Throat bleeding can result from minor health problems, such as a scratch or brushing your teeth too harshly. However, it could be a severe illness that requires immediate medical attention. Spitting blood from your mouth implies bleeding originating from your digestive tract or in the respiratory system. This may lead to vomiting if your throat bleeding is from a gastrointestinal source or harsh coughing if a respiratory source causes it. 

The amount of blood produced from your mouth varies depending on the source of the bleeding. Failure to address spitting blood can become life-threatening due to loss of blood. Continue reading to learn what causes bleeding from the mouth and when to seek a medical professional. 

symptoms of throat bleeding

Symptoms of Throat Bleeding

Spitting blood is not the only symptom or complication that could arise; they vary depending on the underlying infections, medication, health factors, or trauma severity. The symptoms are also determined by if the throat bleeding is due to your digestive tract, respiratory source, or another bodily system. 

Gastrointestinal (Digestive Tract) Symptoms 

  • Abdominal Pain, Cramping, Swelling, or Bloating
  • Bloody Stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal Bleeding
  • Vomiting Blood

Respiratory System Symptoms

  • Neck Swelling
  • Choking
  • Harsh Coughing
  • Trouble Breathing or Swallowing
  • Change in Color of Neck or Throat 

Other Body Systems Symptoms 

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Pale Skin
  • Weakness
causes for spitting blood

Causes of Spitting Blood

When asking what causes bleeding from the mouth, there are several things to note. Bleeding from the mouth could occur from infection, anticoagulant medications, underlying health issues, or untreated injuries caused by trauma to the mouth, throat, or chest. 


This happens when bacteria and viruses have entered and harmed your body. Infections could lead to your cough having a bloody substance mixed with your saliva or mucus, which include: 

  • Bronchitis 
  • Pneumonia
  • Chronic Cough
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tuberculosis 

Treatment: The type of infection determines the specific treatment, but doctors usually recommend drinking lots of fluid, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or getting plenty of hours of sleep.

Anticoagulant Medications

These medications are typically known as blood thinners; they prevent blood clots. However, they have several side effects like urine in blood, nosebleeds, vomiting, and spitting blood. The anticoagulant medications that cause this are:

  • Eliquis (apixaban)
  • Savaysa (edoxaban)
  • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Pradaxa (dabigatran)

Treatment: Contact your health provider and inform them of your side effects. They can prescribe you a different medication or get you on an over-the-counter styptic (anti-bleeding) powder that effectively stops bleeding in patients on blood thinners.

Health Issues

People with health conditions listed below should contact their doctor immediately if they are spitting blood as there is a high possibility of it being serious or life-threatening:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Lung Cancer
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis
  • Pulmonary Edema
  • Pulmonary Embolism 

Treatment: You need to be immediately evaluated, so a health practitioner can take the proper steps to prescribe the correct medications or choose the treatment best suited for you. Lung cancer is usually the only health issue that will need surgery or chemotherapy due to throat bleeding. 

Trauma to the Mouth, Throat, or Chest

Throat bleeding is a common symptom for trauma or injuries caused in these areas; they range from minor damage biting down on your cheek to severe trauma such as a car accident or gum disease. 

  • Gum Disease
  • Mouth Sores
  • Blow to Chest
  • Mouth Tissue Injury 

Treatment: If your mouth is dealing with a minor injury (scratch, soreness, etc.), take over-the-counter pain relief medication, consume liquids and soft foods. However, anyone who has sustained a blow to the chest and is coughing up blood should receive urgent care.

On the other hand, if you’re struggling with gum disease, treatment consists of dental work. They will professionally clean the pockets around teeth to prevent damage to the surrounding bone. 

preventing health complication from mouth bleeding

Future Complications

Once health professionals find the underlying reason, you must follow what your medical practitioner is advising. They specifically design a wellness plan that is best suited for you and reduces the risk of potential complications, including:

  • Anemia
  • Blood Transfusion
  • State of Shock
  • Spread of Cancer & Infection

When to Call a Doctor

When examining the condition causing mouth bleeding, you should directly go to a dental professional to get dental work done if you realize it is a gum or tooth health-related problem. However, a visit to the doctor is advised in the following instances:

  • Swelling or Choking
  • Trouble breathing 
  • The bleeding lasts more than a day
  • Darkening of the skin over neck or throat
  • There are noticeable signs of bleeding in your throat or neck 

Key Takeaways

Spitting blood is not something to take lightly. There is a huge possibility that what causes bleeding from the mouth is due to problems in your digestive or respiratory tract. Small amounts of blood or tooth-related issues can be solved with dental work procedures performed by a dentist. However, if you have a life-threatening medical history or are displaying severe symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.