What Causes a Salty Taste in the Mouth?

Dehydration, salivary gland diseases or infections, certain medications, and postnasal drainage are possible causes of a salty taste in the mouth, says Riverside Health System. Blood in the mouth, tears that enter the mouth, vitamin deficiency, stroke and brain tumor are additional causes of a salty taste, states HealthGuidance.

Dehydration due to inadequate fluid intake, excessive loss of fluids or consumption of too much alcohol or caffeine can cause saliva to taste salty, explains Riverside Health System. Chemotherapy drugs and thyroid medications can cause a salty taste in the mouth as a side effect. Sinusitis or allergies can cause postnasal drainage that tastes salty.

Blood has a salty taste, so a person who bites his tongue, has gum disease or brushes his teeth too vigorously may notice a salty taste, notes HealthGuidance. Tears are salty, and occasionally they enter the mouth via the nasal passage. A person who has a deficiency of vitamin B-12 or zinc may notice a salty taste in his mouth along with tenderness of the tongue.

In some cases, a salty taste in the mouth results from faulty signals in the brain, advises HealthGuidance. This can occur if a person experiences a stroke or develops a brain tumor. An MRI can diagnose or rule out such conditions.