Coughing and Spitting Up Blood or Bloody Mucus

How Can the Blood Appear in the Mouth?

Blood, appearing in the mouth, can originate from the mouth, throat, nose, paranasal sinuses, voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea), bronchi, lungs, gullet (esophagus) or stomach.

A person coughing up blood without knowing the exact cause should seek medical care promptly. Blood in the mouth may appear from banal reasons, like picking the nose or from life threatening diseases, like lung cancer.

Terms Explained

Meaning of some terms used in the article:

  • Phlegm, medically sputum, refers to mucus coughed up from the lower airways: voice box, windpipe, bronchi or lungs.
  • Post nasal drip, medically catarrh, is mucus leaking from the nose or paranasal sinuses backwards into the throat.
  • Hemoptysis (Greek haima = blood; ptysis = spitting) refers to spitting up blood that originated in the lungs or bronchi.
  • Hematemesis (greek haima = blood; emesis = vomiting) refers to vomiting blood originated in the gullet (esophagus) or stomach.

Finding the Cause of Coughing Up Blood from Symptoms

A person, spitting up blood, may suspect its origin from accompanying symptoms:

  • In a smoker, coughing up thick phlegm with blood, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer should be considered.
  • A person with chronicly blocked nose and spitting up blood can have polyps orcancer in the nose or paranasal sinuses.
  • Low grade fever, night sweats, malaise and coughing up blood , lasting several weeks to months can be symptoms of tuberculosis. Symptoms lasting few days to weeks may be from acute bronchitis.
  • High fever, rapid breathing and heartbeat, chest pain and frothy bloody mucus can be from bacterial pneumonia.
  • A person with deep vein thrombosis, experiencing sudden chest pain, low-grade fever and difficulty breathing can have pulmonary embolism.

Not Every Red Spittle Contains Blood!

Apart from the blood, the following may stain spit red:

  • Red colored foods, like beetroot, candies, artificialy colored drinks, wine, etc.
  • Saliva of patients with asthma can appear pink, if it contains large amount of eosinophils (a type of blood cells).

Bleeding from the Mouth and Throat

Bleeding from the mouth may be due to:

  • Injuries: teeth brushing, biting the tongue, tooth extraction, rough food, foreign objects, etc.
  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Periodontosis, an infection of gums with detached gums and loose teeth; the main cause is poor mouth hygiene.
  • Oral cancer, appearing anywhere in the mouth as a small red or white spot that can bleed; heavy drinkers and smokers are at most risk.
  • InfectionsHerpes simplex virus, shingles, measles, oral thrush (candida yeast infection)
  • Ingestion of corrosive fluids, like acids or petrol, may cause severe damage and bleeding from the mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach mucosa.
  • Lead, arsenic or mercury poisoning may cause bleeding gums.

Disorders that can cause bleeding in the mouth, nose, throat or heavy menstrual bleeding at the same time:

  • Viral hemorrhagic fevers
  • Vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) - in chronic alcoholism or other cause of inadequate vitamin C intake; symptoms include skin bruises and bleeding gums.
  • Malnutrition - due to starving, alcoholism or malabsorption - can lead to weight loss, fatigue and skin, nose or mouth bleeding.
  • Low blood platelets (trombocitopenia) - due to blood diseases, like leukemia, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Impaired blood coagulation - due to hemophilia or blood thinning medications; the main symptom is easy bleeding after small injuries.

Bleeding from the Nose and Sinuses

The blood alone or blood mixed with mucus arising from the nose or sinuses may leak into the throat as a postnasal drip and therefore appear in the mouth. Causes of nasal bleeding include:

  • Nose picking or nose injury
  • Head injury
  • Cold, dry air
  • Infections of the nose or sinuses (sinusitis)
  • Allergies
  • Inhaling irritant gases or drugs like cocaine
  • Medications
  • Nasal polyps
  • Cancer in the nasal cavity or sinuses
  • Inborn errors of nasal cavity
  • Rheumatic fever
  • SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus)
  • Barotrauma – pressure related injuries during diving or explosions
  • Other causes of nasal bleeding

Bleeding from the Trachea and Bronchi

Causes of bleeding from windpipe (trachea) or bronchi:

