Why Do I Have a Weird or Bad Taste in My Mouth? (+7 Tips)

Why Do I Have a Weird or Bad Taste in My Mouth? (+7 Tips)

If you are someone who values health and hygiene, you will be well aware of the importance of habitually brushing, rinsing, and flossing! 

However, oral health concerns can occasionally stick around despite the fact you are doing everything ‘right’. A common complaint is a weird taste in the mouth, even after brushing! 

Do you find yourself experiencing an unpleasant taste in your mouth, despite being vigilant with your oral hygiene routine? 

Experiencing a bad taste in your mouth on occasion is normal and could be due to consuming alcohol or strong foods. In these cases, brushing your teeth will resolve the issue. 

However, an ongoing bad taste, after brushing may signify an underlying oral health issue that requires greater attention! 

In this article, we’ll explore several causes of a bad taste after brushing your teeth and delve into the top solutions for the problem. Let’s dive right in!

Causes of weird taste in the mouth

There are various potential causes of a bad taste in your mouth. Some causes may have quick fixes, while others may require more extensive treatment. 

In order to find a solution, it’s important to establish the root cause of the issue. The following issues may be culprits for that unpleasant taste:

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental issues such as cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis (gum disease). All of these may contribute to a bad taste in your mouth, due to a build-up of bad bacteria (pathogens). 

Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine including thoroughly brushing after meals for at least two minutes, flossing between teeth and gums, and rinsing your mouth can help to prevent dental problems that contribute to a bad taste in your mouth. 

On top of this, it’s important to schedule regular check-ups at the dentist to ensure your oral health is in good condition. 

Dry mouth / Dehydration

A lack of saliva can cause your mouth to become dry, which can be accompanied by an unpleasant taste in the mouth and bad breath. 

A dry mouth can be caused by many situations including dehydration, underlying health conditions, certain medications, or advancing age.

Make sure you are drinking enough water during the day to avoid dehydration or speak to a doctor if you are on any medications that may be causing your mouth to become dry. 

Oral thrush 

Oral thrush is a common oral infection caused by an overgrowth of the candida fungus. 

Candida is naturally present in the oral cavity, but if this organism overpopulates due to reasons such as taking antibiotics, it can create problems. 

One of the most commonly reported symptoms of oral thrush is an unpleasant taste in the mouth. 

This may be accompanied by white patches (plaque), loss of taste, redness inside the mouth, or a painful burning sensation in the mouth. Oral thrush is not contagious and can be treated with antifungal medication. 


A bad taste in the mouth is a side effect of certain medications.

Many people experience a bitter or metallic taste in the mouth after taking medications such as antibiotics, antihistamines, cardiac medication, diabetes medication, or gout medication. 

Research has shown that the use of antidepressants can cause a metallic or sour taste in the mouth. 

Furthermore, taking daily natural supplements such as iron or zinc may cause an unpleasant taste. 

Cancer therapies

A common side effect of chemotherapy is a lingering wired taste in the mouth. This is sometimes dubbed ‘chemo mouth’ or ‘metal mouth’. 

Many cancer patients have reported a metallic taste in the mouth while receiving treatment. 

This is typically due to the fact that chemotherapy and radiation alter your taste buds. This side effect can be managed, and typically the bad taste is resolved when your taste buds regenerate themselves a few weeks after stopping therapy. 

Acid reflux

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid rises into your esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms including a bad taste in the mouth. 

Occasional acid reflux is normal and may occur after consuming a large, rich meal or from lying down too soon after eating. 

However, chronic acid reflux is known as GERD and may require treatment. A very common side effect of GERD is a metallic taste in the mouth that is persistent and not affected by eating or brushing teeth. 

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes in early pregnancy can affect one's sense of taste and smell

Many pregnant women report a metallic taste in the mouth during their first trimester of pregnancy. This typically disappears as the pregnancy progresses. 

Further, falling estrogen levels during menopause may cause saliva production to decrease, resulting in a dry mouth and subsequently a bitter or unpleasant taste. 


Infections anywhere in your body – particularly viral infections – may affect the taste in your mouth. 

Tonsillitis, sinusitis, and ear infections commonly affect taste senses. 

Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver. One of its earliest symptoms is a bitter taste in the mouth, accompanied by bad breath.

A metallic taste is a potential symptom of COVID-19. In rare cases, this symptom can persist long after one has recovered from the virus. 

Strongly flavored toothpastes

If you are still experiencing an unpleasant taste in your mouth after brushing your teeth even while keeping your oral hygiene up to a high standard, the culprit may in fact be the toothpaste itself!

Certain toothpastes contain ingredients that leave a bothersome residual aftertaste. 

Nasal and paranasal sinus problems 

Mucus buildup due to allergies, common colds, and other nasal diseases can lead to an unpleasant taste in the mouth. 

Additionally, postnasal drip, which is the mucus that runs down the back of the throat from the nose, can have a foul smell due to the presence of bacterial or viral mucus. 

Postnasal drip can be caused by various factors such as strep throat, colds, sinus infections, and the flu.

