A metal taste in your mouth can be caused by a serious medical condition including cancer, but it can also be triggered by a disorder in your digestive tract.

“In the occasional patient, acid reflux (GERD) can cause the production of frothy secretions in the mouth; this is called waterbrash,” explains Dr. Brian Lacy, MD, of Dartmouth Hitchcock Med Center, who specializes in functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, and author of “Healing Heartburn.”

A metal taste in the mouth from a digestive issue?

Dr. Lacy says that this waterbrash “results from acid refluxing into the mouth and stimulating the salivary glands to make a bicarbonate-rich fluid.

“In some patients this may taste a little metallic. Otherwise, patients with IBS or chronic constipation are not more likely to report a metallic taste than others.”

So if you have irritable bowel syndrome or a benign chronic constipation, and you then begin experiencing this phantom taste sensation, you’d be wise to report it to your doctor.

Cancer as a cause is actually not likely, but not impossible.

Dr. Lacy combines his love of science, medicine and people to uncover the causes of symptoms like stomach pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and regurgitation. 
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.