Why does bitterness appear in the mouth? How to get rid of it?


  • Diseases of the digestive system
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Glisten invasion
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Stomach, intestines
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Stress
  • Tumors
  • Other reasons
  • Temporary bitter aftertaste
  • Diagnostics
  • Treatment

Bitterness in the mouth can be temporary, periodic or permanent. Often its occurrence is tied to a specific time of day or action (food, exercise). In most cases, the cause is easily diagnosed, but sometimes diversified doctors for a long time looking for a source, medically removing the discomfort only for a while.

Diseases of the digestive system

Almost everyone knows the feeling of bile bitterness, resulting from vomiting. To get rid of him enough to drink water. In some cases, this aftertaste appears on its own, but it is impossible to drink it or seize it. Most often, bitterness in the mouth is a sign of the pathology of the digestive tract. Which organ is affected can be determined by the nature and duration of the symptom.


Bile is produced by the liver, so the cause of bitterness can be dysfunction of this organ, caused by damage to its cells (hepatocytes). In this case, an unpleasant taste occurs mainly in the morning. At night, all processes slow down, forming too much bile. This leads to an overflow of the gallbladder and a sharp splash of its contents into the digestive tract.

In liver diseases, the symptom may appear not only in the mornings, but also after a daytime sleep, heavy physical exertion, too fatty foods. With a long-term developing pathology, the yellowish shade of the mucous tissues, the sclera of the eyes, and the digestion failure become noticeable.


Receiving reservoir and dispenser for incoming fluid from the liver is the gallbladder. The timeliness and rhythm of the release of bile into the intestine is ensured by a system of ducts and sphincters. If their permeability and tone are impaired, then control over the process is lost. The bile ducts may narrow due to blockage with stones (gallstone disease), due to inflammatory processes (cholecystitis). Bile stagnates, and then is released in an excess of volume, which leads to the appearance of a bitter taste in the morning, after a heavy meal, physical exertion.

It is possible to determine the pathology of the gallbladder by periodic dull pain in the region of the right hypochondrium. When exacerbated, it becomes burning, baking. Often there is nausea, heartburn.

Glisten invasion

The bitterness in the oral cavity, which manifests itself after a night’s sleep, is provoked by the vital activity of parasites, in particular Giardia. They are attached to the intestinal walls, irritate its mucous membrane, emit a large amount of toxins. A bitter taste in the morning is often accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and discomfort in the lower abdomen. Lack of treatment is fraught with a deterioration of the general condition, headaches, weight loss due to loss of appetite.

Gastroesophageal reflux

The injection of intestinal contents mixed with bile into the stomach is called gastroesophageal reflux. Pathology develops due to the weakness of the sphincters responsible for the delimitation of the digestive organs. As a result, bile bitterness is in the mouth. Sternum pain, nausea, vomiting are often companions of reflux. Symptoms usually occur after eating, regardless of its characteristics. In some cases, reflux happens at night.

Stomach, intestines

The normal work of the digestive sphincters, the timely outflow of bile can interfere with the inflamed or damaged gastric mucosa. Signaling about the pathology of this organ can be a feeling of heaviness even after small portions of food, belching, dull pain in the epigastrium.

If the intestines are inflamed (enteritis, colitis), its microflora is disturbed, then a bitter feeling after eating is added to the bitter taste throughout the abdomen, often nauseous. Against the background of a long-term pathology, hair loss begins, a chronic feeling of weakness, blanching of the skin, and sleep disturbance.

Endocrine disorders

Bitterness in the mouth is sometimes a symptom of an imbalance in the hormonal system caused by, for example, thyroid dysfunction. A periodic feeling of bitterness in a compartment with excessive sweating, irregular weight may be the only sign of nascent diabetes.


With a one-time, chronic stress, a spasm of the internal organs occurs. As a result, the normal flow of bile is disturbed, and as a result of an overflow of the bladder, it bursts out uncontrollably, penetrating the esophagus, the oral cavity.


Cancers of oncological nature in the digestive organs at first may not manifest themselves, except for bitterness in the mouth. Already as they grow, weakness, weight loss, discomfort, and pain from squeezed organs are added.

Other reasons

The cause of bitterness in the mouth is not always bile. In some cases, an unpleasant taste that interferes with the normal perception of food arises due to the influence of external factors or psychogenic disorders.

Nasopharyngeal pathologies

Background bitterness in the mouth can be the result of all sorts of dental procedures. In some clinics used low-quality materials that give foreign flavor.

Sometimes a source of background obsessive bitterness becomes sore gums (gingivitis) or sore tongue (glossitis). Occasionally the reason lies in poorly installed braces, crowns, provoking an allergic or infectious inflammatory reaction.

Of the factors causing bitterness, it can also be noted:

  • polyps in the nose, chronic congestion (rhinitis);
  • dry mouth due to Sjogren’s disease;
  • infection of the salivary glands;
  • angina;
  • SARS and sinusitis.

Bitterness may remain for some time after curing the underlying pathology.

