How To Get Rid Of A Sweet Taste In Your Mouth

picture of sweet candies

Do you often find yourself with a sweet taste lingering in your mouth? You’re not alone! Many people experience this unpleasant sensation, which can be caused by eating sugary foods and drinks or taking certain medications. Fortunately, there are several simple remedies that can help to get rid of the sweet taste in your mouth quickly and effectively. So if you’re looking for ways to tackle this issue once and for all, read on!

You might think that having a sweet taste in your mouth would be a dream scenario for anyone with a sweet tooth. And it’s normal to register a sweet taste in your mouth if you drink a sugary drink or eat something sweet. However, if you regularly experience a persistent sweet taste in your mouth without consuming anything sweet, it can indicate something more serious.

When you eat, your tastebuds are able to recognize five distinct flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami (a balanced savory taste). You can develop a weird taste in your mouth for several different reasons due to the sensitive nature of your taste perception.

Sometimes, the cause and the impact are minimal, making food seem less appealing. Other times, a sweet taste in your mouth can be related to a health concern that you may need to consult your doctor about.

What is Dysgeusia?

Dysgeusia refers to a distorted sense of taste. People who have it describe experiencing a sweet, sour, metallic, or bitter taste which can be temporary or permanent. Their sense of taste may not be diminished, but the flavors no longer correspond to the taste identified with types of foods.

Causes of dysgeusia can vary, but it’s often the result of some health concern or a reaction to a medication.

Although it’s relatively common to develop a salty taste in the mouth, registering a sweet taste when you aren’t consuming something sweet is more uncommon. There are several potential causes for having a sweet taste in your mouth.

11 causes for sweet taste in the mouth

sweet candy

Here are the most common causes of having a sweet taste in the mouth. The common thread between them is that they impact the body’s sensory (nervous) system and affect how the brain registers flavors!

1. Eating or drinking something sweet

Sugar is in nearly every processed food as well as the huge market of sugary snacks, treats, and sodas available for people to consume.

When you eat (or drink) something sweet, it’s normal to have a short-lasting sweet taste in your mouth. It usually goes away when you drink water or eat something savory.

If you notice a sweet taste lasting longer than you would prefer after eating something sweet, get rid of it by:

  • Drinking water to flush the flavor
  • Adding salt to your food to balance out the flavors
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables rather than highly processed food

2. Metabolic disorders

Metabolic problems such as diabetes are a common cause of having a sweet taste in the mouth. Thyroid disorders and ketosis are other examples. These disorders impact the sensory system, creating a persistent sweet taste.

Diabetes occurs when the body’s insulin levels are too high because the pancreas can’t make enough insulin, resulting in too much sugar in the bloodstream. Over time, that can lead to additional health problems, including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Vision loss
  • A sweet taste in the mouth

If you notice a persistent sweet taste along with blurred vision, excessive thirst, or excessive urination, contact your doctor.

3. Neurological Conditions

Various neurological problems can damage the sensory nerves for taste, leaving you with a persistent sweet taste in the mouth (or one that comes and goes). Conditions that can cause this include:

  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s disease

If you have one of these conditions, ask your doctor how to get rid of a sweet taste in the mouth.

4.  Viruses

Some viruses can attack the body’s ability to smell, and that disruption can cause an altered taste.

​For example, even common infections, such as a cold, sinus infection, or flu, may increase the amount of glucose (sugar) in saliva. While this occurs, you’ll notice a sweet taste that will usually disappear once the virus is gone.

5. Infections

Some bacterial infections (ex: pseudomonas) in the nose, throat, or sinuses can alter how your brain registers flavors by impacting your airway and causing you to notice a sweet taste.

In addition, fungal infections of the gums or mouth can create swelling and reduce the flow of blood to the taste buds, changing your sense of taste.

This side effect of the infection typically lasts until it is treated and usually goes away once the infection is gone.


Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (also called GERD or acid reflux) occurs when digestive acids from the stomach back up into the esophagus. People who have GERD often report experiencing heartburn and a sweet (or metallic) taste in the mouth.

GERD can be a serious condition that can lead to other severe health conditions if left untreated. If you experience this, consult your doctor because there are medicines that can neutralize stomach acid or decrease acid production to help you find relief.

7. Pregnancy

Many women notice a strange sweet (or sometimes metallic) taste in their mouth early on in their pregnancy. This results from surging pregnancy hormones and changes in the digestive system.

Sometimes gestational diabetes or pregnancy-related GERD can be the cause. Symptoms often resolve after the first trimester, but if you are experiencing this and have any concerns, consult your doctor.

8. Medication side effects

Many medications (more than 400!) can cause your taste buds or brain to perceive flavors differently.

A very common example is various chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy to treat cancer (especially head and neck cancers).

Other medicines, such as amoxicillin, diuretics, metronidazole, and certain blood pressure medications (like captopril), can alter your sense of taste.

