1/14/12

Salty Taste in Mouth Causes and Solutions

A salty taste in your mouth has a very interesting and likely cause.

Many people are bothered by a salty taste in their mouth, in the absence of having eaten any spicy foods, and this strange sensation may be persistent, on and off, or more of an occasional issue.

Nevertheless, a mysterious salty taste in the mouth is very annoying, and many people are affected by it. So I consulted with Jordan S. Josephson, MD, FACS, Nasal and Sinus Specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, Author of Sinus Relief Now and Director of the New York Nasal and Sinus Center.

If you have a salty taste in your mouth, you are not imagining this. Something really IS causing this experience. Dr. Josephson explains, "Patients can have a salty taste in their mouth from a postnasal drip. Typically a person has one to two liters of mucus that they produce in their nose and sinuses, which gets passed into their throat and then swallowed each day. The mucus is part of the filtration system of the nose and sinuses and cleans the air that we breathe of bacteria, virus, fungus, pollutants and chemicals. So everyone has a postnasal drip and this is an important protective mechanism."

And amazingly, normal people don't even realize that they are swallowing a liter to two of mucus.

However, when allergies, infection or inflammation occurs, the mucus changes consistency and becomes thick and the pH changes and that is when the problems start and the patient notices the drip. And this can be the cause of the salty taste in your mouth states Dr. Josephson. In this circumstance the salty mucus coats their taste buds, causing them a salty taste."

So now you see how this problem has nothing to do with what you've been eating or drinking. Dr. Josephson continues: "The salty taste is most likely secondary to allergy and/or sinus problems. These are the most common causes, and if you suffer from this symptom you are not alone. Sinus problems are very common and over 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic sinusitis. Worse, there are many people who are debilitated with sinus problems."


Solution to salty taste in mouth: "The treatment consists of making an accurate diagnosis to the reason causing the change in the mucus (postnasal drip) and then formulating a targeted treatment plan to return the mucus to near-normal consistency. The problem may not be as straightforward and simple as one may think. It is important for the patient with this problem to get to a physician who is thorough in his/her history taking and physical examination. You should see a board certified Otolaryngologist (ENT doc) who is well versed in taste and smell and sinus issues."

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