but experts believe that the influx of hormones during pregnancy bring about the changes in taste in pregnant women, especially during the first trimester when the body is still trying to adjust to the pregnancy.
What Is Dysgeusia or Metal Mouth During Pregnancy?
A metallic taste in the mouth is an early symptom of pregnancy. The changing pregnancy hormones may trigger certain sensory changes in a pregnant woman that can leave a foul taste in the mouth. Many pregnant women may feel a metallic, burnt, sour or rancid taste in their mouths. Many pregnant women have described the metallic taste as having a mouthful of old coins or lapping on a handrail.
Dysgeusia will not result in food aversions or cravings during pregnancy, but it can cause the food to taste bitter or leave a bad taste after eating. Sometimes the metallic taste may persist even without having eaten anything. Dysgeusia can make the condition of morning sickness worse in some pregnant women.
When Do You Experience Metallic Taste in the Mouth During Pregnancy?
Dysgeusia generally manifests during the first trimester of pregnancy and usually fades away as the pregnancy advances or after childbirth. In most cases, the metallic taste sensation improves by the second trimester when the hormones start to settle down a little. Some pregnant women may experience it from time to time throughout their pregnancy, especially after having heartburn or eating something with artificial sweeteners or anything with onions.
There might be other reasons for the metallic taste in your mouth that are not related to pregnancy, such as diabetes, gingivitis, kidney or liver disease, cancer or cancer treatments, or having certain dental appliances or fillings. But if you do not have any of these issues, then the metallic taste is simply because of the fluctuating hormones during pregnancy. However, if you are facing other issues along with the metallic taste, it is wise to consult your doctor.
What Are the Causes of Metallic Taste in the Mouth During Pregnancy?
The real cause of a metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy is unknown. But here are some of the probable causes:
- Dysgeusia during pregnancy commonly arises owing to pregnancy hormones. The hormone— oestrogen, in particular, seems to be a controlling factor moderating the sense of taste in pregnant women. Variations in the oestrogen levels during pregnancy can fluctuate the sense of taste, and women may feel a metallic taste in their mouths.
- The senses of smell and taste are closely linked. So, if something smells unpleasant, chances are it may trigger a foul taste in the mouth as well.
- Some believe that dysgeusia occurs to ensure that pregnant women consume the necessary amounts of sodium and iron.
How Long Does Dysgeusia Last During Pregnancy?
Different women have different experiences during their pregnancy. Some women may have dysgeusia, while others may not. Know how long it lasts:
- Some pregnant women may not develop dysgeusia or a metallic taste at all, while some may experience it right from the start of their pregnancy.
- More often than not, the condition of dysgeusia gets better with the progression of pregnancy.
- The intensity of dysgeusia may greatly reduce by the second trimester of pregnancy and completely vanish by the third trimester, just like morning sickness.
- But in some cases, the metallic taste may linger on throughout the pregnancy.
- Dysgeusia during pregnancy is not a worrisome condition, provided it doesn’t interfere with eating habits and lead to extreme nausea.
- It normally doesn’t require any medical treatment.
- It can be difficult to prevent the incidence of dysgeusia during pregnancy though it may be possible to ease some of the discomfort caused by
- Generally, foods that intensify the flow of saliva may help in washing away the metallic taste.
Tips to Get Rid of Dysgeusia During Pregnancy
Some helpful tips to lessen the effects of dysgeusia are:
- Certain dietary changes like snacking on saltine crackers may help in reducing the metallic taste.
- Chewing on sugarless gum can prove useful.
- Taking mint can also aid in expelling the metallic taste.
- You can try eating spicy food to numb the metallic taste as long as it doesn’t aggravate acidity.
- Colder fluids like popsicles and ice may help too.
- Try and avoid tasting new food, as it can at times worsen the metallic taste in the mouth during the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Maintaining oral hygiene like frequent brushing, cleaning your tongue, flossing your teeth and using a gentle mouthwash can help keep the metallic taste at bay.
- Drinking water often, preferably with a lemon squeezed in it, may prove beneficial.
- Eating green apples can purge any lingering metallic taste.
- You may find gargling with a little baking soda solution or salt is effective in dealing with the metallic taste.
- Use of ginger in the form of ginger tea or ginger ale can be an effective remedy to get rid of the metallic taste in the mouth.
- Eating foods marinated in vinegar may also be helpful in getting rid of metal mouth.
- Sour flavours like pickles, citrus juices, etc., can help banish the metallic taste.
Dysgeusia or metallic mouth is usually not a cause of concern during pregnancy. Like other pregnancy symptoms, dysgeusia tends to go away in due course of time. In case the metallic taste in the mouth is causing considerable distress or if you notice other symptoms along with the metallic taste in your mouth, refer to your doctor for dietary changes and other suitable remedies in order to cross off any other problems that might be lurking.
Also Read: Dry Mouth during Pregnancy