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Sinus Infections and Metallic Taste

Sinus infections and metallic taste - metaqil
Meet the Author-Sara Juliano-MetaQil

Meet the Author: Sara Juliano, RDH

I have been a registered dental hygienist for over a decade. I have had the pleasure of working with amazing patients and educating them on their oral health throughout my career. Recently, I made the conscious decision to branch out within the dental field, choosing to maintain my dental hygiene license, and become a dental educator. With a passion for oral and systemic health, I have seen clinically the direct impact systemic health can have on oral health. I will be extending my knowledge outside of the dental chair into the world and make an impact on the lives of others. Learn more about Sara, here

I have been a registered dental hygienist for over a decade. With a passion for oral and systemic health, I have seen clinically the direct impact systemic health can have on oral health. I will be extending my knowledge outside of the dental chair into the world and make an impact on the lives of others. Learn more about Sara, here

What is Sinusitis?

A sinus infection (sinusitis) is an inflammatory response of the nasal and para sinus cavities that may last for more than 3 weeks. Unfortunately, sinus infections may reoccur several times throughout the year. There are several causes of a sinus infection: 

  • Bacterial and/or infectious microbes attaching to the epithelial lining  
  • Inflammatory responses from the hosts immune system (immune deficiencies) 
  • Anatomical structural factors (deviated septum, nasal polyps) 
  • Fungal infections 
  • Airborne toxins (cigarette smoke, chemical irritants) 

As a result of the inflammatory response of a sinus infection, people generally feel like they have a cold. The cardinal symptoms of a sinus infection are: 

  • Facial pain, tooth pain, facial pressure, and headaches 
  • Yellow or green nasal discharge 
  • Halitosis (bad breath) 
  • Altered or metallic taste (dysgeusia) 
  • Nasal obstruction which may lead to mouth breathing resulting in dry mouth symptoms 

What is Metallic Taste?

Metallic taste is a taste disorder medically known as dysgeusia. It is an abnormal or impaired sense of taste, or an unpleasant alteration of taste sensation. Dysgeusia is usually described as a persistent metallic, sour, bitter or other unusual, bad taste in the mouth. Some common metallic taste causes are: 

  • Cancer treatment 
  • COVID-19 
  • Prescriptions, over-the-counter medicine and vitamins 
  • GERD 
  • Infections and allergies 
  • Chemical exposures 
  • Central nervous system disorders 
  • Surgeries 
  • Poor oral hygiene 

How Do Sinus Infections Cause Metallic Taste?

Sinus infections are characterized by dysregulation and disruption of the body’s natural inflammatory response. This may cause dysfunction of the olfactory and gustatory glands. The production levels of the olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) glands are regulated from the same complex within the brain. 

  • The olfactory cortex is located in the cerebral cortex of the temporal lobe and is responsible for relaying receptors from the brain to create the sense of smell. 
  • The gustatory cortex is located in the cerebral cortex of the insular and frontal lobe and is responsible for relaying taste receptors to the mouth. This will stimulate taste buds and create the flavors bitter, sour, sweet and savory (umami). 

Both the olfactory and gustatory cortex share the same chemoreceptors and both glands receive sensory stimulation from the surrounding chemical environment. Unfortunately, taste and smell may be affected simultaneously. If one’s sense of taste is altered, then their sense of smell may be altered as well. In addition, the olfactory and gustatory glands share the same chemical receptor pathway from the chemosensory system in the brain. 

Chronic sinus infections may cause dysregulation, as well as disruption, of these complex chemoreceptor sites due to the disruption of the inflammatory response. Increased inflammation may result in a reduction of taste and smell receptors. As for someone who has chronic sinus issues, this may lead to chronic altered taste and smell.  

Chronic nasal congestion and a thick, dark-colored nasal discharge are common with infection. When the mucus drips into your throat from the back of your nose, you’ll notice a foul taste, and you may get bad breath. Unfortunately, this may create a decline in someone’s quality of life. 

sinus infections cause metallic taste-metaqil

Why is Metallic Taste a Problem?

Generally, metallic taste can cause poor nutrition since people with metallic taste often have aversions to certain foods. This is because the taste disorder makes foods taste different or even unpleasant. For this reason, people may eat less overall or make poor food choices. 

In order to mask the unpleasant taste, dysgeusia patients often choose to eat saltier, spicier, or more sugary foods. As a result, intake of sodium and sugar increases, and may cause complications or have a negative impact on overall health.  

Ways to Alleviate Metallic Taste from Sinus Infections

reducing bacteria in mouth can help metallic taste

Sinus infections are no fun! Besides not feeling well, experiencing metallic taste can cause you even more discomfort. Taking control of your metallic taste is important for your overall quality of life. Here are some ways to alleviate metallic taste symptoms from sinus infections: 

  • Maintain optimal oral health habits to reduce bacterial load in the mouth (brush 2 times per day and floss daily) 
  • Chew sugar-free gum that contains Xylitol 
  • Use a tongue scraper to remove plaque from the tongue (bad breath is also a result from heavy plaque on the tongue) 
  • Use MetaQil oral rinse for symptomatic relief 

Tips from a Dental Hygienist

Metallic taste and sinus infections can negatively affect your overall quality of life. As a Registered Dental Hygienist, I would like to share some tips with you! As always, if you have any health concerns or questions, consult with your healthcare professionals. 

Do not regularly drink sugary beverages. Sipping on high sugar beverages will significantly increase your risk for cavities as well as other oral health infections.  

Moreover, make sure you are visiting your dentist regularly for routine check-ups and cleanings to stay on top of your oral health. Poor oral health not only effects your mouth but it may also affect your overall systemic health. 

 It is crucial to be aware of your metallic taste symptoms, especially if you have chronic sinus infections. 

MetaQil #1 Metallic Taste Oral Rinse

MetaQil is the #1 solution for symptomatic relief of metallic taste. MetaQil’s scientifically designed formula alleviates metallic taste caused by chemotherapy, GERD, and a variety of medications. 

MetaQil gently cools the mouth and provides instant, long-lasting relief from metallic taste symptoms. It has a mild flavor and does not “sting” the mouth like an every-day mouthwash. Regular use of MetaQil can help patients return to healthy eating and adequate nutrient intake.

How to use MetaQil?

For best results, use approximately 5 ml (one teaspoon) of MetaQil®, rinse for 30 seconds, and spit out. MetaQil can be used on an as-needed basis. Use alone or after each time you brush your teeth

Important: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your physician before using MetaQil. Do not use MetaQil if you are taking any medications that are contraindicated with the product. Please consult with your physician if you have any concerns regarding the use of this product. Keep out of reach of children.

For more information about MetaQil, click here.

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