Why Do You Keep Tasting Blood?

6 March 2023
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


You don't have to be a vampire to be familiar with the taste of blood. Most people have bitten their tongues, cut their gums, or done something that released a little blood into their mouths. It's quickly swallowed, but the taste (salty, slightly metallic) is hard to forget. What does it mean when you keep tasting that distinctive blood flavor?

Open Wounds

An ongoing, slight, and delicate taste of blood is unlikely to be coming from a large open wound. If you had lacerated your tongue, gums, or another soft tissue inside your mouth, chances are you would have noticed it when it happened, and there will be some ongoing discomfort while the injury heals. It's also unlikely that you have a bleeding abscess in your mouth since the pain of the dental infection that caused it won't have gone unnoticed. So where is this ongoing, slight, and delicate taste of blood coming from?

After Brushing

The next time you brush your teeth, have a good look in the sink after you spit. Is there any blood mixed with your saliva and the remnants of the toothpaste? Also carefully inspect your gingival margin in the bathroom mirror. This is simply the line where your gums meet your teeth. Is this margin visibly inflamed and bleeding? It's not going to be gushing blood, but an angry red line may be present along the margin. Although not heavy, this bleeding occurs so regularly that it explains the taste of blood. You have gingivitis, and it's getting worse.

An Inflammatory Condition

Gingivitis is an inflammatory condition affecting the gums. Your mouth naturally contains a myriad of bacteria, and regular brushing prevents these bacteria from forming a biofilm on your teeth. Once established on teeth as plaque, this biofilm can harden and become tartar (which only a dentist can remove). The density of bacteria on your teeth infects your gums, and gingivitis begins to develop. As your gums become more swollen and inflamed, they will bleed without much provocation.

Professional Cleaning

At least you know what accounts for that unpleasant flavor you've been tasting. Gingivitis can graduate to extremely serious dental infections, but treatment is simple if delivered early enough. Contact your local dental office for a professional cleaning. The scaling portion of the procedure helps to break up and remove tartar, restoring the bacterial balance in your mouth. Your gums can then heal, and your bleeding should stop.

When caused by gingivitis, a faint taste of blood in your mouth isn't serious. Without treatment, it can become much more serious though, so don't ignore this salty and slightly metallic problem. 

For more information, visit a local dental office