  • Acute bronchitis - an infection (usually viral) of the bronchi, sometimes following common cold or influenza. Coughing up yellow mucus with occasional red streaks, moderate chest pain and low grade fever are typical symptoms.
  • Inhaled foreign object may trigger dry cough and spitting up small amount of blood. Often a bronchoscopy is needed to remove the object.
  • Chronic bronchitis – coughing up yellow, green, brown or blood streaked mucus for at least 3 months, 2 years in a row, are the main symptoms. Causes include long-term smoking and irritant environmental or occupational gases.
  • Brochiectasis (Greek ectasis = dilation, widening) is a permanent widening of breathing tubes (bronchi) due to destruction of bronchial walls from repeating chronic infections. Chronic cough with yellow, green or bloody mucus and recurrent pneumonia are characteristic.
  • Bronchial (lung) cancer - newly appearing cough that does not go away, a change in a cough, coughing up bloodhoarseness and pressure or pain in the chestcan appear at early or late stage of cancer.  Bronchial cancer may press upon the vein that drains blood from the neck and head, thus causing facial and neck swelling (superior vena cava syndrome). Poor appetite and weight loss are late symptoms. Diagnosis is with a chest X-ray and bronchoscopy.

Bleeding from the Lungs

Causes of bleeding from lungs:

  • Violent cough can cause a rupture of the lung arteries.
  • Bacterial pneumonia  – symptoms include: suddenly appearing high fever, rapid breathing and heartbeat, coughing up green or rusty sputum. Non-treated pneumonia can be deadly.
  • Tuberculosis – symptoms include: low grade fever, night sweets, feeling unwell, slowly developing dry cough that may later contain yellow/green or blood streaked phlegm.
  • Pulmonary edema is a life threatening condition refering to fluid collection in the lungs due to heart failure, living on high altitudes (climbers), certain medicines, irritant gases, inhaling vomit content, etc. Extreme shortness of breath, paleness, anxiety and spitting up pink frothy mucus are main symptoms.
  • Pulmonary embolism refers to blockage of a pulmonary artery by a blood clot, often dislodged from the leg or arm veins in deep vein thrombosis. Sudden chest pain resembling heart attack, shortness of breath and coughing up frothy red streaked sputum are main symptoms.
  • Trauma to the chest: pressure of a steering wheel in car accidents, falling from height, knife, shooting or blast (explosion) injuries can all cause lung bleeding.
  • Sarcoidosis is a chronic inflammation of uncertain origin, affecting several organs, mainly the lungs; chronic fatigue, night sweets, skin rashes, and, rarely, coughing up bloody mucus are possible symptoms. X-ray of lungs shows enlarged “hilar nodes” – lymph nodes at the point where main bronchi enter the lungs.

Vomiting Blood (Hematemesis)

Blood in the vomit may arise from the:

  • Esophagus: esophageal varices in alcoholic cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis; tear in the lower part of esophagus during violent vomiting (Mallory-Weiss syndrome); esophageal ulcers due to severe gastric acid reflux; esophageal cancer
  • Stomach: gastritis, gastric ulcer or cancer, injury
  • Wind pipe (trachea) – when blood is swallowed. Detailed list of causes of vomiting blood.

Related Articles:

About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer
  • Jennifer M

    Hi I’m 24 yrs old. And just not to long ago I coughed up some mucus but I found light streaks of blood in it, it has happen to me before, but in a long while. What could the reason be? I don’t smoke, I’m currently getting over a cold, I drink occasionally but not allot. (I’m Blood Type O Negative)(I’m low in iron)..

  • Jan Modric

    Jennifer M,

    if you notice any other symptom, like low-grade temperature, excessive sweating, chest pains or anything unusual, please go to the doctor, to exclude the possibility of a serious disease, like tuberculosis. A complication of common cold can be acute bronchitis (inflammation of wind pipes) in which an inflammed bronchial mucosa may slightly bleed. Such an inflammation can persist for few weeks after common cold has resolved. For low iron, if not already, you should take iron supplements. I also recommend you to find a cause of low iron.

  • jangchu

    my mother-in-law had a nose bleeding few times and the blood was like fresh liver.following that she spitted mucus with blood, the spit(mucus)tastes very sour and her chest burns.
    the urge to spit out the mucus comes itself forcefully, she is reluctant to visit a doctor and i am really worried- pls help me.

