When the alarm starts ringing, do you wake up with a salty taste in your mouth? You may be worried because the last thing you ate was not salty at all! Many people experience a salty mouth, which makes this issue a common one. Although you should relax, it’s good to see a doctor if other symptoms accompany the change in taste you are experiencing.
Here are 10 things that can cause a salty taste in the mouth.
1. Blood in the mouth
If you have a metallic or salty taste in your mouth, it may be due to oral bleeding. Your mouth may bleed if you brush your gums rigorously or eat pointed foods like chips.
Good oral hygiene is essential for keeping up with good health. Even if you enjoy brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, but your gums bleed, the reason could be gum disease. Gingivitis can also lead to sore and swollen gums.
Early treatment is important for effective recovery; otherwise, the gum disease can worsen to an infection. If your gums are bleeding or are tender and you aren’t sure about the reason behind the bleeding, it’s best to see your nearest dentist right away.
Another reason why you may have a salty taste in your mouth is dehydration. If you’re involved in vigorous physical training in a high-temperature environment, there is a high chance you’ll become dehydrated. For some people, a session of vomiting or diarrhea may prove to be dehydrating.
When your body has lesser than required liquids, the saliva in your mouth can become very salty due to an imbalance of water and salt in the body, also giving you salty lips.
Dehydration can also lead to:
- extreme thirst
- dark urine
- decreased urination
To keep the body going, it is recommended to drink at least 6-8 glasses of liquids daily. If the temperature has been extremely high, you’ve been unwell, or you’re doing strenuous exercise, you should drink more fluids to balance the equation.
Dehydration should be addressed immediately; otherwise, it can cause further complications. The chances of experiencing kidney issues, heat exhaustion, seizures, or other severe conditions become elevated. Simply, drinking more fluids can be helpful in getting rid of salty taste in mouth. However, if the condition becomes worse, you may have to visit a health care facility to intake electrolytes and fluids intravenously.
3. Oral infection
Delayed treatment for gingivitis can make things worse and result in an infection called periodontitis. If the infection is treated early, you can expect positive results. Otherwise, in worse cases, periodontitis can harm your teeth and bones.
When gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, a person may experience the following symptoms:
- foul breath
- gum abscess
- loose teeth
- tooth abscess
Oral bleeding can also invite other infections, for example, an oral thrush. This infection can result in white patches or a burning feeling inside your mouth that can be very painful. Some people experience a loss of taste, while others have a salty mouth.
4. Dry mouth
Dry mouth is an oral condition that can give you a salty taste, and you may feel like eating cotton balls. The reason behind dry mouth can be aging, smoking cigarettes, or certain medications’ side effects.
Other symptoms include:
- sore throat
- bad breath
- furrowed tongue
- thick salty saliva
It’s not very difficult to treat dry mouth. Drink plenty of water and try avoiding salty and spicy foods until the symptoms go away. Stimulating saliva production can also help to get away from dry mouth. For that, you can chew sugar-free gum or use an oral rinse.
If you ever experience acid reflux, you can feel a salty or sour taste in your mouth. The same can happen with bile reflux. Acid or bile reflux can come separately or together, and both have similar symptoms. Acid reflux occurs when acids from the stomach flow into the esophagus, while bile reflux occurs when fluid from the small intestine drifts into the esophagus and stomach.
Some other symptoms you can experience are:
- recurrent heartburn
- vomiting bile
- weight loss
- a painful upper abdomen
Without treatment, acid or bile reflux can cause a severe condition – gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It’s easy to treat reflux by making changes to your lifestyle and diet. Certain medications and surgery can also help get rid of reflux.
6. Postnasal drip
Allergies and sinus infections can give you postnasal drips, resulting in a bad salty taste in the mouth. When you fall sick, the mucus from the nose can accumulate on your throat’s side. When this fluid combines with your mouth’s saliva, you can experience a salty sensation (salty phlegm). The stuffy nose may also make it harder for you to breathe.
Most of the time, allergies and colds get better with time. However, to speed things up, you should take extra rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter cold medications. Using saline rinses or sprays can also help get rid of blocked nasal passages.
Experts recommend heading to your physician if you experience:
- sinus pain
- nasal discharge with blood
- high fever
- symptoms lasting for more than a week
7. Nutritional deficiencies
If you find yourself asking why everything tastes salty, the reason could be a nutritional deficiency. Not having certain nutrients in the body can make your mouth taste like salt or metal. The scarcity of these nutrients can happen suddenly or develop over several years.
You can also expect:
- irregular heartbeat
- behavioral changes
- lost sensation in hands and feet
Treating a lack of nutrients depends on the vitamins you need. For instance:
- The deficiency of Folate can be adjusted by taking supplements and going on a healthy diet.
- Changes to a diet can be effective in managing the shortage of vitamin B-12. For some people, nasal spray supplements or pills can be a good hack. In the event of a severe deficiency, B-12 injections can be welcoming.
- Supplements work well for a vitamin c deficiency. Eating foods and juices enriched with vitamin C can also help overcome the deficiency.
8. Sjogren syndrome
This immune system disorder compromises the glands in your body that make moisture and includes tear ducts and salivary glands. Unfortunately, you may experience dry eyes and a salty and dry mouth.
Some other symptoms include:
- skin rashes
- vaginal dryness
- painful joints
- dry cough
Many are able to manage their oral symptoms by using OTC treatments, like oral rinses, or by drinking more water. Others may take prescription medications or undergo surgery.
Some other disorders may occur with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
9. Hormonal imbalances
Pregnancy can cause your gums to become sensitive, and they may even bleed. This can lead to a metallic or salty taste in the mouth; however, the taste or sensation may differ for each woman. Another condition that can result in an odd taste in the mouth is menopause.
10. Medication side effects
There are plenty of medications that can result in a salty or metallic taste in the mouth. The side effects of medications can also include dry mouth (again leading to salty saliva). If you think your medicine is changing the taste of your mouth, ask your doctor for alternatives.
Treatment for a salty taste in the mouth
The cause of a salty taste in the mouth is the major determinant of treatment. For example, taking more fluids and water throughout the day may help some people overcome the change in taste. At the same time, other people may need to see their dentist or physician for treatment.
To find the salty feeling’s root cause, your doctor will examine your mouth and question your lifestyle, diet, and any medication you may be taking. You can also expect to undergo blood tests to eliminate other causes. When the exact cause of the salty taste in your mouth is diagnosed, your dentist or doctor will plan a treatment for you!
Are there any possible complications?
If you neglect the treatment of underlying conditions, expect worsened symptoms. Specifically, if you’re experiencing a constant change in taste, immediately visit your doctor.
Home remedies for salty saliva
While you wait for the diagnosis of your condition, you can find relief by following
a few home remedies:
- regularly flossing and brushing your teeth and gums
- cleaning your mouth with an antibacterial rinse
- chewing sugar-free gum
- cutting down your intake of tobacco and alcohol
- increasing the intake of water and other fluids
- staying away from spicy and greasy foods
The salty taste in your mouth may be because of something simple. Fortunately, a doctor or dentist can help you find relief.
Schedule your appointment!