Maybe this has happened to you. You wake up, get ready for the day, but when you take your first bite of breakfast, it tastes like soap. Maybe you made your oatmeal in a dish that hadn’t been fully rinsed off, maybe some detergent caked on, you think. So you take another bite, this time of a slice of melon. You hope the soapy taste isn’t there, your taste buds remember the sweet flavor of the cantaloupe, the way its fresh aroma helps brighten your morning. But alas, soap is all you taste. In desperation, the soap taste now pervasive & constant on your palate, you take a gulp of hot coffee. Even the scorch of freshly brewed caffeine is not able to rid you of this taste. You can’t brush it away even. So what happened?
No, your mom didn’t wash your mouth out for cursing too much. The cause of this unpleasant sensation is likely due to poor oral health & it could be time to visit the dentist.
A Not-So-Clean Flavor
A persistent soapy taste often comes from recent neglect of hygiene. Failure to brush & floss properly can result in old food staying in the mouth for a day or more. That food will begin to break down & cause a poor taste. Brushing & flossing correctly, rinsing thoroughly & allowing time for your mouth to readjust should alleviate the problems.
A multitude of other factors can also change how the mouth tastes even when you haven’t eaten in a while. Sometimes the answer can be as simple as your taste buds interpreting flavors differently. This can either be a result of genetics or from a change in hormones as we age.
Acid reflux, cavities, oral thrush & dry mouth can all lead to this soapy flavor too. Medications & dietary supplements can also affect how you taste, so be sure to note any new prescriptions & diet when discussing this with your dentist.
Finally, while it’s not likely, a soapy taste may be the result of poisoning. If this is the case, there are likely other symptoms that will accompany the taste. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor if the taste does not go away after a couple days. You should immediately see a doctor if other serious symptoms occur, such as loss of consciousness.
The Importance of Hygiene
Talk to your dentist if you’ve had a poor taste in your mouth & you are unsure as to the reasoning. They will ask questions & help you determine the exact cause.
A great way to avoid this problem altogether is a regular dental cleaning. Getting your teeth cleaned every six months will remove plaque buildup that brushing cannot clean & reduce your risk of a seemingly suds-soaked mouth. These cleanings are shown to improve your overall health & insured patients can have the cost of cleanings covered entirely. Many dentists have offers to help uninsured patients get the care they need too. So call your dentist today & schedule your next cleaning!