Pregnancy affects pretty much every part of your body, and your mouth and tastebuds aren’t left out.
Many pregnant women talk about feeling sick or not fitting into their clothes.
But having a sour metallic taste in the mouth isn’t something that’s often discussed. It can be quite an odd symptom of pregnancy and one you don’t enjoy.
Read on to find out about this interesting but somewhat annoying symptom.
Metallic taste in mouth during pregnancy
When you first get your positive home pregnancy test result, you might already be experiencing some of the early signs of pregnancy.
Some of the well-known symptoms of pregnancy are:
- Morning sickness
- Twinges in the lower belly
- Sore breasts
- Sensitive nipples
- Light cramping
- Light spotting
- Missed period.
Developing a metallic taste in your mouth, though, can be surprising, and cause pregnant women some concern.
Changes to your taste in pregnancy is known as dysgeusia and it can happen even when you’re not eating. It might make you worry something is wrong, especially if you’re concerned about your pregnancy.
For the first time, many women who are pregnant analyze every change and twinge in their bodies for signs their pregnancy will continue. This is normal, especially if you’ve had miscarriages before.
Changes to your sense of taste are quite normal for early pregnancy. Read on to find out why.
Sudden metallic taste in mouth
Some women are alarmed to wake up one morning and feel as though they’re tasting metal in their mouth.
This sudden metallic taste in the mouth has been described as similar to sucking on nails or coins – neither of which is recommended, by the way, for safety reasons.
This metallic taste can be very surprising as it’s not a symptom many women talk about. You might suspect it indicates a vitamin deficiency or there’s something not right with your pregnancy.
Don’t worry. Changes to your taste are actually very common during pregnancy. In fact, so common there’s been a lot of research done, and studies show taste changes occur in up to 95% of pregnant women.
What causes a metallic taste in the mouth?
Experiencing changes to your senses is common during pregnancy.
A heightened sense of smell is very common and is often one of the first early signs of pregnancy. Suddenly you can’t stand the smell of your partner’s deodorant, or perhaps a whiff of slightly turned milk makes you gag.
Cravings also start quite early in pregnancy and plenty of pregnant women develop aversions to various foods – even foods that were previously their favorites.
You can read more in When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?
Some women even have weird pregnancy cravings that go a little beyond the expected cravings for ice cream or take away chips.
All of this is a normal physical reaction called dysgeusia, and it’s caused by the changes in your hormones when you’re pregnant. It’s believed estrogen, in particular, has a role in controlling the sense of taste.
During pregnancy, your estrogen levels fluctuate quite a lot, so this can cause you to experience many and varied changes to your senses.
These include the metallic taste in your mouth – even if you’re not eating anything linked to the taste of metal.
How to get rid of metallic taste in mouth
Now you know the cause of the metallic taste in your mouth, you might want to know how to get rid of it.
Most women find the metallic taste quite unpleasant and would like to find a way to stop it from happening or at least to mask it.
You can’t do much about the rising levels of hormones during pregnancy so the next best thing is to try to disguise the taste. You might even make it go away for a short time.
Here are some tried and trusted things you can try:
- Eat something spicy
- Eat something acidic, such as citrus fruit
- Eat something sour, such as vinegar pickles, lemons, or similar. These activate your salivary glands, which can literally wash away the taste
- Brush your teeth thoroughly
- Brush your tongue
- Use mouth wash.
You can’t stop the hormones in your body changing, but these are some of the things that might mask the taste for a while.
Metallic taste in mouth and fatigue
Because your pregnancy hormones are rising at the most rapid rate, you’re most likely to experience dysgeusia during the first trimester.
Unfortunately, this means dysgeusia will likely come along with many of the typical first trimester symptoms.
Some of them are:
- Mood swings.
Just because they’re happening at the same time, it doesn’t mean they’re related.
The metallic taste during pregnancy is unlikely to have anything to do with fatigue or other typical pregnancy symptoms.
Progesterone and estrogen are causing changes to your body during this time and you’re probably going to notice many pregnancy symptoms.
Metallic taste in mouth diabetes
Experiencing the metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy is usually harmless.
Most women find it to be just another symptom they feel during this time.
There are rare occasions when dysgeusia can signal a disorder or illness, such as:
- Liver disease.
During pregnancy, it’s important you have prenatal care checkups.
If you’re experiencing the metallic taste, make sure to let your health care practitioner know.
Your doctor should be able to assess whether it’s a normal part of your pregnancy or something to be concerned about.
Make sure you start seeing a healthcare practitioner as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. If you’ve had any other illnesses, make sure to let them know.
Your doctor or midwife should know your full medical history so they can look for any potential problems with your pregnancy.
Metallic taste in mouth vitamin deficiency
If you are experiencing a metal taste in your mouth as well as other symptoms, such as fatigue, it’s possible you have a vitamin deficiency.
Your doctor will organize blood tests to check your vitamin levels, particularly B12 levels.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency can impair your body’s ability to produce red blood cells, which transport oxygen around the body. Severe deficiency can affect your nerves, resulting in a metallic taste in the mouth.
Metallic taste in mouth and headache
Changes to your body during pregnancy are expected. But you might be surprised to know changes also occur in your sinuses, due to the increased blood volume.
This causes inflammation of the mucus membranes in your nasal passages and sinuses, leading to congestion and even sinus infections.
Many pregnant women experience headaches related to this congestion and that can cause the metallic taste in your mouth to be more pronounced.
Can I prevent metallic taste in the mouth?
If you’ve tried methods of masking the metallic tastes in your mouth, such as eating certain types of food or brushing your teeth thoroughly, you might have to wait it out.
Dysgeusia usually occurs during the first trimester when pregnancy hormones are rising rapidly.
This causes things such as pregnancy nausea and can lead to the metallic taste in your mouth.
It’s the same with dysgeusia.
If the methods mentioned don’t work and you’ve mentioned it to your doctor, you might have to accept that you’re stuck with it until your hormone levels stabilize.
Like pregnancy sickness, the metallic tastes usually disappears around the time the second trimester starts.
It can be difficult to wait it out, but do your best to be patient and keep your mind off it.