Dysgeusia

Dysgeusia

Dysgeusia is an abnormal taste or change in taste that won’t go away. It can be described as bad, metallic, salty, foul or rancid.

Dysgeusia is an abnormal taste or change in taste that won’t go away. It can be described as bad, metallic, salty, foul or rancid.
• Your taste buds are found on your tongue and on the roof of your mouth. They contain cells that collect taste information and send it to the brain.
• Some people with dysgeusia also have an altered sense of smell. About 75% of flavor and taste sensations come from nerve cells involved with smell. Both taste and smell cells work together to produce the sense of taste.
• Our taste cells can identify four main qualities: sour, bitter, salty and sweet. More subtle aspects of flavor come from your sense of smell. Dysgeusia is relatively uncommon. It can have numerous causes. Fortunately, many of the causes are temporary. For example, several infections can cause mild dysgeusia. They include the common cold, flu, strep throat and nasal or sinus infections. Causes of dysgeusia are rarely life-threatening, but the disorder does affect your quality of life.

Other causes include:
• Smoking (especially pipe smoking)
• Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
• Periodontal disease (advanced gum disease)
• A dental abscess
• Oral yeast infection
• Certain medicines, including lithium, antibiotics, ACE inhibitors and many cancer drugs
• Dry mouth (xerostomia), which can be caused by Sjogren’s syndrome and many medicines
• Vitamin or mineral deficiency
• A brain tumor or trauma to the head
• Damage to the taste nerves
• Metabolic or endocrine problems, such as diabetes or thyroid disease
• Depression
• Surgery of the larynx (voice box)
• Head and neck radiation
• Migraine headache
• Chlorhexidine oral rinse for periodontal (gum) disease
• Bell’s palsy
• Dysgeusia may also be associated with burning mouth syndrome or glossitis, and other oral conditions.

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