Bad Habits like smoking and alcohol drinking 

There is a strong correlation between high levels of microbial acetaldehyde synthesis and smoking, binge drinking, and poor dental hygiene. 

Acetaldehyde and other malodorous blood byproducts are responsible for causing oral malodor. Along with drying out your mouth, smoking also increases the risk of gum disease.

Tips for getting rid of weird taste 

There are various strategies you can implement to help alleviate the lingering bad taste in your mouth after brushing. 

The right solution for you may be dependent on the cause of the unpleasant taste. Read on for our top suggestions for getting rid of bad taste after brushing teeth:

1. Changing toothpaste brands

Firstly, choosing the right toothpaste for brushing your teeth is crucial. 

You may wish to use toothpaste with natural ingredients as chemical additives are often responsible for an unpleasant aftertaste. 

Boka’s range of n-Ha toothpastes is made without fluoride, sulfates, parabens, or artificial flavors! 

Switching to toothpaste with a natural and beneficial ingredients list may eliminate that unpleasant aftertaste you are experiencing.

Further, while minty-tasting toothpastes are commonly preferred, they’re not everyone’s favorite! 

You may find you prefer toothpaste with cinnamon, lemon, or watermelon flavor notes. 

Brushing your teeth with a toothpaste containing flavors you find enjoyable will improve your brushing experience and leave a pleasant taste in your mouth. 

Experiment with different toothpaste flavors and brands until you find one you like! This may be the simple solution to resolving that lingering bad taste you experience after brushing. 

2. Brushing your tongue

The abrasive texture of your tongue’s surface makes it a haven for bacteria

Your tongue can also harbor dead skin cells and food particles, which can all contribute to a lingering bad taste! 

Using a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently brush and clean the surface of your tongue can remove these substances, reduce the bad taste, and improve your overall oral hygiene. 

3. Using a tongue scraper

Similarly, you may wish to use a tongue scraper tool to scrape the white or yellowish coating (biofilm) that sometimes forms on the tongue. 

Tongue scrapers are typically made of steel or plastic, and are used by scraping down on your tongue to remove the film. This can help to alleviate an unpleasant taste caused by bacteria. 

A 2010 study found that tongue scraping can significantly reduce the coating on the tongue, which consequently improves breath odor and mouth taste. 

4. Using mouthwash

Using a mouthwash or mouth rinse may be effective in combating a bad taste in your mouth after brushing. Look out for an alcohol-free mouthwash that contains antimicrobial properties!

Boka’s mouthwash tablets deliver probiotics to the oral microbiome. In other words, they prevent bad bacteria and encourage good bacteria while refreshing your breath, soothing sensitive gums, and remineralizing teeth. 

Simply pop a tablet in your mouth, chew it, swish it around with your saliva, and spit it out to leave your mouth feeling fresh and free of any unwanted tastes!

The benefits of these tablets are twofold: they provide an instant fix to that unwanted taste in your mouth, while also improving the health of your oral microbiome.

This all helps to prevent any oral health concerns that may be responsible for a persistent bad taste. 

A good quality mouthwash product that tastes pleasant can eliminate any lingering residue or taste while delivering other benefits that improve your oral health in the long run. Win-win!

5. Drinking water

To combat dehydration – a common cause of bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth – make sure you are drinking plenty of water!

This will also help your oral cavity to produce plenty of saliva so you can avoid a dry mouth. 

A 2016 study discovered that simply drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can remove up to 60 percent of the substances (including bacteria) that cause bad breath and unpleasant tastes. 

Further, drinking lots of water can prevent oral infections that may cause a metallic taste in the mouth.

The National Academy of Medicine suggests that healthy adults should drink between 9 and 13 cups of water per day.

6. Improving lifestyle habits

Smoking, consuming alcohol, eating a poor diet, or eating rich and spicy foods can lead to a weird taste in your mouth!

Typically, this can be resolved by brushing thoroughly after indulging in the act. 

However, if the bad taste is persistent, you may wish to consider improving your lifestyle habits to avoid a build-up of bacteria and unpleasant-tasting substances in the mouth.

7. Checking in with healthcare providers

Visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning will help you maintain good oral hygiene and prevent or treat any oral health concerns that may cause an unpleasant taste in the mouth. 

Furthermore, if you think you may be experiencing a metallic or unpleasant taste in the mouth as a result of a medication you are taking, discuss this concern with your doctor and talk about potential fixes. 


A lingering weird or bad taste in your mouth after brushing can be bothersome, but by implementing the simple steps detailed above, you can eliminate it without too much hassle! 

Remember to choose a toothpaste you find pleasant, brush or scrape your tongue, use mouthwash, keep your fluids up to stay hydrated, and maintain healthy lifestyle habits. 

You will enjoy the benefit of experiencing a clean and fresh-tasting mouth and may just help to prevent or treat underlying oral health concerns at the same time!

If the bad taste persists after tweaking your oral hygiene routine with these tips, we recommend you visit your dentist or healthcare provider as it could be a sign of infection. 

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