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February 8, 1985

Salty Taste in the Mouth

Author Affiliations

Georgetown University Washington, DC

JAMA. 1985;253(6):778. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350300064016

To the Editor.—  This is to supplement the reply to the question concerning further evaluation of a middle-aged woman with a salty taste in her mouth.1 The physician did not mention the appearance of the patient's oral structures. This is unfortunate, because the latter might be related to her symptom. For example, if she has artificial teeth, the flavorings of any denture adhesive used could be a possible cause of the new taste. If the patient has natural teeth, she may have gingivitis or periodontitis, both of which are not only common but which are also characterized by increased seepage of crevicular fluid from the gingival margin,2 and often gingival bleeding. The sodium content of these fluids3,4 is far greater than that of saliva (5 to 23 mEq/L),5-7 even during increased salivary flow.6,7 Such an introduction of salt-rich biologic fluids into the normally very-low-sodium oral

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