Do you have a persistent salty taste in your mouth? If the answer is yes then you have to go to your dentist to know the cause of this condition.
However, causes of salty taste of mouth range from common to rare causes. Also, it is important to differentiate between metallic taste and salty taste. A metallic taste is usually caused by bleeding in the mouth or as a side effect of a medication. A constant salty taste is usually a result of changes in the quantity or chemical composition of your saliva at a given point in time.
Causes of salty taste in mouth:
- Dehydration: is the most common cause of salty taste of mouth as it leads to more concentrated chemicals in the saliva. Lips also become salty when the person is dehydrated. People working in a hot environment without having an adequate amount of water will suffer from dehydration and salty taste. Drinking a lot of caffeine leads to dehydration. This can take place if you are negligent of your body’s needs or if you are on a diet which involves taking diuretics which make you lose water faster. Either way, you should compensate for your losses in order not to experience the salty sensation anymore.
There are two methods to know if you are dehydrated:
The first method is by pinching your skin. If your skin returned smoothly, this means there is on dehydration. But if your skin stayed pinched for a few seconds, your skin may suffer from dehydration. The second method is to simply look at your tongue in a mirror. The tongue should always have a smooth and wet appearance. If the tongue looks dry, you are dehydrated.
- Colds, post –nasal drips and eye drops: normally, normal persons produce 1 to 2 litters of mucus in their nose and sinuses which pass into their throat and swallowed every day. This process isn’t realized by normal people. The mucus is a part of the filtration system of the nose and sinuses and cleans the air from bacteria, viruses, fungi and any pollutant. However in allergies and infection, the mucus becomes thicker, PH changes and it can produce salty taste when it enters the mouth. It is also important to note that using eye drops can cause the same effect. Eye drop solution will enter the tear ducts, which empties into the nasal cavity where it can make its way into the mouth. Eye drops have a very salty taste, so even a small amount in the mouth will give an unpleasant salty taste.
- Smoking can cause salivary glands to become infected: The glands in your mouth and jaw that produce saliva also can cause a salty taste in the mouth if they become infected. These infections occur frequently in smokers and last only for a short time and usually produce no symptoms other than abnormal saliva quality which leads to abnormal taste. Smoking causes these infections in two different ways. First, smoking will cause a dry mouth, which prevents the mouth from washing away excessive bacteria. Secondly, the mechanics of smoking sometimes result in bacteria being pushed back from the mouth to the glands through the saliva ducts, where they cause an infection. Because these glands produce large amounts of liquid, the infection is usually quickly cleared, but still causes abnormal tastes in the mouth for a short amount of time while the glands are infected. Unfortunately, in heavy smokers, these types of infections occur frequently which produces the salty taste in mouth all the time.
- Sjogren’s syndrome: In Sjogren´s, the antibodies produced by the body erroneously attack certain glands of the body, mainly those that produce tears and saliva. While a salty taste is a symptom of Sjogren´s, dry, itchy eyes are usually the most prominent symptom.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Nutritional deficiencies also can alter your taste buds and leave a salty taste in your mouth. A highly restrictive diet could leave you missing some critical nutrients including folic acid, thiamine, vitamin B-12 and zinc. Find folic acid or folate in legumes and green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, B-12 is present in animal foods, such as chicken, eggs and milk, Thiamine is abundant in enriched breads and whole grains and zinc is available in fortified foods as well as oysters, beef and crab. Your doctor can run a test to see if you’re deficient in any of these nutrients, which can affect how your body perceives taste. However, a deficiency often produces a lack of taste sensation, rather than a salty taste.
- Poor oral hygiene: may lead to bacterial infections which affect a person’s mouth as a whole. Then, both lips and mouth may be affected, causing the salty taste to be felt on both of them.
- Medication side effects: Blood pressure drugs, decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, sedatives and numerous other drugs can alter your taste and dry out the mouth in some cases, so switching medications may help.
- Para-neoplastic syndrome: a rare disorder among patients with breast, ovarian or other cancers. Substances produced by the tumor affect the nervous system, leading to sensory perception problems and other symptoms.
- Hormonal changes: often precipitated by menopause or pregnancy.
- Side Effects of Chemotherapy: patients undergoing chemotherapy may notice a change in the way food tastes. Many complain of being extra sensitive to saltiness and bitterness. If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy and find that you have a constant taste of salt in your mouth no matter what you eat or drink, keep in mind that this is a very normal side effect experienced by almost 50% of cancer patients. Although the exact reason for your taste change is unclear, it is believed to be the result of damage to the oral cavity cells.
- Gerd “Gastro-esophageal reflux disease“: could be another reason for this taste. Once the food goes to the stomach it mixes with the acid and whole content becomes acidic. In the case of acidity, these acidic content reflux upwards through food pipe to mouth thus causing saltiness.
How to get rid of the salty taste in your mouth?
Treatment: It is important to know the right cause of the condition to have a proper treatment plan. Therefore, those troubled by dehydration should increase their water and fluid intake. Similarly, those who suffer from bacterial infections should treat them and take greater care of their oral health by brushing their teeth regularly and taking care of their oral hygiene.
Also, there are helpful home remedies that can help you with this condition:
- Avoid smoking and tobacco.
- Cinnamon and similar spices should be avoided.
- Washing your mouth with plain water may also reduce the problem to a certain extent.
- If you are having a salty taste in mouth due to some medicated drugs changing the drug use may be of some help.
- Exclude acidic foods like coffee, soft drinks, orange juice, tomatoes etc.