Below is a summary table, which contains the main causes with associated characteristic symptoms.

Heartburn, chest pain, belchingGastroesophageal reflux
Stomach full, swollen stomach, nauseaGastric dyspepsia
Nausea, heartburn, gray (possibly white) layer of tongueGastritis, ulcers, intestinal intoxication
Heterogeneous whitish or yellow bloom on the entire surface of the tongue, belching, heaviness in the epigastriumChronic gastritis
Pain under the right rib, yellowish plaque on the tonguePathology of the liver or libel system
White patches on the surface of the tongue, musty breath, swollen gumsDental problems
Severity in right side immediately after physical activityCholecystitis, dysfunctional stones
Systematic bitterness appearing only after eating.Dysfunction of the bile ducts, liver

Neurological causes

The versatility of taste is ensured by the coordinated transmission of impulses from receptors located in the mouth to the brain. Failure in this complex system may occur due to head injury, with brain diseases, facial paralysis, as well as other pathologies affecting nerve endings. As a result, a neutral taste in the mouth can change to a bitter one. Along the way, other symptoms appear, for example: skin sensitivity increases, vision is disturbed.

Temporary bitter aftertaste

The bitterness felt for several hours or even days can be caused by the following factors:

  • poisoning (mercury, lead, zinc and copper). Black dots before eyes, clouding of consciousness, shortness of breath, vomiting — associated symptoms that signal the need for immediate hospitalization. Such a poisoning can occur not only with employees of chemical plants, but also in everyday life with careless handling, for example, with insecticides, mercury thermometers;
  • medication . Often bitterness in the mouth gradually appears due to long-term therapy with antibiotics, drugs that regulate pressure, antifungal and other drugs. Of the associated symptoms, there is a violation of the chair, nausea, heartburn. The drugs that make up chemotherapy often change the taste;
  • products . The most striking example of food that causes residual bitterness is rancid pine nuts, as well as substandard canned food in butter.

Bitterness in the mouth often becomes a companion of heavy smokers. Taste receptors under the constant influence of toxins no longer work smoothly, which causes periodic or background bitterness in the mouth.

Of the harmless causes of bitterness, you can call a long breath in your mouth, as a result of which the mucous membrane dries out and the taste buds are disturbed.


An annoying bitter aftertaste, constant or systematically appearing, is a reason to be alert and to be examined. You can contact a therapist who will correctly collect a history and refer you to a specialist. In some cases, there are additional symptoms that allow you to make a decision about choosing a doctor. For example, heartburn, vomiting, epigastric pain is the area of ​​competence of a gastroenterologist. A sharp loss or weight gain, an increase in the thyroid gland, sweating, dry skin are clear signs of a hormonal imbalance, which the endocrinologist deals with restoring.


The bitterness in the mouth caused by pathologies is eliminated during the treatment of the underlying disease prescribed by the doctor.

Pharmaceutical preparations based on the results of self-diagnosis should not be taken. For example, massively advertised hepatoprotectors (such as Essentiale Forte) can have the opposite effect and cause pain in the liver.

There are several general recommendations that can help get rid of obsessive bitterness in common diseases of the digestive tract (gastritis, reflux):

  • not eating 3 hours before bedtime;
  • do not take a horizontal position for 2 hours after eating;
  • get rid of smoking;
  • avoid prolonged work in a bent position (weeding beds, washing floors);
  • sleep on a slightly raised elastic pillow (do not use rollers);
  • drink 1.5 liters of pure water daily;
  • minimize the amount of fatty, fried, spicy foods, pastries, coffee, carbonated drinks;
  • release the intestines from toxins by taking the sorbents by course (for example, Enterosgel);
  • stimulate peristalsis by regular use of fresh vegetables and fruits.

The bitterness that has appeared, for example, after eating pine nuts, can be neutralized in the following ways :

  • flax jelly . Flax seed in the amount of one tablespoon grind in a coffee grinder, pour a glass of hot water, insist about 20 minutes. The resulting thick drink is drunk half a glass before meals in the morning and before dinner. Preventive course –5 days;
  • citrus fruits . You can eat a few slices or make an infusion: chopped peel (zest) of one fruit is poured with a glass of boiling water and infused for about 3 hours. The drink is consumed по cup throughout the day;
  • mint infusion . A teaspoon of mint leaves pour a glass of boiling water and infuse for about 20 minutes. Infusion can be drunk throughout the day. Peppermint has a positive effect on the condition of the gallbladder;
  • chew spicy cloves, cinnamon sticks .

In some cases, normalization of diet and diet helps to get rid of bitterness: small portions of light meals 5-6 times a day. Regular moderate physical activity eliminates stagnation in the intestines, stimulates digestion, improves metabolism, positively affects hormones, as well as mental state.

Bitterness in the mouth does not always indicate the development of pathology, but if the symptom does not go away for a long time, then a doctor’s consultation is necessary. Modern survey methods allow you to quickly and painlessly establish the cause.

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