Many conditions can cause a metal taste in the mouth, but is Sjogren’s syndrome one of them?

Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms can start at any age.

In SS, the immune system initially attacks the moisture-secreting glands in one’s mouth (salivary) and eyes (tear ducts), leading to dry mouth and dry eyes.

Other symptoms may include a persistent cough, stiffness or pain in the joints, extended fatigue and dry skin.

The majority of people with Sjogren’s are women.

A metallic taste in the mouth is quite bothersome and can also be very worrisome.

Can a metal taste in the mouth be caused by Sjogren’s syndrome?

“They sometimes report a constant metallic taste in their mouth and in food and water,” says Stella Bard, MD, a board certified rheumatologist with 20+ years of experience, referring to people who’ve been diagnosed with Sjogren’s.

Dr. Bard explains, “Complaints of bitter or metallic taste are common.

“Saliva has protective antibodies that prevent mouth infections from settling in, tooth decay and acts as a lubricant protecting from mouth pain and difficulty swallowing.

“The taste complaints might come from not having enough saliva to keep enough taste receptors around on the tongue to transmit the correct taste signal.

“Also, tooth decay might change taste or smell to a bitter or metallic taste.

“Without the lubrication mouth ulcers might develop, and the mouth or throat might also feel sticky, making it hard to swallow.”

There may also be voice hoarseness or weakness, or a dry cough.

“The tongue might look red and smooth or have a white coating from thrush, a fungal infection, as a result of the mouth dryness,” says Dr. Bard.

“A common complaint is difficulty wearing or discomfort with full and partial dentures. 

“Some also notice a partial or total loss of their sense of smell.”

Dr. Bard is an ABMS board certified rheumatologist with 20+ years’ experience. Rheumatologists often deal with whole-body problems due to the diseases they treat; patients find solutions to problems they didn’t originally come in for such as body aches and poor sleep. Dr. Bard uses cutting edge and natural remedies to achieve remarkable results with her patients.
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. 


Top image: Shutterstock/Alexander Raths