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Here Are The Causes of Bitter Tongue during sickness and How to Overcome It

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You may have experienced a bad taste in your mouth when you have a fever, especially a bitter taste. In fact, this is a very common condition and usually occurs when the patient is recovering from their illness. What exactly causes bitterness in the mouth when you have a fever?

 

Causes of bitterness in the mouth during fever, according to Healthline.

A change in the taste of the mouth to sour, sweet, bitter or otherwise is a feature of a medical condition known as dysgeusia.

This condition is described as an unpleasant taste and can persist for a long time until the underlying cause is treated.

The cause itself is not too serious, but the condition can disrupt one’s diet or even make it difficult to eat and drink.

You may know that people with a fever often complain of a bitter mouth. One study in the journal Nature in 2015 reported that such sensory changes are caused by proteins that trigger inflammation.

When you have a fever, your body releases special proteins called cytokines as a response to illness. These proteins help the body’s defence cells to communicate with other cells.

In this way, cytokines fight foreign substances that enter the body. While useful, this process can trigger inflammation in certain parts of your body.

One of the cytokines produced by the body is tumour necrosis factor (TNF-α). This protein is produced by lymphoid cells, mast cells, endothelial cells, macrophage cells, fatty tissue and heart cells.

TNF-α is categorised as a powerful cytokine that can trigger inflammatory reactions in various body tissues, including the tongue.

 

Inflammation of the tongue can affect the function of the tongue itself and appetite. That’s why when you have a fever, your mouth tastes bitter.

In an old study published in the journal Neuropeptides, people who experience infections, autoimmune diseases, or other inflammatory conditions such as fever have higher TNF-α levels than healthy people.

To prove this, researchers conducted tests on two experimental animals, namely engineered and normal mice.

The engineered mice that lacked TNF-α reacted normally to sweet and sour flavours, but were less sensitive to bitter flavours.

The bitter taste has to do with decreased saliva production, decreased function of the tongue papillae and taste buds, and the growth of anaerobic bacteria that produce sulphur.

However, there is no need to worry. This bitter taste generally disappears on its own when your body is more fit or you recover from an illness.

How to treat a bitter tongue:

 

Bitter taste in the mouth is usually treated based on the cause. A doctor can diagnose your illness after recognising the symptoms or from a medical examination.

Home remedies can help some people to reduce bitterness in the mouth. Here’s how to keep your tongue from getting bitter when you have a fever.

Taking care of your teeth regularly by brushing, flossing, and using antibacterial mouthwash.

Chew sugar-free gum to maintain saliva production in the mouth.

Drinking more fluids every day.

Avoid spicy or oily foods, tobacco products, and alcohol.

Do not take vitamins or supplements that contain a lot of metals, such as zinc, chromium, copper, calcium and iron.

Eat citrus fruits to stimulate saliva production. Alternatively, you can make it into juice together with lemon to make the bitter taste disappear quickly.

Don’t smoke and avoid inhaling chemicals in the environment such as petrol.

Add a little baking soda to your toothbrush before applying the toothpaste. Brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly for about two and a half minutes.

If your mouth still tastes bitter even though you don’t have a fever, you may need to consult a doctor to find out the cause.

A bitter tongue can be related to acid reflux disease, nerve disorders, oral infections, drug side effects, and the effects of radiotherapy. Your doctor may suggest further examination and appropriate treatment.

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