Salty taste in the mouth: Causes and treatment options

A careful attitude towards your health will increase not only your life expectancy, but also its quality.

In some cases, a salty taste in the mouth requires medical treatment.

Salty taste in the mouth has both a huge number of causes and options for their appearance, as well as approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

Read also: What is Dutch disease?

The appearance of an unpleasant sensation can be related both to the food you ate the day before and to the reactions that take place in your body.

Salty taste in the mouth

Of course, it is unlikely that you will be surprised when, after eating some food, a salty taste appears in your mouth. But sometimes there are situations where the salty taste appears “just like that”. Do I have to panic or is it possible to solve the problem on my own?

To answer this question, let’s turn to an article recently published by the famous Cleveland Clinic, located in the United States.

In the context of the article, the otolaryngologist Dr. Michael Medina explains the most common causes of a salty taste in the mouth and what can be done about it.

In most cases, a salty taste in the mouth is not a medical emergency, but it is a sign that should not be ignored. The most common causes of a salty taste in the mouth are listed below.

Dehydration

Saliva naturally contains a small amount of salt. But if your body does not have enough fluids, then the salt in the saliva becomes more concentrated.

Lack of water in the body can cause a salty taste in the mouth.  Photo: Maridav / shutterstock.com

“Dehydration changes the quality of saliva,” says Dr. Medina.

“Often, the easiest way to get rid of salty taste is to drink plenty of water every day,” advises the doctor.

It should be immediately noted that patients who have severe heart or kidney disease, in a state of thirst, should be careful not to cause their health to deteriorate.

“People taking diuretics for heart or kidney disease may need to limit their water intake,” warns the ENT doctor.

“If you have health problems, then the best course of action is to ask your doctor how much water you should drink each day,” advises the doctor.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth, also called dry mouth, occurs when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva.

Prolonged dry mouth, among other things, can increase the risk of caries.  Photo: Andrey_Popov / shutterstock.com

Patients may notice taste problems, including a salty or metallic taste. Other symptoms are common, such as bad breath and persistent sore throat.

Dry mouth, which becomes more common with age, can also indicate a health problem, such as diabetes.

Over-the-counter treatments such as lozenges and mouthwashes often help patients, the doctor said. If this does not help, then you should seek medical help.

Prolonged dry mouth, among other things, can increase the risk of caries.

Medicines

Some medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect, resulting in a salty or metallic taste in your mouth.

When you start medication, you may wonder if there is a salty taste in your mouth as an adverse reaction of the body.  Photo: Lunatta / shutterstock.com

If you are taking prescription drugs and notice dry mouth, talk to your doctor. Alternative medicines may be available to remove or significantly reduce bad taste in the mouth.

Medications that may cause dry mouth or salty taste include:

  • antidepressants, especially tricyclic antidepressants.
  • antihistamines;
  • chemotherapeutic agents used to treat cancer.
  • diuretics, usually prescribed for heart or kidney disease.
  • painkillers and sedatives used to treat anxiety, panic disorders or sleep disorders.

Backdrop syndrome

Allergies or prolonged sinusitis can lead to backdrop syndrome. This happens when the secretion of fluid from the nasopharynx drains into the throat.

“If you have a chronic cough, you may feel like you want to constantly clear your throat or cough,” Dr. Medina explains in the article.

As part of backdrop syndrome, you may also experience a salty taste in your mouth, among other things. In this case, to rule out or confirm the diagnosis, victims should seek medical help.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women undergo serious changes, not only external but also internal.

Pregnancy can cause a salty taste in your mouth.  Photo: Natalia Deriabina / shutterstock.com

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause inflammation in the nose. This benign condition, commonly referred to as gestational rhinitis, causes a whooping cough and sometimes a salty taste.

Gestational rhinitis usually resolves a few weeks after the end of pregnancy. However, if such a condition causes you increased discomfort, you can relieve nasal sprays with saline.

Gastroesophageal reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or chronic acid reflux, occurs when acid from the stomach enters the esophagus.

“GOPN can cause a salty or sour taste,” explains Dr. Medina.

“Most people with GERD suffer from heartburn, chronic cough or a feeling that something has stuck in their throat,” he explains.

If you have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, medications that neutralize stomach acid or reduce acid production may help.

If GERD is left untreated, it is likely that you will soon have esophageal problems as well as an increased risk of serious health problems.

Autoimmune disease

In an autoimmune disease, your body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues.

Autoimmune diseases can cause a salty taste in the mouth.  Photo: Flystock / shutterstock.com

If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, you are at increased risk for Sjögren’s syndrome.

This disease affects the salivary glands and causes dry mouth and a damaged sense of taste.

If you have a dry or salty mouth and have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, tell your doctor. They may recommend treatments for dry mouth or other treatments.

Neurological diseases

Any abnormal taste, including a persistent salty taste, can mean that your brain’s taste signals are not working properly and that urgent medical attention is needed to determine the cause as well as prescribe treatment.

You should not delay going to the doctor, as the cause of a salty taste in the mouth can be, in particular, a traumatic brain injury or even a tumor. On the positive side, this cause is rare.

When to seek medical help?

In most cases, a salty taste in the mouth does not require treatment, let alone hospitalization, but to rule out negative scenarios, it is best to consult a specialist.

It is important to know the cause in order to receive the right treatment.  Photo: EM Karuna / shutterstock.com

The salty taste itself is often the result of dehydration or dry mouth.

Contact your doctor if you have a salty taste and:

  • change of voice or hoarseness.
  • tumor in the neck;
  • swelling of the salivary glands near the ear or under the jaw.
  • difficulty chewing or swallowing.
  • certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or autoimmune disease.

You can often get rid of the salty taste with the right hydration and dry mouth treatments, but it is important to know the cause to get the right treatment.

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