A lingering bad taste in your mouth is often associated with bad oral hygiene. However, tastes in the mouth can tell a lot more than your oral health. It can be early signs of many underlying health issues.

Experts believe certain tastes in the mouth should not be ignored as they may signal underlying conditions, which even can turn life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated in time.

Watch out for these early signs:

1. Bitter/ metallic taste

Certain drugs, such as metformin used to treat diabetes, some types of antibiotics and blood pressure medications can cause a lingering metallic taste in the mouth.

The metallic taste can also indicate certain underlying health conditions such as gum disease or an infection and can be a warning sign of serious diseases such as kidney or liver problems, undiagnosed diabetes or certain types of cancers.

Other factors such as hormonal changes, pregnancy, poor oral health, stress, menopause, acid reflux, nerve damage and burning mouth syndrome can also cause a bitter taste in the mouth.

2. Sweet/ fruity taste

A sweet taste in your mouth, even without eating anything sweet shows our body may have high blood sugar. Long-term uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a serious health condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis occurs when the body cannot burn sugar but instead uses fat for fuel. This results in the building up of ketones and causes a sweet smell and taste. Other symptoms associated with diabetes include increased thirst, hunger, fatigue, frequent urination and blurred vision.

The sweet taste can also be associated with low-carb dieting, pregnancy and acid reflux. It can indicate infections, certain neurological conditions and lung cancer.

3. Sour taste

A sour, unpleasant taste in the mouth is often a sign of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when stomach acid repeatedly flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach. Other symptoms associated with GERD include heartburn, trouble swallowing, the backwash of food or liquid from the stomach and upper abdominal or chest pain.

The sour taste can also be due to nutritional deficiency, infections and nerve disorders.

4. Salty taste

A salty taste is a warning sign of severe dehydration. It happens when your body tries to conserve water by producing less saliva after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting, or after vigorously exercising in the heat. Watch out for other symptoms such as dry mouth, thirst, fatigue and muscle weakness associated with dehydration.

Experts believe that different kinds of lingering tastes in the mouth should not be ignored as they may signal underlying conditions. pixabay