Blood taste in the mouth symptoms causes treatment

Blood taste in the mouth: symptoms, causes and treatmentNormally, people have the taste of the last meal, a piece of chewing gum or a piece of candy in their mouths. However, it can also happen that one suddenly perceives the taste of blood. What can be the cause? And what are the treatment options?

Blood taste in the mouth: basic information

Blood has a typical metallic taste reminiscent of iron. The cause is the pigment of the blood cells, which is also called hemoglobin. This dye gives the blood its red color. Is responsible, among other things, for the transport of oxygen. In order for a red blood cell to absorb oxygen, it has iron ions. The ions bind the small oxygen atoms. They release when needed. The iron ions are tasteless on their own. However, when dissolved in a liquid such as blood or water, the taste receptors of the tongue can perceive the ions. They produce the typical metallic taste of blood.

What are the causes of the taste of blood in the mouth?

There are different ways in which a taste of blood in the mouth can be justified. In one group of causes, blood is actually present in the mouth. In the other group, however, the metallic taste occurs without the action of blood. In case of the following causes there is actually blood in the mouth.

Gum bleeding

Bleeding gums are considered the main cause of bleeding in the oral cavity. Small injuries of the gums or the tooth bed occur as a result of inflammation. The inflammation is caused by deposits on the teeth, also known as plaque, which contains bacteria. The bacteria attack the teeth and gums, causing fine lesions from which blood can run into the oral cavity. However, bleeding gums do not always have to be a result of poorly brushed teeth. Diseases such as scurvy caused by vitamin C deficiency or HIV also cause the gums to become inflamed and start bleeding.


Aphtae are small ulcers in the mouth that bleed. They can form on the inside of the cheeks, in the area of the throat and palate, or even on the tongue. Although the aphthae are usually very small, they are painful and also heal very slowly. In addition, they can occur repeatedly. How the ulcers develop has not yet been clearly investigated. However, medical experts ame that frequent stress could be a cause.

The increased consumption of acidic foods such as fruit sweets or carbonated drinks can also be responsible for the development of aphthae. In addition, it is amed that hot and spicy food can lead to the small injuries.

Infections of the oral and respiratory tract

Viruses and bacteria can severely stress the soft flesh in the mouth and respiratory tract. The pathogens trigger inflammation to settle and multiply in the skin areas. Especially colds in which the tonsils swell or bronchitis are typical triggers of the metallic taste of blood. When the sick person coughs or sneezes, the intensity of the expelled air transports blood and pus into the mouth, where it can be clearly tasted.

Alliance Images/shutterstock. High performance sports affect breathing. The blood circulation of an athlete. This is necessary so that the body can take in enough oxygen and transport it to the muscles even in the most strenuous sporting situations. As a result of the increased load, ventilation, i.e. breathing rhythm, also increases. The inhaled air is less enriched with mucus and fluid and also no longer moistens the mucous membranes in the oral cavity as effectively during breathing. Over time, the mucous membranes dry out and small cracks form through which blood can seep into the mouth. With marathon runners or also with Triathleten this phenomenon is no rarity.

In addition to the causes in which blood enters the mouth and triggers the taste of blood, there are also a number of causes in which no blood can be detected.

Dentures and implants

Older dentures, dental implants or dental bridges were partly made of metal. Used in the mouth, iron ions in the metal could react with the acid from the saliva in the mouth and cause corrosion. The released iron ions dissolve in saliva. Produced the metallic taste. Also with tooth fillings made of gold. Amalgam had this effect. Nowadays, most dentures and implants are. Implants, on the other hand, are made of higher quality stainless steel. This means that corrosion no longer occurs, which also makes the inserts last longer.

Faulty taste perception

Some people have altered perceptions of tastes, also known as dysgeusia. More pronounced forms are also called parageusia. The taste disturbances are often a consequence of hormonal changes, such as those experienced by women during pregnancy. But people on hormone therapy also often notice changes in their taste perceptions. Diabetics may also experience a taste of blood, even though no blood is detectable in the mouth.

Patients taking very strong medications, such as cytostatics, during chemotherapy may also develop dysgeusia. However, medications for allergies or sleep disorders also frequently list the change in taste perception as a possible side effect.

Zinc deficiency

Zinc is needed by the taste buds of the tongue to break down and utilize certain components of food. The mineral also plays a role in the production of new taste buds. When a patient suffers from a zinc deficiency, the body reacts relatively inconspicuously in the initial phase. Only an unexplained taste of blood can serve as an indication that the person may be lacking zinc.

Serious illnesses

There are a number of conditions in which patients cough up blood or spit out blood. This includes, for example, tuberculosis or pneumonia. But a stomach ulcer can also lead to bleeding into the abdomen or stomach, which the patient regurgitates and spits out. Even an accident that seems harmless at first, such as a fall on the stomach or face, can result in someone spitting up blood. In any case, those affected should consult a doctor immediately. Get a thorough checkup.

Because once blood is coughed up or spat out, it is always a very clear sign that there is a serious disorder in the body.

Correct treatment of blood taste in the mouth

In order for blood taste to be treated effectively, the cause must first be flawlessly determined. In many cases, this is only possible if the patient visits a doctor and has himself examined. The treatment options always depend on the underlying condition. If a doctor diagnoses a patient with a viral or bacterial infection, the patient is given preparations such as antibiotics that kill the pathogens. Once the pests are removed from the organism, the body can repair the open lesions in the oral cavity, which also makes the taste of blood disappear.


If bleeding gums are the cause, a thorough periodontal treatment by the dentist will help, with plaque and tartar removed. As part of the treatment, patients also receive a rinse of the mouth, which is used to kill bacteria to promote wound retention. The future occurrence of bleeding gums can be prevented by thorough dental care. Prevent regular check-ups with the dentist. For high performance athletes, doctors recommend special breathing techniques and drinking frequently during sports to moisten the mucous membranes and thus reduce bleeding in.

If a disturbance of the taste perception is present, then this can be possibly repaired, by treating the causes of the disturbance. In some cases a change of life circumstances is necessary. In other cases, a drug treatment must be carried out, so that the taste perception normalizes again.

When is the treatment of blood taste not possible?

There are few cases when no treatment can be done against the metallic taste of blood in the mouth nothing can be done. This includes, for example, serious illnesses such as cancer. If a patient is receiving chemotherapy, he or she is dependent on taking cytostatic drugs to reduce the spread of degenerate cells. If as a result of taking the blood taste occurs, doctors can only try to use other cytostatics. However, the likelihood that the new preparations will also have the blood taste as a side effect remains.

What are the chances of cure?

In severe cases of parageusia or a disease such as cancer or tuberculosis, the chances of a cure are rather poor. Severe parageusia can affect the taste buds, making it impossible for affected individuals to experience normal tastes. in case of cancer, the taste of blood occurs as mentioned above as a side effect of the medication. As long as patients are dependent on taking their medication, there is also a risk that the unpleasant taste will spread to the mouth.

Most causes of metallic blood taste, on the other hand, can be treated well. If patients follow their doctor's treatment instructions, the unpleasant taste soon disappears. If people then pay a little more attention to their health, they significantly reduce the risk of the recurrence of hypertension.

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