Every time you put food in your mouth, there are two senses that work together. Your sense of smell and your taste buds. Your taste buds distinguish flavors including salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. The sense of smell enables you to enjoy your meal’s aroma.
In the oral cavity, food interacts with the salivary components chemically allowing for the stimulation of the taste receptors. The receptors sit on the surface of your tongue and are distributed in other areas including the epiglottis and the palate. They are also found in the brain’s chemosensory cells, alimentary canal, and the pancreas.
Salty taste in mouth causes
When something is not right, your food will taste different. Because the amount of salt in your mouth is consistent, your saliva should not be salty. Flavor alterations in your mouth can be attributed to increased taste buds’ sensitivity or saliva-salt concentration. Mostly, a salty taste is related to changes in the amount of saliva produced by the body or the overall composition of chemicals in your saliva.
Understand that an odd taste can be a result of multiple factors. It is crucial to tell apart salty from metallic tastes. Metallic tastes often result from bleeding inside the mouth or due to medication. A salty taste can occur due to many causes including:
With chronic dehydration, you are bound to experience a constant salty taste in your mouth. When you are dehydrated, your mouth will feel metallic and salty. The average adult is advised to take at least 2 liters of water per day. If you live in an extremely hot environment or are more active, you should drink more than that. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Infrequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Dark urine
Dehydration can result from alcohol and diarrhea. Exercising without drinking water can also contribute dehydration and eventually leaving your saliva tasting salty.
Side Effects to Medication
Depending on the medication you are taking, your taste buds can change. It means if there is a salty taste in your mouth, it could be linked to the medication you are taking.
Your body consists of 60 percent water. For the healthy functioning of all organs in your body, you need adequate electrolyte levels and fluids. Electrolytes are present in urine, body fluids, tissues, and blood. Electrolyte imbalance happens when the minerals necessary for conducting an electric charge in your body (which includes phosphate, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chlorine, and calcium) become imbalanced.
Symptoms of this imbalance include dizziness, fatigue, aching joints, dark urine, excessive sweating, trembling, dry mouth, and swelling in the legs, feet, hand, and ankles. Understand that taking lots of water cannot replace electrolytes. Water only dilutes the electrolytes which in turn, heightens the level of electrolyte imbalance.
Although dry mouth is a sign of dehydration, it can also signal an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, thyroid, or high blood pressure. Diabetes sufferers especially are at a higher risk of developing salty phlegm and sour taste in the mouth. Also referred to as xerostomia, dry mouth causes you to have dry and sticky saliva. The saliva may taste bitter and salty. If you have a stuffy nose; however, it is enough reason to have a dry mouth because then you are forced to breathe through the mouth.
Conditions such as multiple sclerosis or brain tumor can affect nerves or the brain and cause a salty taste. Injury to the head or the neck can cause the affected person to experience the symptoms of nerve damage. Medical conditions can lead to long lasting salty tastes in the mouth. Medicines used to treat the ailments can dry out the mouth leading to odd tastes. For instance, most cancer treatments cause metallic tastes in the mouth. You could use an OTC oral rinse or chew on sugar-free gum to stimulate the production of saliva.
Gingivitis is a medical condition that causes oral infection. Left untreated, gingivitis can adversely affect your bones and teeth. It leaves the mouth tasting salty, and there can be pus under your teeth. This results in loosening of the teeth, open sores in gums, and bad breath. Oral thrush, which is a yeast infection, can also lead to a metallic taste in the mouth.
Zinc and vitamin B12 deficiencies can result in salty or metallic tastes in your mouth. Your tongue could also come across as tender. Should you happen to have these vitamin deficiencies, supplementation may be recommended.
Your body makes tears constantly to keep your eyes moist. The tears could then drain through tear ducts, into the nose and eventually settle at the back of your throat. This could then see an increase in the amount of salt present in the mouth.
How to get rid of Salty Taste in the Mouth
The first suggestion would be to increase your daily water intake. If you are on medication and suspect they have a hand in the metallic taste in your mouth, get advice from your GP. Consider other supplements as possible causes of the salty taste in your mouth and lips.
Is Constant Salty Taste in Mouth Cause for Concern?
If you are only experiencing a salty taste in your mouth or lips with no other accompanying symptoms, there is no cause for concern. However, if there are other symptoms, and especially if it recurs many times in the day, it could be a sign of a medical condition.
Salty Taste in Mouth Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor would examine your mouth to determine the cause of the salty taste. He will need to know your lifestyle, changes in diet, and medications. Tests such as blood work may be ordered to rule out any medical conditions. There can be long-term and short-term treatments for your symptoms. The short-term solutions include:
- Taking enough amounts of water every day
- Examining nutritional deficiencies
- Monitoring medication effects
For the long-term, your doctor gets to treat the underlying causes of the salty taste in your mouth. There may be a medical issue preventing you from retaining water or absorbing nutrients where nutrition and dehydration are concerned. If your mouth constantly tastes salty for a reason you do not know, consider visiting your healthcare provider for further evaluation. Taste disorders can signal diabetes and other medical conditions.