What's Causing A Soapy Taste In Your Mouth?

You step out of the shower and you know for a fact that you didn't get any soapy residue in your mouth. So what's that bitter, slightly metallic flavor doing on your taste buds? According to Medical News Today, a soapy taste in the mouth can be the result of external factors, as well as internal factors. Such causes can range from ingesting lingering soap remnants on silverware, to the presence of certain health conditions.

As previously mentioned, a soapy taste in the mouth may be the direct result of, well, soap. Experts report that dishes, drinking straws, or kitchen utensils that haven't been adequately rinsed after washing may contain soap residue. The same holds true for food items that may have been washed in soapy water. In this event, a soapy mouth taste is generally short-lived. Similarly, if you experience anxiety regarding soap contamination — even if it's not present — the mental apprehension may produce a soapy flavor in the mouth.

Alternatively, certain medications may be responsible for your soap-flavored mouth, reports Medical News Today. For example, one such medication associated with soapy-tasting side effects is the antiviral drug Paxlovid for treatment of COVID-19, reports The Atlantic.

A soapy taste may be related to oral health

A soapy taste in the mouth could also point to issues with one's oral health, according to dental experts at Damon R. Johnson, DDS. If we fall behind on our routine brushing and flossing, for example, old food particles in our teeth may begin to give off a soapy taste as they degrade. Alternatively, cavities, dry mouth, oral thrush, or acid reflux can also cause one to taste soap in their mouth. However, a soapy taste in the mouth doesn't always indicate a problem with oral hygiene. Rather, dental experts explain that our genes or changes in hormones over time can alter how our taste buds perceive certain flavors.

In rare instances, a soapy taste in the mouth accompanied by additional symptoms, such as dilated pupils, vomiting or diarrhea, spasms, or skin that is pale or bluish in color can be signs of sodium fluoride poisoning (via Healthline). Sodium fluoride — like that found in insecticides — can be toxic in the event of overexposure. At the onset of symptoms, promptly seek emergency medical assistance. You'll also want to reach out to Poison Control for additional guidance.

In many cases, a temporary soapy taste in the mouth is generally not cause for concern. However, if the taste persists for more than one to two days, intensifies, or is accompanied by additional symptoms, be sure to reach out to your physician, advises Medical News Today.