It can be unsettling to see blood blisters in your mouth. Luckily, blood blisters are not a serious condition and often disappear within several days. In our “Does Your Mouth Look Like This?” series, we take a look at common causes for blood blisters in the mouth and how they can be treated.
Blood blisters are most commonly caused by oral trauma and cheek-biting. Blood blisters form when blood vessels underneath the epithelial mouth tissues are ruptured, such as when one accidentally bites the cheek tissue while eating or speaking. Blood escaping these vessels can pool up within the mouth tissue, which forms a blister. Blood blisters can also form in the mouth due to alcohol abuse, a low platelet count, oral herpes, stress, or an allergic reaction to acidic or citric foods.
Blood blisters can also be caused by a rare disorder known as Angina Bullosa Haemorrhagica (ABH). ABH is a benign disorder of unknown pathogenesis that primarily affects elderly patients. It is characterized by small blood blisters that form and pop on the soft palate, which includes the roof of the mouth and inner cheek, within the course of a day. The disorder is harmless and the ruptured blisters typically heal within several days. Although doctors don’t know what causes ABH, a study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology in 2013shows that the disorder may be linked to renal-failure patients being treated with dialysis.
If you have a blood blister in your mouth, do not panic. Blood blisters cannot be eliminated with medication, but they can be treated to reduce swelling, pain, and risk of infection. Do not pop the blood blister; this can increase the risk of infection. If the blood blister is painful, use over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, to reduce the pain. In addition, apply a cold compress to the affected area of the soft palate to reduce the swelling. Blood blisters typically pop on their own and will naturally heal over the course of a week. Avoid acidic and salty foods because those can inflame the wound and prevent healing.
If the blood blisters are large and painful, or if they persist for several days, consult your dentist to examine the affected area. Call 1-800-32-SMILE to find a Coast Dental office close to you.