  • Jan Modric

    jangchu,

    I strongly recommend you to convince her to visit a doctor. It may be some life-threatening condition causing these symptoms, and the earlier the treatment starts, better are chances to be healed.

  • sweetkitty705

    I am 39 years old. For the last couple of months I have been spitting out mucus every morning. Recently, I noticed that I am also spitting out blood along with the mucus. Should I see a doctor even though this has happened only a few times.

  • Jan Modric

    sweetkitty705,

    yes, I recommend you to visit a doctor – blood in the sputum may be caused by some life-threatening diseases, like tuberculosis or lung cancer.

  • samuel

    I am 20 this year, started smoking on mid 18. I have been coughing for two-three months already. This morning i woke up and spit out yellowish green phlegm with a streak of blood in it. Does this mean i have lung cancer or something very serious?

  • Jan Modric

    samuel,

    what you have sounds as chronic bronchitis to me. An early onset of chronic bronchitis represent a greater risk for lung cancer. I recommend you to visit a doctor, since you can have some infection superimposed to bronchitis.

  • Sammi

    Hi there, my dad is 55 years old and he is an extremely heavy smoker actually smokes 2 different packs of cigarettes a day. He also suffers from ashma and epilepsy and a few other ones as well, why im writing is because he has been coughing up blood and its been running out of his nose as well. Please helop he doesnt want to go the docutor and im out of ideas. Please help.

  • Jan Modric

    Sammi,

    I recommend you to tell about this to some adult person you can trust, who can convince your father to go to the doctor as soon as possible, since the bleeding needs to be stopped and the cause found and treated. To tell you straight, it can be some life-threatening condition. It is not likely you will find any other helpful information on the internet about this, since nobody online can actually provide any help or medications.

  • chrissie

    i have been having cold symptoms for 3 days now fever,coughing,spitting out like whitish/yellow mucus with a little strands of light colored blood so far only one time when i cough its not a forceful cough but it taste crappy i am 28 years old and have been a smoker for about 12 years or so i am also having left side neck aching like my neck is stuck and inder my left rib it feels like it is cramped up haven’t been able to get to the dr.’s yet i have had something like this before but never any blood noted till today not alot wondering if this is just irrataed or something and will get better on its own any feedback would be great just getting a little worried i am a very big worry wart lol i think i have everything i come across lol please help thank you much:)

  • Jan Modric

    chrissie,

    a test of the sputum (spit) can reveal the cause of the mucus and blood. I can’t exclude any disorder, like bronchitis, tuberculosis or cancer, and I can’t say if it will get better on its own. Blood in the spit should be always taken seriously.

  • chrissie

    well today not spitting up much no more blood noted it was just that one time and a little at that,but like you said it is serious.I am going to get to the dr. just haven’t had time off from work will lose my job if i take any more time off from being sick.Anyway thank you for getting back to me jan modric

  • desperategal

    My gums have been bleeding for over a year now, never had it before in my life. I dont brush too hard and my teeth are clean, but now with the softest touch i bleed a lot…really a lot and it is becoming worse. The only thing that changed this last year is that i overwent a treatment for endometriosis and was for six months on lucrin depot, i finished the treatment in january….how come im still bleeding and its getting worse?

  • Jan Modric

    desperategal,

    bleeding gums could be a side effect of lucrin depot, or some other cause, which can be identified by certain blood or other tests. I recommend you to speak with the doctor who has prescribed you the medication.

  • LoriAnn

    Hello,
    For the past few days I’ve been having issues breathing ( I have asthma as well ) but it feels like my throat is swollen up so bad that I can hardly breath and I’m using my inhaler a lot because it is causing a lot of asthma attacks, anyways, I have been coughing up a lot of dark yellowish looking phlegm stuff and well tonight, I started coughing up phlegm with blood in it.. I don’t understand why there’s blood.. I have a very stuffy nose my throat feels raw as ever! And I don’t hurt at all like I usually do when I have sinus infection’s. I occasionally have a cough and that’s the only time I hurt and I hurt in my upper chest area and I don’t know if I should see a doctor or not..

