Written by Lisa Allen, MD
It is observed that certain people always complain of a salty taste to their mouths. Since taste is always more of a personal thing, it was only natural that this condition of a salty mouth wasn’t taken seriously than till recently. The different causes or reasons for a salty taste are given below.
Dehydration: This is a prime reason for a salty feeling or taste in the mouth. As water content in the body decreases, the concentrations of salts and minerals in the body increases, leading to a salty taste.
This need not meant that the water intake is low as people would believe. A dehydrated state can be had by excess intake of caffeine as from coffee of due to the intake of medications and certain minerals as well.
Malfunctioning Salivary glands: For a multitude of reasons the glands that produce saliva could not be functioning to its full capability. The reasons could be as varied as lack of sufficient water intake to certain medications that slow them down. Since the composition of saliva is to large part water, this can cause a salty taste to be formed.
Infected sinus: There are infections of the sinus glands that do produce a salty taste in the mouth. The inter-connected nature of the various glands and constituents of the digestive and olfactory systems would cause an imbalance in a particular part affect the rest.
Improper diet: It is desired that a person has a diet that would provide for his daily requirements. A deficient diet that does not provide all the necessary nutrients would at times cause for a salty taste to be built up in the mouth.
Here the function of healthy mucus that coats the most part of the mouth and nasal paths are to be noticed. An improper diet would cause imbalance in the mucus composition and hence lead to changes in taste and feel of substances.
Dental problems: Most people that do have cavities or caries of the teeth would complain of a salty mouth and at times of a bad breadth as well. Thus the state of a person’s teeth is a reflection of the greater health of the person in general. It is often seen that people that do not maintain good oral health is bound to have other health issues as well.
Tear ducts: When there is something wrong with the tear producing glands that mainly function to keep the eyes lubricated and in good condition, the mouth does tend to have a salty taste. It could be due to the excess production of tears that tend to find their way in to the mouth cavity through the various tubes connecting the eyes and mouth.
Remedies To Correct A Salty Mouth
As can be seen there is not just a single factor that comes to play when a salty tasting mouth is encountered. There are usually combinations of factors that affect the taste and it is always a holistic approach that would prove to provide a lasting solution.
Keeping hydrated: There cannot be a greater emphasize on the importance of water in daily diet. In countries where there is excessive and oppressive heat, it helps to eat lots of fruits and fresh salad. The high water content in such products would help keep the body hydrated and hence the water balance is maintained.
Since 70% of the human body is composing of water, there cannot be a greater stressing on the importance of water in diets. A salty taste is the least of concerns if a person is dehydrated and it could if left unattended produce a number of serious issues.
Avoid tobacco products: Tobacco is consumed in different forms with different cultures. If it is in the form of cigarettes in certain places it is as a chewable form in others. It is best that tobacco in any form is avoided. This would help maintain balance and cause the least damage to the uses of tobacco.
For people using tobacco, that they do have a salty taste is the least of problems. There are the more serious issues of cancer and complications that the tobacco causes with other medications and formulations.
Avoid extra spicy food: That the spices are intended to provide taste and smell to food is a known fact. If the spices are used in excess or that spicy food are taken in without any sort of control, then, it does play havoc with the taste buds and the digestive system.
Most spices are strong chemical agents that can cause changes in functioning of various parts of the body including the taste buds and salivary glands. Thus moderation is the key word here.
The right toothpaste: It is important that a person uses the proper and right type of tooth paste all the time. It is easy for people to fall for advertisements and promotions that would try to sell toothpastes that are not suited for a particular person. Each individual must be taken as unique when tooth pastes are concerned.
Toothpastes are more complex than previously thought. Some strong agents in a lot of tooth paste do affect the most important functions of some of the mouth parts and this is usually demonstrated by the mouth developing a salty taste.
Using gargles: As far as possible medicated gargles must be avoided. When a need for a gargle is felt it is best discussed with the family doctor before using them. Most gargles do contain strong cleansing agents that tend to interfere with the normal functioning of the various glands.
Also, the gargles must not be overused at any circumstances. This would put a stress on the working of various parts of the mouth resulting in a salty taste.
Prevention Of a Salt Tasting Mouth
As always, it is best advised to prevent a situation from occurring than to find a remedy to a problem created.
This is particularity so for instances when the situation can be easily prevented from occurring by following a few easy to do steps.
A few simple common sense steps that aim at keeping the mouth clean at all times with the stress on natural processes would to a large extent prevent a salty tasting mouth.