Soapy Taste in Mouth: What’s Causing It

What Is Soap Like Taste in Mouth?

Soap like taste in mouth (SML) is a common condition which occurs when there are no normal acids present in your stomach or intestines. Normally, these acids break down foods into smaller molecules and then the small molecules travel through your digestive system to your large intestine where they are broken down further. If there is no normal amount of acid, it causes the breakdown of food particles too quickly and results in a burning sensation. Some people experience SML only occasionally, while others develop it regularly.

Symptoms of Soap Like Taste in Mouth

The symptoms of soap like taste in mouth include:

Burning sensation in the back of throat when swallowing food or drink. You may feel nauseous if you eat spicy foods. Symptoms usually disappear within a few hours without treatment.

Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea may occur due to the burning sensation caused by SML.

You may not be able to swallow food or liquid. You will need to feed yourself with a spoon or gulp down liquids slowly.

If you have had any type of surgery such as gastric bypass, you may experience complications from the lack of stomach acid. These complications could include bleeding in the esophagus, heart failure and even death. Surgery is rarely necessary for those who do not suffer from SML.

Treatment for Soap Like Taste in Mouth

If you suffer from SML regularly, your physician may prescribe an over-the-counter medication for heartburn or acid reflux disease. These medications are designed to keep the stomach’s digestive juices from coming into contact with the esophagus. The most common drugs of this nature include:

Antacids such as Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid.

H2 Receptor Antagonists such as Zantac, Tagamet and Pepcid.

If you suffer from SML, your physician may also recommend prescription medications that contain the bicarbonate ion. These drugs neutralize stomach acid and help relieve symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.

When taking these drugs, it is important to follow your physician’s instructions. Do not stop taking these medications without first speaking to your doctor. If you do not suffer from SML on a regular basis, you should contact your physician immediately as you may require further examination.

What You Need to Know About Soap Like Taste in Mouth

SML is a harmless condition that usually only affects your sense of taste. It is not life-threatening and can disappear as quickly as it appears. Most people with SML can easily lead a normal, healthy lifestyle.

If you suffer from SML on an ongoing basis, make sure to follow your physician’s advice.

Sources & references used in this article:

A bad taste in the mouth: Gustatory disgust influences moral judgment by KJ Eskine, NA Kacinik, JJ Prinz – Psychological science, 2011 –

Idiopathic hypogeusia with dysgeusia, hyposmia, and dysosmia: a new syndrome by RI Henkin, PJ Schechter, R Hoye, CFT Mattern – JAMA, 1971 –

Taste disorders in cancer patients: pathogenesis, and approach to assessment and management by JB Epstein, A Barasch – Oral oncology, 2010 – Elsevier