Can Old Fillings Cause a Metallic Taste?

Why Does my Mouth Taste Like Metal?

Metallic fillings have always been controversial. From the time of their introduction until today, they were a source of contention within the dental community. Originally banned by dentist organizations, they eventually became the standard of care, but lingering doubts about their safety have many people wondering about the wisdom of this decision.

One of the key questions about metal amalgam fillings is whether the metal stays in the filling or whether it can migrate out of the filling into your teeth, gums, and even bloodstream. Today, we think the answer is that metal can move out of the fillings, and that may be responsible for the metal taste in your mouth, and you might want to replace them with composite or porcelain fillings.

Causes of a Metallic Taste

There are two main mechanisms by which metal can move from amalgam fillings. First, chemical reactions can “liberate” metals that should be locked in the filling. This usually occurs when you either have lots of fillings or have another type of metal in your mouth that can create a galvanic reaction, the sort of reaction that is used in batteries, which is why they not only release more mercury and other metals, they create painful shocks.

Next, mercury can simply seep out of the amalgam, slowly penetrating through your teeth and gums and causing a metallic taste.

Are Your Amalgam Fillings Responsible for That Metal Taste?

However, if you have a persistent metal taste in your mouth, it’s important to note there are other possible causes so we don’t leave the real cause of your metallic taste untreated. Some medications can give you a metallic taste, especially antibiotics. Talk to your doctor about your prescriptions and whether any of them can lead to metallic tastes.

Another important cause of a metallic taste is bleeding gums. Once you have periodontal disease, you need to get it treated to avoid losing your teeth, so we want to make sure bleeding gums aren’t to blame for your metallic taste.

At Ascent Dental, a local dentist in Cherry Creek, Denver, we can help you track down the taste of metal in your mouth and eliminate it. We offer composite and all-ceramic restorations so that you can get rid of metal amalgam fillings forever. For more information, please contact Ascent Dental Group today.