If you have a cough with a metallic taste, it may be an indicator of a medical condition that needs to be treated.
A metallic taste when coughing is often caused by an upper respiratory infection like a cold.
It also can be a side effect of some cancer treatments. This is particularly true of chemotherapy and radiation.
If you notice a metallic taste when you cough, it may be a sign of an infection or another medical problem. It can also indicate you need to change a medication or make a certain diet adjustment, so talk to your doctor to find out what’s causing the problem.
A cold or sinus infection is one of the most common causes of a metallic taste when you cough. It occurs when a person’s nose and throat become infected by a virus, such as a rhinovirus or flu. It typically goes away on its own after you rest and drink plenty of fluids, but it’s important to keep taking your medication as directed by your doctor.
Some medications, including decongestants and cough suppressants, can cause a metallic taste when you cough. These medicines can help ease congestion and relieve your symptoms so you can breathe easier.
Sometimes the mucus from a respiratory infection, such as a cold or bronchitis, can contain blood, which can make the phlegm taste metallic. If the metallic taste you experience is accompanied by other symptoms, like fever or a rash, it may be a sign of a serious infection, such as pneumonia. If you have this, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and prevent it from spreading to other areas of your body.
Other health conditions that can affect your sense of taste include Sjogren’s syndrome, which can lead to dry mouth and a metallic taste. It’s also possible to get a metallic taste during pregnancy, as your body’s hormone levels shift during this time.
Taking multivitamins and calcium supplements can also leave you with a metallic taste, as can iron or zinc-containing pills. However, these flavors usually go away once you stop taking the pills.
Food allergies are another possible cause of a metallic taste when you cough. Some foods, such as shellfish or tree nuts, can trigger a metallic flavor in your mouth. If you’re allergic to these or other foods, your doctor can refer you for testing.
A metal-like taste when you cough can also be a sign that you have a kidney or liver problem. Kidney failure can cause uremic toxicity (excessive uric acid). If you have these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor for treatment.
If you have a metallic taste when you cough, it may be due to an infection or other medical problem. You can treat the underlying problem to help get rid of the metal taste.
The good news is that a metallic taste is usually not serious, so it will go away on its own after the underlying condition is treated.
For example, if you have an upper respiratory infection (also called a cold or sinus infection), the phlegm and mucus that floats around in your throat can cause you to cough up small amounts of blood that taste like metal.
While you’re experiencing this, try to drink lots of fluids, such as water or clear soups. Also, rinse your mouth with a solution of baking soda and warm water to neutralize the acid in your mouth and make the metallic taste go away.
If this doesn’t work, consider visiting your doctor to make sure the cause isn’t something more serious. You can also use an antacid or a pain reliever to help ease your discomfort.
Another potential culprit is gum disease, which can also leave a metallic taste in your mouth. This infection can be prevented by keeping your mouth clean and brushing regularly with a soft bristle toothbrush, flossing and tongue-scraping.
You can also treat gum disease with medications that are used to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. These include antifungals, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
However, it’s important to see your dentist if the metallic taste persists, because a gum infection can lead to bone loss, teeth sensitivity and gum recession. A dentist can prescribe medication that will stop the infection, including a topical cream or mouthwash.
Some other conditions can also cause a metallic taste in your mouth, like liver and kidney diseases. These diseases cause the body to produce a lot of ammonia, which can give you a metallic taste in your mouth.
Some medicines, such as lithium and antibiotics, can cause a metallic taste in your mouth. If you are using any of these medications, talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching to a different medicine that doesn’t give you a metallic taste.
If you’re experiencing a metallic taste when i cough, there are a few things that can help. First, you should seek out a medical doctor to determine what is causing the taste.
If your metallic taste is the result of a medication, you should discontinue the drug if it’s not helping. It may also be helpful to discuss your medication with a pharmacist and find out what alternatives are available.
Some medications, including some antibiotics and a few antidepressants, may cause a metallic taste in your mouth. This is usually harmless and should self-resolve without treatment, but you should discuss it with your doctor to ensure that it’s not an underlying health problem.
Gum disease is another possible cause of a metallic taste when i cough, especially in those who haven’t been to the dentist regularly or are not taking proper care of their teeth and gums. This condition can lead to bleeding in the gums, which can also leave a metallic taste.
Other common causes of a metallic taste when i cough include sinus infections and a throat infection. Sinus infections are more likely to cause a taste than throat infections because of the mucus and coughing associated with both.
A common cold or upper respiratory infection can also cause a metallic taste when i cough, although this typically doesn’t last long. However, if your coughing produces blood, you should seek out a medical provider as soon as possible to see if the cause is an infection.
Depending on the cause, you may be able to prevent a metallic taste when i cough with simple lifestyle changes. For example, eating with plastic cutlery and using glass cookware instead of metal can help to lessen the taste.
You should also avoid smoking if it is causing the taste. Smoking can lead to dehydration, which can contribute to a change in taste perception.
If you have a food allergy, a metallic taste in your mouth can be a sign that the allergen has reached your digestive tract and is causing a reaction. This is particularly true for those who are allergic to shellfish or tree nuts.
Many people notice a metallic taste when they cough, especially if they have an infection. Viruses often cause this, but it can also be a symptom of bacterial infections, like pneumonia.
If you have a respiratory infection that causes a cough and you notice this taste when you cough, consider taking decongestants to reduce the mucus and phlegm. Decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) or phenylephrine (Sudafed PE) are common over-the-counter options for reducing congestion and nagging coughs.
The taste may also be related to a chemical element you’ve been exposed to, such as mercury, which is sometimes found in old paint and contaminated water. This can trigger a metallic taste, according to Dr. Lewis, but it usually resolves with treatment.
Some medications can also trigger a metallic taste in your mouth, including antihistamines and vitamin supplements that contain iron, calcium, and chromium. It’s a common side effect of some of these drugs, so it’s important to talk with your doctor about the cause and what you can do to stop or treat the symptoms.
Pregnant women can also develop a metallic taste in their mouths due to the hormones they produce during pregnancy. This condition is called dysgeusia, and it’s most common in the first trimester.
This is a temporary problem that will go away on its own as your body adjusts to the change in hormone levels. Visiting your dentist regularly will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
While most viral and bacterial respiratory infections clear up on their own, they can sometimes lead to oral problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis. If you have a foul taste in your mouth when these infections are clearing up, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist to get the problem checked out, suggests Isabel Garcia, DDS, a faculty member and practice leader at Touro College of Dental Medicine in New York City.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can also cause a metallic taste in your mouth, says Okeke-Igbokwe. This can happen when the kidneys become damaged, and a buildup of urea in your blood can lead to a metallic taste.