  • Jan Modric

    LoriAnn,

    mucus that is coughed up usually arises from the throat or chest (bronchi or lungs), not from sinuses. Yes, I do recommend you to see a doctor, maybe an ENT

  • LoriAnn

    Thanks, I’m probably going out to the hospital in a little bit due to the fact that I literally can hardly breath, I’ve seen an ENT before, they took out my tonsil’s and adnoid’s. Thanks for your advice! :)

  • Iyke

    I am really disturbed, i am even more worried after reading the above comments. In the past one month, blood has been mixing with the mucus in my nose and also my saliva and it’s most pronounced in the morning when i blow my nose. I am inclined to believe that it could be cold dry air but then a nurse ran a BP test on me and observed that it was high, could this also be a cause? Please, what are the other possible causes to my case, i am worried.

  • Jan Modric

    Iyke,

    an inflammation or infection within the nose or sinuses and nasal polyps are few possible causes. Dry air and high blood pressure by themselves do not likely explain the blood in the mucus. An ENT can make a detailed examination of your nose and throat and give you a diagnosis.

  • diogene23

    Hello, today my mom said she felt some liquid in her throat out of no where. She didn’t want to swallow it show she went to the bathroom to spit it out into the trash can. She thought it was strange so she grabbed some tissue paper and spat into that see what she was spitting up. She saw blood. She called me to look at the tissues and it wasn’t thick. just looked like someone spat but it was light red. Not normal for her at all. She’s 65 and has a record of high blood pressure. She doesn’t feel any pain anywhere at all, but she did have a bit of a stressful day. She said she’ll have time to go to the doctor next week, and I’ll take her but, what do you think?

  • Jan Modric

    diogene23,

    liquid (and blood) arising from the nose or sinuses can drip backwards into the throat and you need only to spit it out. When liquid arises from the lungs, bronchi, trachea or larynx (voice box) you have to actively cough it up. So, I believe your mother can get a basic idea did the liquid come from here nose or from the chest. If it looked like a blood it was probably blood. One possible cause could be a polyp or tumor in the back part of the nasal cavity, for example. It is the a specialist for the ear, nose and throat (ENT) who can perform a detailed examination.

  • diogene23

    it happened again last night and again this morning. So that’s three times so far. She is not coughing it up it seems that she is just spitting it out from her throat. She also had Tuberculosis quite a few years back.

  • Jan Modric

    diogene23,

    I strongly recommend you to take her to the doctor as soon as possible. Obvious and repeated bleeding from the throat may speak for something serious.

  • diogene23

    We are on our way right now, thank you.

  • Herman

    Hi,
    The last two days I have been spitting thick bloody mucus and have been having nose bleeds, I recently finished school and have been drinking a bit and not eating healthy at all. What should I do? Is it serious? Thanking you in advance

  • Herman

    P.s I also have a slightly dry throat and feel a bit clogged up around throat but apart from that there are no headaches or anything else. Cheers.

  • Jan Modric

    Herman,

    if you have no excessive bleeding after toothbrushing and you don’t feel weak, I doubt that not eating healthy would be the cause of the bleeding. However, alcohol can widen vessels in the throat and nose and can trigger bleeding from some pre-existing disorder, like a nasal polyp, for example. I recommend you to visit an ENT.

  • Kitty

    I’ve had a cold with coughing mucus yellow and clear, rusty color from nose. I have low iron am taking iron, but I have pain in my lower abdomen on the right( any pressure on my lower abdomen gives lots of discomfort) and stomach and sometimes along my lower ribs. I’ve been feeling weakness of the body for 5 days now. I can barely walk without shaking. Weakness seems worse when in any heat. I’m tired of looking for causes in books. I’m no doctor, but what do you think could be wrong and who should I see.

  • Jan Modric

    Kitty,

    first, I recommend you to visit your personal doctor as soon as possible, especially if you have fever. Or an ENT (a doctor for ear, nose and throat). Abdominal pains could be related with a respiratory infection, with iron pills, or constipation…but hard to judge from here.

    This personal medical history questionnaire may help you to recall eventual other symptoms.

  • chrissyb

    for three weeks my mom has been spitting up blood. The last week it has become worse, she will also hack getting it out of her throat which causes blood to come up. she feels it draining down her throat and can taste blood. she has been a smoker the past five years, she is 53. chest x ray was clear and they did a CT Scan of the throat it was clear. She feels she needs to have an endoscope done on her esphagous and digestive system her doctor suggest seeing a pulmonary. Its going to take 2 weeks to get into a specialist should she wait that long? Is something to panic over? What could it be? she went to ER blood count was fine so they sent her home to contact her family doctor. so worried and freaked out any sugesstions would be greatly appreciated. THe blood is worse in the mornings when she first wakes up.

  • Jan Modric

    chrissyb,

    spitting out blood, especially if in large amount, is considered as an urgent situation.

    Blood originating in the nose or sinuses would likely leak out from the nose.
    Blood from the esophagus could flow upwards into the throat without coughing and it would be only needed to heck and spit out.
    Blood from the lower respiratory system (lungs/bronchi/trachea) would likely trigger coughing from the chest (and not only hecking).

    Smoking can cause chronic bronchitis and persistent cough lasting for several months. In this case your mother would likely cough thick mucus, which could be mixed with a small amount of blood (but not likely obvious bleeding). Smoking for “only” five years and clear chest X-ray speak against a lung cancer, but it can’t be excluded on the basis of this.

    If your mother feels that the blood is coming from the esophagus then I strongly recommend her to discuss with a gastroenterologist about upper endoscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy). Before this investigation, a doctor might want to order an X-ray with barium swallow to exclude eventual perforation of the esophagus. The cause of the bleeding from the esophagus could be ruptured varicous esophageal veins or hemangioma (a tumor composed from overgrown blood vessels), among other.

    For the doctor it is very important to know her complete personal medical history, which eventual chronic diseases she have (especially liver and stomach diseases), does she drink alcohol and so on.

    So, if she will continue to spit out blood, she could go to ER again, and doctors will decide will she need an investigation of the esophagus or breathing airways.

  • Kalzy

    Hi I’m 33 years old, Last weak I had a Flu, which my Mucus was yellowish coloured & My Head felt Very Light My Throat felt itchy also. The mucus colour is clear, I now tend to have every once in a while difficulty breathing & resort to using Ventolin to relieve me. I Still have a severe Sinus thick mucus dicharging from my Nose & Possible Throat area. In the last to mornings I have Noticed Red blood in my mucus, Usually in my throat which I usaully cough or Heck out. Nothing from my sinuses except clear Mucus. During the day I Heck sometimes & still notice small amounts of Blood in my Mucus. Thank you await your feed Back.

  • Jan Modric

    Kalzy,

    an ENT can judge if you’ve contracted a bacterial infection, for example.

  • Lex

    I’m 30, when I was about 5 I was diagnosed with severe allergies/asthma. I’ve had to have allergy shots, and other things.

    When things get really bad I’d have to take an allergy pill like Benedryl. But since I’ve moved into my apartment, I’ve been here since Jan 2010, I’ve maybe had like three or four months where I didn’t get sick or have an allergy attack.

    One day, everything went wrong, coughing, runny nose, thick mucus, nose bleeds, coughing up blood. Usually the nose bleeds happen when it’s clearing up. It last for about three days, but when it last for a week it’s usually a cold.

    One time it happened three days then cleared up and a week later it lasted a week.

    I get sick when the seasons change, but more often in the summer.

    But normally since I’ve been here, I’ve woke up with mucus build up in my throat, some mornings it’s bloody mucus.

    Every morning since I was little, I’d have to wake up and clear my nose to breath better.

    My moms house had steam heat, and it was less server, but my apartment has forced air heat, and it bothers me a lot. Does the type of heat I have play a role in me being sick often?

    But this morning (Dec 2010) I woke up and my throat felt like it was lots of mucus in it. So I sat up so it can kinda drain, and when it drained a lil, I spit it out, but it was blood that came out instead of mucus.

    Also, last night and the night before, before going to sleep my stomach felt very cramped, could that be my issue off of something I ate?

    Please help me out.

    Oh yeah, I’ve been to the doctor for this as well, but after the test, they couldn’t find anything wrong.

  • Jan Modric

    Lex,

    unexplained repeating nosebleeds have to be checked by an ENT, or, if you think the blood (also) comes from the trachea or bronchi, a pulmologist. I can’t say if excessive mucus is due to asthma, bronchitis, infection or allergy. Mucus and blood could arise from nasal polyps or sinusitis, for example. Dry air may be an additional issue, so you can try to arrange this to breath comfortably.

    Certain viruses, like rotavirus or respiratory syncytial virus, can affect both respiratory and gastrointestinal tract…Yes, crampy stomach could be from bacterial food poisoning, or, like said, a viral infection.

