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Why Do I Have a Constant Sour Taste in My Mouth? Causes & Remedies


Have you ever experienced a persistent sour, acidic, or bitter taste in your mouth that just won’t go away? It’s an unpleasant sensation that can make you miserable and impact your ability to enjoy food and drinks. The good news is, you’re not alone – a constant sour taste is a common issue with several possible underlying causes.

What Causes a Constant Sour Taste?

There are many potential reasons why you might be experiencing a lingering sour or acidic taste:

Acid Reflux/GERD

One of the most common culprits is acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and potentially reaches the mouth, leaving a sour taste. Acid reflux can be caused by:

  • A hiatal hernia.
  • Obesity.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Certain foods that relax the esophageal sphincter (spicy, fried, fatty items).

Dry Mouth

Lack of adequate saliva production, a condition called dry mouth or xerostomia, can lead to a sour or acidic taste. Dry mouth can be caused by:

  • Medications (antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants).
  • Medical conditions (Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease).
  • Dehydration.
  • Smoking.

Oral Infections and Conditions

Various infections, inflammation, and other issues in the mouth can impact your sense of taste, sometimes resulting in a sour taste. These include:

  • Bacterial or fungal overgrowth.
  • Gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis).
  • Mouth sores or ulcers.
  • Oral thrush (yeast infection).

Tonsil Stones

If you have recurring tonsil stones (tonsilloliths), the bacteria and debris that accumulate in these crypts can cause a sour or bad taste in the mouth.

Sinusitis and Postnasal Drip

Inflammation in the sinus cavities from conditions like sinusitis can lead to excess mucus drainage down the back of the throat, altering your sense of taste.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Not brushing and flossing regularly allows buildup of bacteria, food particles, and plaque – all of which can contribute to a sour or unpleasant taste.

Other potential causes:

  • Wearing dentures.
  • Smoking.
  • Heavy alcohol use.
  • Medical conditions (diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, liver/kidney disease, Parkinson’s).

When to See a Doctor

While a sour taste isn’t necessarily a cause for panic, you should make an appointment with your doctor or dentist if the symptom persists for more than 2 weeks. It’s also wise to get evaluated if the sour taste is accompanied by other issues like:

  • Pain.
  • Fever.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Difficulty swallowing.

In some cases, a constant sour taste could signal a more serious underlying condition that requires medical treatment.

Home Remedies for a Sour Taste

Before pursuing medication or medical procedures, there are some simple home remedies you can try to eliminate or at least improve that lingering sour taste:

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sometimes a sour taste is simply due to dry mouth.

Suck on Sugar-Free Mints or Gum

The increased saliva production can help wash away acids and bacteria.

Brush and Floss Regularly

Good oral hygiene prevents buildup of plaque and bacteria that could be causing odors or tastes.

Use Mouth Rinses

Over-the-counter rinses with cetylpyridinium chloride can help kill bacteria. Rinses with zinc can leave a better taste.

Avoid Trigger Foods

Limit consumption of spicy, acidic, fried, or fatty foods that may be exacerbating reflux or other causes.

Try OTC Acid Reducers

Medications like Tums, Rolaids, or Pepto-Bismol can help neutralize stomach acid.

Medical Treatments

If home care doesn’t provide enough relief, your doctor may recommend:


  • Acid Reflux Drugs: H2 blockers like ranitidine or proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole to reduce stomach acid production.
  • Antibiotics: For bacterial infections in the mouth, throat, or sinus cavities.
  • Saliva Stimulants: Prescriptions like cevimeline can boost saliva flow.
  • Zinc Lozenges/Rinses: Can help with sour taste caused by dry mouth or xerostomia.
  • Nutritional Supplements: For deficiencies that may be impacting taste.

Other Treatments:

  • Oral Rinses/Lozenges: Prescription products to improve oral hygiene.
  • Surgery: In severe cases of acid reflux, a procedure like fundoplication may be recommended.

Natural Remedies

Some patients prefer to try more natural options before medications. Possible remedies include:

  • Baking Soda Rinses: The alkaline baking soda can help neutralize acid.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Taking a few teaspoons can increase saliva production.
  • Probiotics: Supplements or foods with beneficial bacteria may help balance gut microbiome.
  • Herbs: Fennel, anise, parsley and others may help mask sour taste.
  • Good Oral Hygiene: Brushing, flossing, tongue scraping to remove bacteria.

Diet & Lifestyle Changes

Tweaking your diet and making some lifestyle adjustments can also help eliminate a constant sour taste:

  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Lose weight if obese/overweight.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Limit acidic foods like citrus fruits.
  • Cut back on spicy, fried, fatty items.
  • Drink more water and milk.

When to Expect Relief

If the sour taste is being caused by a relatively minor or temporary issue like dry mouth, you may experience relief within a few days of using home remedies. For chronic conditions like acid reflux or GERD, it can take several weeks of medical treatment and lifestyle adjustments before the taste dissipates.

Ultimately, resolving the underlying cause – whether that’s through medication, natural remedies, or diet changes – is the key to getting rid of that persistent sour taste once and for all.

Table: Common Causes of Sour Taste

Acid Reflux/GERDStomach acid backing up into esophagus and mouth
Dry MouthLack of adequate saliva production
Oral InfectionsBacterial, fungal, or viral overgrowth
Tonsil StonesDebris buildup on tonsils harboring bacteria
SinusitisPostnasal drip from sinus inflammation
Poor HygienePlaque, bacteria from lack of brushing/flossing

Case Study: Sarah, a 32-year-old teacher, visited her doctor complaining of a constant sour taste in her mouth for over a month, along with occasional heartburn. Her physician diagnosed her with GERD and prescribed a proton pump inhibitor medication to reduce acid production. Within 3 weeks of taking the PPI drug and making some dietary changes like avoiding spicy foods, Sarah’s sour taste finally went away.

In conclusion, a constant sour taste in the mouth can have many different causes – some minor and easily treatable, others requiring more aggressive medical therapies. By working closely with your doctor or dentist on pinpointing the underlying issue, you can find relief through medications, natural remedies, better oral hygiene, or diet and lifestyle adjustments. The key is not to ignore a persistent sour taste, as it could potentially signal a greater health concern.

Remember, while annoying, this symptom is common and treatable once the root cause is identified. Don’t let a constant sour taste take away your enjoyment of foods and beverages any longer!


The information provided above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized medical guidance and treatment.

This website does not promote or endorse any specific medical treatments or services. The information provided is purely for informational purposes and should not be taken as a recommendation or endorsement.

Hey there! I'm Chakkaravarthy, a passion for sharing blog posts that make navigating through detailed hospital profiles a breeze. My goal is to provide you with insights into specialties, facilities, and contact details in the simplest way possible. Email: digichakkara@gmail.com


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