What Causes The Bad Taste In My Mouth?

A bad taste in the mouth is also known as halitosis or as dysgeusia. The term dysgeusia is derived from two Greek words: dys meaning “difficulty” and geusia meaning “taste.”

The most common reasons for a bad taste in your mouth have to do with poor oral hygiene.


Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums, which is usually caused by bacteria building up in the mouth. Not flossing and brushing regularly allows food particles and bacteria to build up on your teeth and gums. The bacteria then irritate the gums, causing them to become red and swollen. This inflammation leads to bad breath as well as causing a bad taste in your mouth.


Xerostomia or dry mouth occurs when there’s not enough saliva in the mouth. This often happens when people take certain medications that reduce saliva production or when dehydration occurs due to not drinking enough fluids throughout the day. Another unfortunate cause of dry mouth is the over consumption of our favourite friend COFFEE! Dry mouth makes saliva less effective at cleansing the teeth and removing food particles from between them, leading to cavities and gum disease.


Tooth decay is another common cause of bad breath. The bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay produce waste products that cause an unpleasant smell. When you brush your teeth every day, it helps prevent tooth decay by removing plaque and food particles from the teeth.

Behavioural activities such as smoking, drinking coffee, or eating certain foods such as onions or garlic can also leave a bad taste in your mouth.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Bad Tastes?

Various symptoms can cause a bad taste in your mouth. If your gums are swollen and red with abscesses, you may experience the unpleasant taste of infection. Your mouth may feel dehydrated, your tongue may feel furry or tender or you might experience a metallic taste. Any bacteria waste in your mouth will produce a bad taste.

What Can You Expect After Treatment?

Smile with confidence again!

Having a bad taste in your mouth can negatively impact your life. It can make eating, drinking, and speaking difficult. You can feel nauseous, embarrassed, and stop socialising face-to-face. Getting professional treatment from a dentist can solve all superficial causes of a bad taste in your mouth, but it can also identify underlying serious medical conditions if they are present.

How Can You Improve The Bad Taste In Your Mouth?

Treatment will depend on the root cause of the problem. Beginning with good oral hygiene is the best place to start.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day including tongue, cheeks, and roof of your mouth
  • Floss daily
  • Use a tongue scraper, as most bacteria live on the tongue
  • Incorporate a mouthwash (which includes fluoride if possible)
  • If you smoke, quit – for overall improved health as well as fresher breath
  • Drink water to promote saliva flow
  • If you have dentures remove them first, then thoroughly clean them
  • Visit your dentist, as regular check-ups identify issues you may have

The Good Dentist Recommends Regular Dental Checkups

The Good Dentist’s regular check-up includes a visual inspection of your teeth, tongue, and gums, plus measures any tartar build-up. We also examine your bite and jaw joint or temporomandibular joint (TMJ), plus an assessment of oral cancer risk factors is performed. A dental cleaning is carried out to remove plaque, surface stain, and bacteria, followed by teeth polishing with a fluoride treatment.

How Long Does It Take to Fix A Bad Taste?

Once again, depending on the issue causing the bad taste in your mouth, there is the possibility of fixing it overnight – in the case of food caught in a tooth or a build-up of bacteria on the tongue. Dry mouth can be solved by drinking 8 glasses of water each day.

Decay, root canal, or gingivitis are all dependent on the assessment of your dentist, so the quicker you book an appointment, the quicker the issue is fixed.

Cost of Treatment?

The solution for the bad taste in your mouth might be something as simple as a new toothbrush, floss, fluoride toothpaste, or a tongue scraper which are relatively inexpensive.

Drinking water doesn’t cost anything.

For in chair treatments, such as treating tooth decay, or an abscess, your dentist will discuss those individual costs with you.

Fix That Bad Taste In Your Mouth With The Good Dentist

The Good Dentist, Newcastle, encourages you to Contact Us with any questions regarding a bad taste in your mouth. Our dedicated team can help you decide on a treatment that’s right for you. Schedule Your Treatment Today.


    We will respond to all enquiries within 24-48 hours.