Salty mouth or salty saliva is a peculiar scenario that can be experienced by individuals for various reasons. This condition occurs when the taste buds in the mouth detect an excessive amount of salt, leading to an unpleasant taste. Several factors can contribute to a salty mouth, including dehydration, certain medications, oral infections, nutritional deficiencies and underlying health conditions. Fortunately, there are several ways to alleviate this discomfort, restoring a pleasant taste and overall oral well-being.
Health Shots spoke to Dr Aniket Mule, consultant internal medicine, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, to understand why do you sometimes feel salty in your mouth and tips to get rid of it. Dr Mule says, “A salty taste in your tongue is usually not a medical emergency, but it is a warning sign that you should not ignore.”
Causes of a salty mouth
A salty taste in the mouth can have several possible causes. Here are 8 potential causes of it:
When you’re dehydrated, your body may produce less saliva, leading to a concentrated taste of salt in your mouth.
2. Dental issues
Oral health problems such as gum disease, dental infections, or poor oral hygiene can sometimes cause a salty taste due to bacterial buildup. If your gums bleed after flossing or brushing your teeth on a regular basis, you may have gum disease (gingivitis). In this case, you should consult a dentist.
3. Dry mouth
A dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, occurs when your salivary glands do not produce enough saliva. Those who have dry mouth may experience taste difficulties, such as a salty or metallic flavour. Other symptoms, including foul breath and a persistent sore throat, are common.
4. Certain medications
Certain drugs, such as certain antibiotics, blood pressure medications, or antithyroid medications, might induce dry mouth as a side effect, leaving your tongue with a salty or metallic taste. If you’re taking any prescription drugs and experience dry mouth, consult your doctor.
5. Sinusitis or nasal issues
Allergies or a chronic sinus infection can result in a drippy nose that drips down your throat. This sensation, known as postnasal drip, can also induce a salty taste in your mouth.
6. Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Acid reflux can cause stomach acid to flow back into the mouth, which can give a sour or salty taste.
7. Nutritional deficiencies
Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly deficiencies of zinc or vitamin B12, may affect taste perception and lead to unusual tastes in the mouth.
During pregnancy, hormonal changes might cause nasal irritation. This innocuous illness, also known as pregnant rhinitis, causes a runny nose, postnasal drip, and occasionally a salty taste.
Tips to get rid of a salty mouth
If you’re experiencing a persistent salty taste in your mouth or if it’s accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment. However, there are several home treatments as well to treat the salty mouth issue. Here are 7 tips that you may try:
1. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can contribute to an altered taste sensation. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to maintain hydration levels.
2. Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, and use mouthwash to keep your mouth clean and free from any dental issues that could contribute to a salty taste.
3. Avoid salty and processed foods: Limit your intake of salty and processed foods, as they can intensify the perception of a salty taste. Opt for fresh, whole foods instead.
4. Rinse your mouth: Rinse your mouth with water or an alcohol-free mouthwash to help cleanse your taste buds and reduce the salty taste.
5. Chew sugar-free gum or suck on mints: Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on mints can help stimulate saliva production, which can help alleviate the salty taste.
6. Avoid alcohol: To avoid a salty taste in the mouth reduce the consumption of alcohol and cigarette.
7. Dietary changes: Instead of adding extra salt to your food, consume less salt and also avoid greasy and spicy foods. Moreover, eat fruits, salad, chia pudding, and probiotics to balance your taste.
Try these tips and get rid of the salty taste in your mouth in no time!