If this impacts your life, consult your physician to see if you can try an alternative.

9. Deficiency of essential nutrients

Diet can impact tastes in the mouth because your body needs specific vitamins and minerals to operate at peak performance. Mineral deficiencies in vitamin B or zinc can change how it perceives flavors! In addition, many people who eat a low-carbohydrate diet to lose weight (a process called ketosis) often develop a persistent, sweet fruity taste in the mouth.

If you’ve been following a ketogenic diet and experienced this, consult a nutritionist or doctor to ensure you follow the guidelines appropriately and consume all the nutrients you need.

10. Carcinoma

Lung cancer is an uncommon cause, but sometimes a sweet taste in the mouth can be an early symptom because tumors in the lungs or respiratory tract can alter someone’s hormone levels and change their taste perception.

11. Poor oral hygiene

Lack of teeth brushing and flossing can lead to gingivitis, more severe infections, and cavities which can impact your sense of taste and give you a sweet taste in the mouth.

Try brushing and flossing regularly, and swish salt water in your mouth to alleviate mild gingivitis. Consult your dentist for treatment options if you have a severe infection, pain, or the sweet taste still doesn’t go away.

How to get rid of a sweet taste in the mouth

a bunch of sweet candy in jars

You can do several things to remove an unwanted taste that seems stuck in your mouth. Here are a few ideas since an effective solution will depend on the cause.

Drink lots of water

For many, simply drinking water can work wonders because it can eliminate toxins and plaque and reduce stomach acids. Plus, it can wash out lingering flavors from food!

Believe it or not, most people go through their entire day slightly dehydrated, which can make nearly any problem worse. Staying hydrated is a crucial element in reducing unwanted flavors in the mouth.

Eat a healthy and varied diet

Consuming a diet with a lot of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help your body receive the nutrients it needs to perform at its peak potential.

Eating citrus fruits will help your body produce more saliva to wash away unwanted flavors. Avoid them, however, if they interfere with your medication efficacy or trigger GERD.

Avoid foods that alter your sense of taste, such as spicy foods, coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.

Address vitamin or mineral deficiencies

If you have deficiencies due to your diet, making changes to your diet and taking vitamin supplements may help. However, if you are trying to get rid of a sweet taste in the mouth that’s due to deficiencies caused by medication, ask your doctor if you can switch to an alternative.

Practice good oral hygiene

Brush your teeth at least twice a day (don’t forget your tongue!) and floss daily to remove bits of food and plaque from between your teeth. You can also rinse your mouth with mouthwash to help clean any spots you missed and remove any lingering flavors.

If you try these things and they don’t work, it’s time to consult your doctor or dentist to determine what’s causing you to have a sweet taste in your mouth and develop a treatment plan.

When it’s time to see your doctor

If you experience a sweet taste that’s infrequent or goes away on its own, you probably don’t need to schedule a visit with your doctor. One of the home remedies mentioned above will often help the sweet taste go away.

However, if they don’t work and the taste remains or is consistent, consult your doctor because the problem could result from an underlying health condition that requires medical attention.

And if you know you have a health condition such as kidney disease or diabetes or are taking medications that can alter the taste, talk with your doctor.

When you see your medical provider, they will do an examination and perform some tests and bloodwork to determine whether the cause of the sweet taste in your mouth is related to your hormones, sense of smell, respiratory or digestive systems, or if it’s neurological.

Some tests they may order could include:

  • Blood tests to check for blood sugar levels, hormone levels, and possible infections
  • Endoscopy to check for digestive conditions
  • Brain scans to check neurological responses and scan for disorders
  • CT or MRI scans to check for tumors

Then, depending on what they find, they may send you to a specialist (ex: ENT, endocrinologist, or neurologist) to learn more.

Ultimately, the treatment will vary based on the results your doctor receives from these tests. Someone with an oral infection may need better oral hygiene habits or antibiotics to clear up the condition (and the unwanted sweet taste). In contrast, someone with diabetes may need to change their diet or begin insulin therapy to find relief.


a bunch of sour candy

Here are a couple of frequently asked questions about getting rid of a sweet taste in your mouth.

Can stress cause a sweet taste in the mouth?

Yes, it can. Unfortunately, extreme acute or chronic stress can cause many disorders, including issues with taste. If you have been under a lot of stress, try practicing self-care and doing some things to help you relax.

However, if simple things like getting enough sleep, regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet don’t help, you may need to consult your doctor to ensure you don’t have a health condition that requires medical attention.

Why does water taste sweet when I drink it?

Water is tasteless. However, sometimes people who have sensitive palates can detect a slightly sweet flavor if the water contains a concentration of certain minerals such as iron or calcium. That’s nothing to be concerned about.

On the other hand, if you notice a sweet taste when you aren’t eating or drinking, or all of your food tastes sweeter than usual, talk with your doctor.

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