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What Does A Bitter Taste In Your Mouth Mean?

dietrikona's picture

A persistent bitter taste in mouth can eventually lead to loss of appetiteHave there been times when you have woken up with a horrible bitter taste in your mouth and wondered what it means? Well if you have, then you sure have reached the right place for I am going to demystify the mysterious issue of persistent bitter taste in mouth. 

Before I begin with the reasons behind the bitter taste in mouth, let me introduce you to the tern dysgeusia. Dysgeusia is a condition where the taste recognizing ability of a person is altered, which in turn may result in a foul taste or bitter taste in mouth. 

Several conditions can result in dysgeusia and a persistent bitter taste in mouth (there are at least 60 different health problems that can cause bitter taste in mouth); I have listed the most common reasons:

• Acid reflux: In Acid reflux disease or GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), the stomach acids get regurgitated back into the throat of the person; this results in the person having a bitter/acid like taste in the back of his mouth. Bad breath, heart burns, and gastritis are some of the other symptoms of this condition.

• Nutrient Deficiency: Zinc, thiamine, and vitamin A are necessary for integrity of the cells and their deficiency can lead to dysgeusia and persistent bitter taste, whereas vitamin C deficiency can lead to gingivitis, which in turn causes foul breath and a general bad taste in mouth. 

• Drugs and toxins: Certain prescription drugs like anti-depressants, hormone replacers, and chemotherapy medicines cause a persistent bitter taste in the mouth. Also, consumption or inhalation of certain toxins like those found in certain mushrooms, tobacco, crude alcohol, and others can result in a bitter taste. 

Good oral hygiene can help prevent bitter taste in mouth• Bad oral health: Dental carries, gum infections, oral abscess, gingivitis, and an overall poor oral hygiene can lead to foul breath and a buildup of germs in the mouth resulting in a bitter aftertaste.

• Disease conditions: Certain diseases like jaundice, cancer, diabetes, kidney disorder etc. can result in dysgeusia and bitter taste.

• Hormonal imbalances: As a result of hormonal imbalances during early pregnancy and menopause, a woman might suffer from a perceived bitter taste in mouth with or without foul breath.


Whatever be the cause, it has been observed that a persistent bitter taste results in reduced appetite and weight loss in a person. Though, chewing clove or cinnamon, drinking lemon juice and salt-pepper water gargles seem to provide short term relief, the best way to eliminate the bad taste is to treat the primary cause.

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What Does A Bitter Taste In Your Mouth Mean?