  • james owens

    Hi, I wonder if its ok for some advice…the past few weeks i’ve been caughing up fresh blood on and off and also alot of dark brown mucus everyday at different times of the day quite heavily for months if not years. I’m a smoker of 25 and have been smoking since the age of 14 not just cigarettes but also resin/weed(at 16+) more so resin which is a by product of weed mixed with alot of other chemicals. I get sharp shooting chest pains at the front right of my chest and can find it it difficult breathing, chest becomes tight and restricked at times. I’ve had a chronicly blocked nose for years, I sweat severely at night and i’m losing weight badly. It’s continual battle with constant eatting and doubling up on protein high carb subs. my bmi is 17.9.

    I’ve had a chest x-ray at hospital then had a second one when i went back to get the first ones results. The doctor appeared inconclusive and said she’d said be best to get a cat scan and cameras in both lungs but they’d be in touch with a date of this but have’nt been in touch as of yet and that was weeks ago and still nothing. I stay in the uk and count on the nhs.

    I fear the worse, i’ve got 2 young kids ages 3 and 4. The worry of it all i can’t describe.

    please help me, am i over reacting? I just want to know the truth or know what to do next

  • Jan Modric

    james owens,

    you are not overreacting, I strongly recommend you to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible. Cancer and tuberculosis are two serious causes of blood in the sputum. Bronchoscopy is needed to make an exact type of cancer, but a CT or MRI of the lungs would be needed before that. Smoking may grossly aggravate eventual inflammation in the breathing airways to the point where breathing may be seriously affected. Please stop smoking and try to push the doctor to make planned investigations sooner.

  • james owens

    Thanks for your feed back. Alot of respect to you for giving your time to reply. I’ll push forward and hope for the best. Again thank you. Hope you have a merry christmas and new years, take care.

    Sincerely

    James Owens

  • John

    I’m 31, non smoker and fairly active and my diet isn’t all that bad. I drink a beer maybe once a day.

    For the past 5 weeks I’ve been spitting up very small amounts of blood in my mucus and it seems to happen around dinner/night time after I eat. It’ll last maybe 10-20mins then it goes away.

    I’ve been experiencing extreme anxiety because of it since.. which is making me very paranoid. I’ve been to the ER 2 times, doctor took my vitals.. everything looked good and he wouldn’t even research/test me any further, told me to go home, relax and have a beer! 2nd time I demanded a chest and sinus x-ray.. which they took and came out good.

    1 week later i visited a throat/ear/nose specialist, he put a camera up my nose all the way down my throat.. said everything looked fine and thinks I shouldn’t worry.. that it’s probably nothing.

    i have noticed that I have a slight case of acid reflux (which I never had before).. hence the reason the small amounts of blood appear after i eat then go away. I don’t have any stomach pains either. I feel fine. This seems to have all started after I bought an inversion table and seing a chiropractor (might not have anything to do with it)

    I also noticed that I’ve been spitting out quite a bit of Tonsil Stones lately as well, could i have a bleeding tonsil stone lodged in somewhere?

    Anyway, it’s definitely a very frustrating experience, especially when you see 2 doctors and 1 specialist and they say I’m fine. My vitals are also 100% It’s the anxiety that’s killing me I think.

    Should I just relax and hope that it goes away?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi John

    Given that you doctors and the specialist could not find any possible cause for this bleeding, it is difficult for us to comment beyond this. It is worth considering a condition like gingivitis or periodontitis which may causes these symptoms. Another possibility is that this may be related to your tonsils. It is highly unlikely that you are spitting up “quite a bit of tonsil stones lately”. Instead what you may be finding is specks of partially decomposed foods that is lodged in the tonsils. This occurs with chronic tonsillitis, especially where there is necrosis of the tissue (death of the tissue) which often results in blood in the saliva. Yet you may find that you do not have a sore throat. This type of chronic tonsillitis could be a consequence of acid reflux, where the rising acid reaches as high as the back of the mouth and slowly erodes the tonsillar tissue over months. Any sign of blood in the saliva is a concern, especially when it is persisting for so long. It is also possibly a bleeding ulcer or even nasal/paransal sinus condition. I would advise that you return to the ENT to discuss this further. He/she will know the significance of this sign and definitely investigate further until all possible causes have been excluded.

