Pregnancy can unearth some of the weirdest symptoms you will ever feel. Along with crazy food cravings and aversions, some moms may find a metallic taste in their mouth that can be deeply annoying, especially if you are already dealing with the frustrations of morning sickness. So what causes a metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy? If your mouth tastes like you ate a handful of loose change, try not to panic. Apparently it is actually pretty common and perfectly normal.
So what's to blame for all this mischief in your mouth? It's those pesky pregnancy hormones at it again. That metallic taste you sense is called dysgeusia, and according to Dr. Muneer Ahmad of Cape Health Care, it is caused by the fluctuation of pregnancy hormones, specifically estrogen — a hormone that helps modulate your senses of taste and smell. Many experts believe that estrogen is to blame when it comes to your sense of taste, explained Pregnancy Corner, and when you get pregnant, your fluctuating estrogen levels can mess up the relationship between your senses of smell and taste. The rapid increases and decreases of estrogen in your body can lead to morning sickness and food cravings or aversions, along with the weird tastes in your mouth.
During pregnancy, dysgeusia caused by hormonal changes may change your taste buds in more ways than one, explained Healthline. As if the feeling like you just sucked on a penny is not enough, Healthline noted that dysgeusia might even leave a salty, burnt, rancid, or foul taste in your mouth. Pregnancy sure sounds beautiful, doesn't it?
If you have sore or bleeding gums — which could also be a more direct reason for the yucky, metallic taste in your mouth — you can blame it on those same, good old pregnancy hormones. According to Baby Center, about half of all pregnant women get swollen or bleeding gums when they floss or brush their teeth. The article explained that it is attributed to pregnancy gingivitis, which occurs when pregnancy hormones make your gums more sensitive to plaque, causing them to bleed. So if it's not your changing palate, it could just be the taste of blood that is lingering.
While your hormones play a number on your sense of taste and smell, there are things you can do to make your mouth feel and taste a little better. Parents suggested eating and drinking sour flavors to neutralize it by brushing frequently, and by rinsing your mouth with a salt and water solution. You may even want to change up your prenatal vitamin, the article added, because some vitamins — especially ones containing more zinc — are known to enhance the metallic taste more than other prenatal vitamins. If the metallic taste is hindering your ability to enjoy healthy foods (good excuse), the article noted that you can reintroduce them in the second trimester when your taste buds go back to normal.
As frustrating and annoying as it is, it’s pretty comforting to know that the metallic taste should not linger for much longer, because luckily, pregnancy (and all the yummy and yucky issues that it comes with) doesn't last forever. "Hormonal changes during pregnancy can alter the taste in your mouth," explains Ahmed, "but usually by the second trimester, when hormones settle, the metallic taste should go away."
Before you know it, you will be taste testing breast milk or baby formula, and while that may not seem appetizing, it will be much better than feeling like you licked a light pole. In the meantime, munching on a pickle or some salted pretzels, while sipping on a cool glass of lemonade or ginger ale, may help to keep that nasty, metallic taste in your mouth at bay.
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