Before we go any further, I need to ask you a simple question. Does this ‘sour aftertaste’ come after you have eaten sour candy? If the answer is yes, goodbye, and I’ll see you when you have your next candy query. But if the answer is no, or you think something else might be going on here, then stick around. Eating candies that don’t taste sour can still leave you with a sour aftertaste. There are a variety of reasons for why this can happen. Some are so insignificant you can just ignore them, whilst others may require your attention. Today, I’m going to tell you why candy may leave a sour aftertaste in your mouth and what you should do about it if that is the case. So don’t panic just yet. Because if there’s something in this world that makes me relax, it’s the facts! Hmmm, calming facts.
So, why does candy leave a sour aftertaste? Candy that isn’t sour candy can also leave a sour aftertaste for you if there are lots of bacteria in your mouth at the time of eating it. The bacteria interact with the sugar, consequently releasing malic acid in your mouth, which tastes sour. In rarer cases, a sour aftertaste after eating candy could also mean that you have what is known as Dysgeusia – a type of taste disorder.
It’s likely the first one. But I thought I would introduce you to Dysgeusia, just in case.
Don’t be that hypochondriac, though.
If you suspect you have it, chances are you notice certain aftertastes with other foods too, or you have already been clinically diagnosed.
That’s to the experts.
Nevertheless, let’s continue to explore the potential reasons before looking at exactly what you can and perhaps should do.
Why Candy Can Leave A Sour Aftertaste
Candy can leave a sour aftertaste if your mouth has lots of bacteria inside it. It can also leave a sour aftertaste if you have Dysgeusia, a rare taste condition that has several underlying causes.
Well, the good news, if you get a sour aftertaste after eating candy, is that you’re not alone in this. You are not some kind of one-off freak show. Other people have the same issue.
But there are a variety of different reasons for why you get a sour aftertaste after eating candy.
Of course, one of those would be that you’re eating sour candy. No wonder you have a sour aftertaste in your mouth.
But if you get this sour aftertaste when you have been eating other types of candy, then this could be something else.
So, one by one, let’s take a look at the different causes. Starting with…
Your Mouth Contains Lots of Bacteria
I’m not pointing the finger; I’m just suggesting that it could be because, well, your mouth isn’t very clean and hygienic right now. There could be lots of bacteria lurking in there for whatever reason.
Why does this matter?
Bacteria respond to sugar by creating waste when it is digested. That waste has a sour taste to it. That is because the waste produced by the interaction between sugar and bacteria is acidic.
It’s acidic because it is an acid itself. Malic acid, to be precise. The digestive system, when we eat sugary candy, releases enzymes through our saliva.
This then breaks down the sugars you have eaten, but it also powers that interaction between the bacteria and the sugar which in turn releases malic acid.
So you’re basically tasting malic acid, which tastes sour, hence the sour aftertaste.
Now, bacteria forms in our mouth mainly due to pure oral hygiene.
It will form in our gum lines, get trapped in plaque pockets, and grow on our tongues. There, it will wait for sugar so that it can have some fun.
The more bacteria you have in your mouth, the more it will react with the sugar of the candy that you eat.
So, you can probably work it out for yourself that the more bacteria inside your mouth, the sourer the aftertaste will be when you eat candy.
So, the cleaner you ensure your mouth is, the fewer bacteria will develop in there. That means that there will be little if none at all of a sour aftertaste after you eat other candy.
The other cause might be Dysgeusia which is, in fact, a taste disorder.
To have Dysgeusia means that all foods, yes ALL FOODS, will taste sour, sweet, bitter, and metallic.
Not ideal, really, but it is what it is.
But don’t worry, there is help for such a condition. Such help would be centered around tackling the underlying cause.
These causes of Dysgeusia could be an infection, certain medications, and vitamin deficiencies.
It can also develop if you are pregnant at the time.
In the rarest and extreme cases, Dysgeusia can be a symptom of liver disease, hypothyroidism, and other health conditions.
So if you’re not sure, it is worth visiting your healthcare professional.
Does All Candy Leave A Sour Aftertaste?
Any candy that contains a significant amount of sugar is likely to cause a sour aftertaste so long as you have lots of bacteria in your mouth. Sugar-free candies, for obvious reasons, are unlikely to leave a sour aftertaste.
It will all depend on what the cause of the sour aftertaste is.
If you are experiencing a sour aftertaste because of Dysgeusia, then all candy will leave an aftertaste.
In fact, all foods are likely to leave a sour aftertaste because the sugar content is not the fundamental cause of a sour aftertaste when you have this condition.
This is because any food can have a sour aftertaste when you have Dysgeusia, including all candies.
But if the cause of your sour aftertaste is the interaction of sugar and bacteria in your mouth, then most candies will be guilty, but not all.
As was mentioned earlier, the more bacteria inside your mouth when you eat candy, the more it will interact with sugar and produce malic acid and a sour aftertaste.
Likewise, the more sugar contained in a candy, the more bacteria for it to interact with.
So the number of bacteria inside your mouth and the amount of sugar in a candy you eat are the significant factors.
But right now, we’re talking about candy specifically.
As we know that sugar is the guilty ingredient here that leaves a sour aftertaste, we can assume that the candies with the most sugar will produce the strongest sour aftertaste.
Conversely, those with less sugar will produce a much more subtle aftertaste.
But all candy that contains sugar will likely produce a sour aftertaste, so long as there is plenty of bacteria inside your mouth.
Now! Does anyone get the all-clear here? Well, yes. Isn’t it obvious who does? Sugar-free candy!
As sugar-free candy doesn’t contain any sugar, it won’t interact with the bacteria inside your mouth and produce a consequential sour aftertaste. Happy times for sugar-free candy!
But, know this. If your sour aftertaste is caused by Dysgeusia, then sugar-free candy can still produce a sour aftertaste as, remember, any food can do this when you have this taste condition.
Should Candy Leave A Sour Aftertaste?
It isn’t normal for candy to leave a sour aftertaste. However, it is an expected result if your mouth is overburdened with certain strains of bacteria.
It shouldn’t, really, because your mouth should be nice and clean.
But if you do get a sour aftertaste after eating candy, it’s not necessarily a sign of abnormality; it probably means that there are lots of bacteria in your mouth at the time.
But if it’s not caused by bacteria, then it might be Dysgeusia, as previously discussed.
That is something you should get checked out with your healthcare professional.
They can help you resolve the issue, so your nice clean mouth doesn’t have to taste sour anymore when you eat candy.
How To Prevent A sour Atertaste After Eating Candy
You can prevent a sour aftertaste after eating candy by improving your oral hygiene. If the cause of your sour aftertaste is Dysgeusia, then you can treat this with the appropriate healthcare measures.
Playtime is over, friend. If you don’t fancy that sour aftertaste you get after eating candy, and it’s caused by poor dental hygiene, then you’re going to need to make some changes.
Prioritize Oral Hygiene
I’m talking about brushing your teeth properly, flossing, and using mouthwash.
Get that set of chops in order so that bacteria daren’t even think about setting up in your mouth.
Once you do this, bacteria won’t form in your mouth as much, meaning you can happily eat candy without the sugar interacting with the bacteria and causing a sour aftertaste through the scientific process we discussed above.
Visit A Healthcare Professional
If the cause is Dysgeusia, then you’ll need to visit your healthcare professional so they can discern why you have this taste condition.
Once they know, they’ll be able to treat it. From there, hopefully, you’ll be able to eat candy again without a sour taste.
It might not be too much work at all.
For example, if it’s to do with a vitamin deficiency, then you just need to regularly replenish these vitamins. By doing that, you’ll keep your Dysgeusia to a minimum.
So, the secret is out. Candy, even the kind that isn’t sour, can leave a sour aftertaste.
It usually means…’ CLEAN YOUR MOUTH!’
Either way, are you going to stop eating candy?
Other sour candy guides you may want to check out:
- Why Do I Crave Sour Candy?
- Can Sour Candy Cause Sore Throat?
- Why Does Sour Candy Help Nausea?
- Sour Candy Makes Me Sweat • Why & What To Do!
- Why Does My Tongue Burn After Eating Sour Candy?
Hello, I’m Matthew – a candy enthusiast and the founder of Sugar Stand. I created this site to share everything I learn about the world of candy – from brands, and products all the way through to recommendations and opinions. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you’ve come to the right place!