Tart Taste In Mouth – Acid Reflux & Other Causes

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The tart taste in your mouth can only be explained as sour, acidic, or even a combination of both tastes can be due to various reasons. While acid reflux or GERD is a common problem for this symptom, other issues include poor oral hygiene, aging, dehydration, smoking, illness, and medications. In addition, the tart taste is preventable by bringing lifestyle changes, including your eating and exercise habits.

In our daily lives, we through different tastes and smells as human beings. Some tastes are natural, while some are unnatural.

One such unnatural taste that you shouldn’t ignore is the tart taste in your mouth. A tart taste can be categorized as feeling a sour or acidic taste in your mouth.

If you get this often and without warning, you might have acid refluxes or other attached issues in your body that needs attention. It isn’t normal for a person to get this taste usually in their mouth.

Let’s review the reasons behind why you could be getting this taste.

Is acid reflux the cause of the sour acidic taste in my mouth?

A young woman sat down on a bench at the park after feeling acid reflux like symptoms.

The most common reason behind getting this sour or acidic taste in your mouth is because you might be having acidic refluxes.

It’s a pretty standard condition that affects about 20% of Americans. It’s when the stomach acid rises all the way to the back of your throat or your mouth, causing this tart taste in your mouth.

The stomach acid and other contents can rise to the esophagus, leaving you with this nasty tart taste in your mouth. The acid can enter LES (lower esophageal sphincter) only when it’s damaged or may not close properly.

This allows acid to travel to the esophagus and causes acid reflux.

Tart taste and other symptoms

When you suffer from acidic reflux getting a tart taste in your mouth is just one of the significant symptoms. In contrast, other symptoms can help identify if you have refluxes.

Symptoms can vary depending on the organs affected by the stomach acid and the severity of it.

  • Tart taste
  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Dyspepsia
  • Swallowing issues
  • Sore throat

Causes of acidic reflux

  • Stomach abnormalities
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Foods acidic in nature
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating a heavy meal then immediately lying on your back or bending over
  • Taking medicines on an empty stomach
  • Snacking just before bedtime

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more chronic and severe form of acid reflux that can lead to more severe health complications than normal acidic refluxes.

Other causes for tart taste

1. Dehydration

There are also simple reasons such as dehydration that also cause this tart taste in your mouth. It’s because you didn’t drink enough water that led to dehydration.

When you don’t drink enough water, your saliva’s taste changes making your mouth feel acidic or sour in taste.

2. Smoking

Smoking is not only dangerous to your health but can alter your taste for a long time, especially if you are a frequent or chain smoker.

A man is shown breaking a cigarette in half

Nicotine dulls your senses and taste and leaves your mouth smelling funny.

You can easily recognize a smoker from their breath. They will feel only the tart taste in their mouth.

3. Brushing and flossing

Your dentist might have told you a thousand times now to brush your teeth two times a day (morning and evening) and floss daily.

Why do you think that is? Only because regularly brushing and flossing will keep your mouth free from bacteria.

Poor oral hygiene is a significant cause of multiple oral infections that lead to a tart taste in your mouth.

4. Infections or illness

Notice that whenever cold takes over you, your sense of smell and taste changes.

When foreign elements are in your body, they can alter many things, including your sense of taste. You can feel the tart taste in your mouth during your illness and infections.

5. Medications

Medications often alter your sense of taste and smell. Things might feel off for a while whenever you’re on medication.

Everything you eat and drink will taste sour, acidic, or bitter. There will be this tart taste that you will definitely feel when on medication.

6. Aging

As we age, our taste buds tend to shrink. So, age is another factor behind feeling this tart taste. Your taste buds won’t be as varied as you age.

Ways to prevent the tart taste

Acid refluxes or GERD is a more common reason for getting this tart taste in your mouth.

It’s also important to know what you can do to prevent getting this taste and how you can ensure that you won’t get these acid refluxes.

If you’re suffering from mild or occasional cases of acid reflux, you can easily avoid them by making a few changes in your lifestyle.

These changes include a list of foods to avoid because of their acidic nature, exercising regularly, and sitting and lying down after a meal to prevent acidic reflux.

If the refluxes are severe in nature, you might need the support of medication or even surgery in rare cases.

Other helpful ways to get rid of the tart taste

  1. If the cause is dehydration, remember to drink plenty of water a day. The recommended amount of water is 7-8 glasses per day.
  2. Leaving smoking is not only good for your health, preventing an early death but will also get rid of the tart taste eventually.
  3. You should maintain your oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, followed by flossing to keep your mouth free from bacteria and germs.
  4. Try not to get sick too often by washing your hands frequently and wearing a mask if you think you are visiting an infectious or ill person.
  5. Antibiotics taken during an illness will mess up with your taste buds making you taste the tartness in your mouth. When you’re off the medicines for some time, your sense of taste and smell will return too.


What does tart mean in taste?

Tart taste means a sour, acidic, or a combination of both tastes in the mouth.

What food neutralizes stomach acid?

There are different kinds of food that you can try to calm your stomach down as they will soothe the acid in your stomach and help prevent acidic refluxes.

These foods include banana, melon, yogurt, green vegetables, and oatmeal.

To summarize

If only recently you have started to get this tarty feeling in your mouth that you can only describe as a sour or acidic taste, both even, these can only be explained by an underlying health issue such as acid reflux. Or there might be other reasons, such as smoking, being on medications, and even aging.

Your taste buds should be able to keep your mouth free from any such taste, and if you do, you’re overlooking your health issues.

Even oral hygiene is an essential factor in maintaining your health, which many people tend to ignore. By taking some lifestyle changes, you can prevent this taste in your mouth.

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Saumya Malik
I'm an ardent follower of everything good for the health and wellness of body and mind. I am passionate about providing effective solutions to general health and mental well-being issues and wants to help people achieve the same. When I'm not writing, you can find me curled up with a good book in a corner or cooking as a form of good mental therapy.

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