Pregnancy 2022

Bitter mouth in pregnancy: why it happens and what to do

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Bitter mouth in pregnancy: why it happens and what to do
Bitter mouth in pregnancy: why it happens and what to do

Having a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth, also known as dysgeusia, is one of the most common symptoms during pregnancy, especially during the 1st trimester, which essentially happens due to the hormonal changes characteristic of this phase.

In addition, other factors may be at the origin of this symptom, such as suffering from heartburn or taking pregnancy supplements. However, although rare, dysgeusia in pregnancy can be a symptom of a he alth condition, such as hepatitis, infection or diabetes, for example.

The bitter taste is untreatable and tends to disappear during pregnancy, but some measures can help, such as chewing gum or sucking on a lemon popsicle, for example.

Why it happens

Pregnant women report the bitter, metallic taste, as if they were drinking water from a metal utensil or as if they had a coin in their mouth.

The most common cause of bitter or metallic-tasting mouth in pregnancy is the change in hormone levels, especially estrogen, which is related to the sense of taste. However, in some cases, this symptom may be related to the side effects of folic acid supplementation.

This symptom is very common during the 1st trimester of pregnancy and disappears throughout pregnancy. However, in some cases, the bitter taste is caused by gastroesophageal reflux, which is more common in the last trimester, due to the increase in uterine volume, which compresses the stomach, leading to relaxation of the esophageal sphincter.

Learn how to stop reflux in pregnancy.

How to relieve

In most cases, the bitter or metallic taste in the mouth disappears during pregnancy. However, some measures can alleviate the metallic and bitter taste in the mouth, such as:

  • Chewing gum or sucking on a candy, preferably without sugar;
  • Suck on ice cream, like a lemon popsicle, for example;
  • Eat crackers throughout the day;
  • Drink citrus juices;
  • Brush your teeth more often, being careful to also brush your tongue and use a mouthwash, which also helps to eliminate this taste.

Other causes of bitter mouth

Bitter mouth in pregnancy is usually caused by hormonal changes, however, although less common, it can also occur due to poor oral hygiene, use of antibiotics or antidepressants, hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis, infections, ketoacidosis diabetes or exposure to heavy metals.

Learn more about the causes of bitter mouth and see what to do.

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