It is not unusual to have changes in your taste and, fortunately, it is hardly ever due to a serious condition. Taste changes, however, are very annoying and you may not enjoy your food as much. There are several conditions that are related to having an abnormal taste in the mouth. If the salty taste was caused by a serious condition, it is likely to be accompanied by other symptoms that you’ll notice before the taste change. Everything tastes salty or it may taste somewhat metallic. If it is more metallic-tasting in your mouth, it may be because you are having bleeding inside the mouth or are taking a medication that leaves a metallic taste. True salty tasting comes from a wide variety of disorders. Some are extremely common, while others are not.
Possible Causes of Salty Taste in Your Mouth
There are several conditions which manifest this symptom. Here are some of them:
- Dehydration. Perhaps the most common cause of salty taste in the mouth is dehydration. When you are dehydrated, you concentrate the salts within the saliva. You will taste salt in your mouth and on your lips. If you over-exercise or are exposed to a hot environment without drinking enough water, everything tastes salty. Check your tongue if you are wondering whether dehydration is the cause of your symptoms. If the tongue is dry instead of moist in appearance, you are likely to be dehydrated. You can also pinch the skin located on the back of the hand. If the skin tents up and doesn’t go back to its normal flat shape, this means you don’t have enough fluid in your tissues and are likely to be dehydrated
- Poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your teeth often enough, bacteria can build up in the mouth and cause a salty taste or even foul smell. This is the same thing that happens when you wake up in the morning because you don’t make as much saliva at night and the bacteria proliferate. You can take care of this by brushing your teeth on a regular basis or by using mouthwash to flush the bacteria out.
- Zinc or Vitamin B12 deficiency. If you have either of these conditions, everything tastes salty. Your tongue may also be sore. Fortunately, there are supplements for these conditions so you don’t have to experience the symptoms.
- Post nasal drip. This is another common cause of tasting salt in the mouth. It happens often in the winter or when you are suffering from allergies. The bacteria in your mouth and the fluid you secrete to get rid of the bacteria will taste salty. You don’t always have this fluid entering the mouth butwhen it does, everything tastes salty. If you have serious allergies, this will be a common problem.
- Sinus infections. If you have a sinus infection, you may have postnasal drip, which tastes salty. If this is a bacterial infection instead of a viral one, you may need antibiotics to clear up the problem.
- Using eye drops. If you use eye drops, they contain salt and will pass through the nasolacrimal duct and be experienced as a salty taste in the mouth.
- Certain medications. Chemotherapy drugs and drugs for hyperthyroidism could cause a salty taste in the mouth. This can also happen with certain decongestants, antihypertensive medications, antihistamines, sedatives, and antidepressants. These medications can dry out the mouth so everything tastes salty.
- Sjogren’s syndrome or diseases of the salivary glands. This condition is much less common. Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition in which the salivary glands are attacked. Both the mouth and eyes are usually affected. The main symptom is an extremely dry mouth so that everything tastes salty and you need extra liquids in order to swallow very dry foods.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is also called GERD or acid reflux. The liquid comes up inside the mouth from the stomach and you can taste it in the back of your throat.
- Brain tumor or stroke. In rare cases, the mouth may be perfectly normal but something in the brain causes everything to taste salty. You should seek the advice of your doctor if you can’t find any other rational explanation for the salty taste in your mouth.
- Having a history of smoking. If you smoke, you may develop an infection in the salivary glands around the mouth. This is a common condition among smokers, but fortunately, it is short lived and leads only to a salty taste in the mouth. Smoking also causes your mouth to become dry so that the salty tasting bacteria aren’t washed down the throat. In addition, smoking can cause bacteria to be pulled into the salivary glands, causing a salivary gland infection. The infection usually clears by itself but will make everything taste salty when occurring. So if you are a heavy smoker, you may experience a salty taste in your mouth at all times.
Everything Tastes Salty: What Can I Do?
The best thing to do is to treat whatever is causing the salty taste in your mouth. You can change medications if that is what is causing the problem. If there is a bacterial infection, you can take antibiotics to clear it up. Sometimes the infection will resolve on its own. If it does not, seek the advice of a dentist or doctor.
If you don’t find answers from the doctor or dentist, try seeking help from a chemosensory center. They will evaluate your condition using a test in which different types of chemicals are placed on different parts of your tongue. They will also check your sense of smell for any abnormalities.
If nothing serious turns out to be the root cause, you can chew on sugar free gum that contains xylitol to mask the taste. Use a moisturizing spray to lubricate the mouth and drink plenty of watercan also help.