All of us experience a sour taste in the mouth when we get up in the morning. Have you ever wondered why does our mouth taste this way? The phenomenon referred as sour taste in mouth actually has a lot many theories to describe its origin, but sadly, very few of them are conclusive enough. Sour taste could be due to lack of saliva in the mouth or dry mouth, vitamin deficiencies, chronic and periodontal diseases, certain drug intake or even neurological disorder. If this problem is persistent, you should first try concluding your own cause and then treat it accordingly. If required, consult your physician to treat the cause from the root. This article provides you with a list of causes, which lead to sour taste in the mouth.
Causes Of Sour Taste In Mouth
Anaerobic bacteria produce sulfur like smell in the mouth. Dwelling at the back of the tongue, they lend a sour taste to the mouth. During the day, the bacterial functioning in the mouth does not succeed due to the secretion of saliva, as one of the characteristic features of saliva being breaking down the anaerobic bacteria. As such, while one is sleeping, there is a high growth of bacteria in the mouth, due to a drop in the saliva secretion. Due to this very reason, a person experiences both bad breath and a lingering sour taste in the mouth. The bacteria accumulate and form a thick coating on the tongue, which tastes sour.
Post Nasal Drip
Another cause of sour taste in the mouth is post nasal drip. The mucus in the nose is rich in protein and provides a good breeding ground for bacteria. As a result, the bacteria multiply on a large scale and get accumulated at the back of the tongue. This leads to a sour taste in mouth, which also explains the reason as to why a person prone to sinus infection has a perpetual sour taste in his mouth.
If you are suffering from heartburn, you are likely to have a sour taste in the mouth. When one eats food, it passes through the esophagus and enters the stomach. A muscle called lower esophageal sphincter or LES lies between the esophagus and stomach and acts as a valve. As soon as the digestive process begins, the stomach releases several acids and gastric juices to digest the ingested food. If the LES gets weak and does not open or close appropriately on time, the undigested lump of food as well as gastric acids reflux into the esophagus. This results in burning sensation in the chest and throat, leaving a sour taste in the mouth.
Zenker's Diverticulum is a disorder, which leads to the development of a pocket or pouch in the esophagus. Usually seen in older adults, under this condition, the decayed food particles get stored in the pouch. When one is lying down after consuming a meal, the food particles tend to fall out of the pouch and enter the throat. This causes severe choking and coughing and also lends a sour taste in the mouth.
Certain vitamin deficiencies like Vitamin B12 can cause sour taste in mouth. Even gum infections leads to a sour taste. A lot of pregnant women complain of frequent cases of sour taste in the mouth. This is mainly due to acid reflux. During pregnancy, there is excessive body pressure on the stomach which leads to further pressure on the LES. When this happens, the undigested food spurts back into the esophagus and the person experiences sour taste in the mouth along with few other annoying symptoms. Obese people have the same complaint. Even certain drugs are capable of invoking the sour taste in the mouth. Periodontal disease or any sort of infection in the gum or tooth can also be the reason for sour taste in the mouth. Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory disorders also contribute to sour taste in mouth.
Phantom Sour Taste in Mouth
A certain neurological disorder in which the olfactory nerves misinterpret a smell as offensive when it is actually not, leads to an illusionary sense of sour taste in the mouth. Quite often, the sour taste in the mouth is followed by epileptic seizures. This is a grave medical condition and if one experiences the sour taste in the mouth for a long time, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately.