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What is the cause for blood from the mouth?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2542 Questions
blood on pillowI woke up this morning with a quarter sized blood stain on my pillow. I am unsure but it looks like it may have come from my mouth. I have been feeling congested in my upper chest and I have a sore throat. My doctor is not available to see me this week and only books appointments on Mondays for the current week. Should I wait?
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 9 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. A single episode of a small amount of bleeding from the oral cavity or nose (epistaxis) during a an sore throat is not a cause for worry.

2. You may safely wait if this is not recurrent.

3. Meanwhile you may inspect your gums, especially between the teeth, and oral cavity including around and below the tongue for any obvious source of this bleed. A common area in the anterior nose from where a small bleed may arise is the Little's area on the anterior nasal septum. A septal spur is also a common cause. These area's are easily seen in the mirror by yourself.

4. Your physician may also examine more thoroughly by endoscopy, especially to rule out any growths, scans, dental check-up and blood tests including a coagulogram if this is a recurrent problem or a unilateral nasal bleed.

5. What is your age, other significant past history and are you currently on any medication? Is there any history suggestive of oral injury due to a sharp food item or food contaminant (foreign body)? You need not take any immediate medication if there is no further episode besides saline nasal drops and Vitamin C (especially if you have exposure to tobacco smoke).

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is the cause for blood from the mouth? 45 hours later
I am 40, and only take advil at night for pain (juvenile arthritis). no injury found. I have not been exposed to tobacco smoke recent, however I am an exsmoker. I have not had a cigarette in over a year and a half. I was not a heavy smoker, however I smoked since I was 15-16 years old. Blood on my pillow made me a little nervous.
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 10 hours later

Thank you for writing back.

1. I must apologize for the delay as I was busy since early morning in an endoscopic sinus surgery course as a teaching faculty today.

2. There is no cause for worry as I have mentioned before. Just schedule a routine appointment with your physician.

3. Long term use of Advil may be associated with bleeding from the stomach. This can be easily controlled by omitting the drug for some time or replacing it.

4. It is good to hear that you have stopped smoking. After one and a half years of not smoking, the risk drops substantially.

5. Let your physician decide on the future course of investigations and treatment, if any.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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