    You may find more information under these articles :
    1. Blood in Saliva
    2. Hemoptysis

  • thegirl2

    james…I had the same problem. I am 42 and felt great, healthy (ex smoker) but then started to cough up blood and I started to lose weight, sharp pains in my chest, night sweats ect.. I went to the ER, ENT, Lung doc ect. It took 7 months for them to find out I had MAC. It is a cousin of TB. The treatment is long but it can be treated. Make sure you ask them to test you for MAC and TB. I sometime feel like you have to do research yourself and sometimes demand the Doctors do these tests. Good luck.

  • Ribinjury

    Dear Jan;

    In Dec/January I suffered with a case of acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) that left me weak. A couple of times I coughed up the tiniest bit of blood streaked mucus (and I mean tiny). Since then, I have suffered with a sore throat when I wake up and the need to cough up mucus that I can feel at the back of my throat.

    It doesn’t feel like it comes from the lungs; when I swallow it feels like it’s sitting just above where my swallow reflex is.

    Yesterday, after a very rough and restless sleep I managed to injure my right side rib muscles. They were so badly injured I’ve been advised to use stronger than usual painkillers (prescrip is Tramadol, Naproxen and Movilat jel) and I am having difficulty breathing (a deep breath causes shooting pains, so I’m breathing shallower than usual).

    When I woke up today, I had to go through my usual ritual of clearing the mucus and spitting. This time on the first spit, my mucus again had the tinge of blood (new blood, it was red/orange). My mucus is green/brown.

    Am I suffering with Post Nasal Drip or just a super stubborn infection? Because of my rib injury (and my doctors see to think I don’t need to have someone come out to look at me) I haven’t managed to see anyone – should I call them and explain about it?

    Sincerely;
    Rib

  • John

    I’m not coughing it up nor do I have a cough so it’s definitely not in my lungs.

    It’s not my esophagus either because I’m not ‘hacking’ it up. i feel a slight irritation in my tonsil area then very minimal blood appears in my mucus for no more than 10 seconds.

    I think I figured out the problem.. the tonsil stones have been caused because of my post nasal drip.. which as been pretty bad this past month because of the dry winter air and indoor heat here at the house. It’s made my throat very irritated and been causing it to slightly bleed on occasion.

    i’m convinced it’s somewhat all connected, I’ve read elsewhere where people have had bloody throats caused by post nasal drip.

  • hilda

    my name is hilda.22 years,female
    there is small amouunt of blood in my cough.last februvary11,12 i had this problem along with little fever.it’s not happening all the times i’m coughing,2 or3 times a day.

    in march the last two days 8,9 th i had the same problem,with a little fever.is there any necessity to consult a doctor?help me.thank you

  • Jeneen

    I sometimes vomit in my sleep. The other night I woke up with a thick light pink mucus pouring out of my nose and mouth. What could that posssibly be? I had a nissen fundoplication in 2009 and it has loosened allowing my stomach contents to come up in my sleep.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Jeneen

    It sounds like reflux more than vomiting and the pink mucus can be a sign of bleeding, either within the stomach, esophagus or throat. If you have any respiratory problems then this may also be a site of the bleeding. You need to see your doctor as soon as possible as hemorrhaging, even minor, can quickly complicate to more serious conditions.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Hilda

    Yes, it is necessary to consult with a doctor. This may not be anything serious – possibly just an acute respiratory tract infection – but since it has been recurring and the cough is persistent, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

  • Rafael

    Hey John,

    I am having the exact symptoms. I do not have a bad cough nor do I smoke at all, or drink a lot. My tonsils are also very irritated and I have noticed stones every so often that I sort of hack up. The blood is very minimal, streaked, with some yellowish mucus around it, sometimes white, at times foamy. It usually happens at night or in the morning for about 10 mins and then it seems i spit most of it out. I have been suffering from acid reflux which can also irritate the throat. I am going to the doctor this week to get my throat checked out, i really hope this is the problem and not any of the manyy diagnosis that has spitting blood as the symptom. I’ll keep you updated.

  • Dr. Chris

    Rafael and John

    While this may be signs of bleeding within the gut, ensure that it is not related to other conditions like pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs). If you have any respiratory symptoms, report it to your doctor immediately.