Blood Blister in Mouth: Causes and Remedies

Oct 29, 2022 | Oral Health

Blood Blister in Mouth: Causes and Remedies
Chances are you have accidentally bitten the inside of your cheek at least once or twice and had a small sore form in your mouth. While this is common and often has no need for concern, what happens when you notice that the sore is filled with blood? What if you don’t recall biting your cheek yet find a blood blister inside your mouth when brushing your teeth? While the discovery of a blood blister can be cause for worry, in most cases, they are harmless and will eventually heal on their own.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand what an oral blood blister is
    Learn what can cause a blood blister in the mouth.
  • Understand how blood blisters are different than other mouth sores and how to tell the difference.
  • Learn different treatment methods for oral blood blisters.
  • Reduce the risk of developing blood blisters.

What is a blood blister?

A blood blister in the mouth is a raised bump on the soft tissue of your mouth. This bump is filled with blood and other liquid substances, often occurring when blood vessels under the tissue break and the blood finds its way to a pocket within the tissue. These blood blisters are dark red or purplish in appearance and may cause mild discomfort or irritation to the mouth. In many cases, you will not know it has formed until you eat something that irritates it or you brush against it when following your daily oral hygiene routine.

Blood blisters vs. mouth sores

Blood blisters are not the only type of mouth sore you may experience. In addition to these blood blisters, you can also experience canker sores and fever blisters. So, how do you determine which type of sore you have? While all of these mouth sores are typically red in color, there are distinct differences. With a canker sore, you will see a reddish ulcer develop that is covered with a white or yellowish film, giving it a distinct color difference from the dark red or purplish color of a blood blister. A fever blister often starts with a tingling sensation in the area where the sore forms. This is typically on the lips or under the nose. In addition, you will likely also experience a fever and swollen lymph nodes.

Causes of blood blisters

There are many different things that can lead to the development of an oral blood blister. This can include anything from oral trauma, such as biting your cheek, to underlying medical conditions and reactions.


Certain allergies or intolerances can irritate the inner lining of your mouth. When irritated, blood vessels under the tissue can burst and leak, leading to the development of a blood blister. Common foods and other irritants can include acidic foods, spicy foods, cinnamon, and astringents commonly used in mouthwash or toothpaste.

Angina bullosa hemorrhagica

Angina bullosa hemorrhagica is a rare disorder that causes painful, blood-filled lesions to spontaneously form within the oral cavity. These blisters form with no underlying cause, can be painful and uncomfortable, but typically heal quickly, without treatment, and leave no scarring.

Cheek biting

As we mentioned above, biting the inside of your cheek while chewing or even in your sleep can cause damage to the underlying blood vessels in the soft tissue of your cheek, resulting in the formation of a blood blister.


Certain medications and even anesthetic dental injections can cause irritation in the soft tissue of the mouth, leading to the development of oral blood blisters. Steroid inhalers are often a common cause of oral blood blisters.

Nutritional deficiency

Deficiencies in vitamins B12, D, and folate can contribute to the formation of mouth sores, including blood blisters. If you experience oral blood blisters on a regular basis, it may be beneficial to have your vitamin levels checked for possible deficiency.

Herpes simplex virus mouth infection

The herpes simplex virus often causes mouth infections that cause the development of fluid-filled sores to appear on the lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, and along the gum line. While these sores are filled with fluid, blood can also be present, making them look like a typical blood blister. These blisters rupture within a day or two, spreading a fluid filled with the virus.


Thrombocytopenia is a condition that causes a low platelet count. Platelets are the blood cells that help your body create clots. When you have thrombocytopenia, even small trauma to underlying blood vessels can cause them to blood and leak, forming a blood blister in the mouth.


While we have mentioned cheek biting as a common cause of oral blood blisters, other trauma to the mouth can also be responsible. This can include injuries to the mouth as well as poor-fitting oral appliances or dental work. For example, a poorly fitting denture can cause trauma to the gums and tissue, resulting in a blood blister. In addition, appliances like traditional braces can irritate the cheek while a broken tooth can cause damage to the neighboring tissue, both contributing to the formation of an oral blood blister.

Treatment for blood blisters in the mouth

In most cases, while they may be uncomfortable, a blood blister in the mouth will heal on its own and does not require medical or dental care. However, if you experience regular oral blood blisters or ones that do not heal on their own, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor or general dentist in order to look for any underlying dental or medical issues.

Things you can do at home

While it is likely your blood blister will heal without any outside help, it can be uncomfortable. The good news is there are many home remedies that help manage these blood blisters and help improve your comfort levels. These can include:

    • Ice: Applying ice directly to the blood blister can help reduce swelling and, if applied immediately after an injury, can help reduce blood blister formation.
    • Cucumber slices: Cucumber has natural healing properties that, when applied directly to the blood blister, can help speed up the healing process.
    • Chamomile: While this tea is known for its soothing properties, drinking it can also help ease mouth sores. In addition, you can hold the tea bag in your mouth directly in contact with the blood blister for a few minutes for additional relief.
    • Witch hazel: Witch hazel can help reduce pain and dry out the blister. To do this, soak a cotton swab with the witch hazel and apply it directly to the blood blister for a few minutes, leaving your mouth open to allow for drying.
    • Turmeric and honey paste: Turmeric and honey both have natural healing properties. Mixing turmeric with honey to form a paste and placing the paste directly on the blood blister can help reduce discomfort and aid in healing.
    • Removing oral appliances: If you have a blood blister in your mouth that was caused or is being irritated by your dentures, retainer, or removable braces, remove the appliance until the blister heals.
    • Avoid hot, salty, and spicy foods: While spicy foods may have been the cause of your blood blister, avoiding foods that are spicy, salty, and hot while you have a blood blister helps allow the blister to heal.
    • Do NOT pop the blister: Trying to pop the blister can further damage the oral tissue and increase your risk of infection. It will pop naturally on its own as it heals.

Preventing blood blisters in the mouth

While there is no way to completely prevent you from getting an oral blood blister, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. If you notice that certain foods are responsible, avoid those foods. If there is a medication that is causing blood blisters to appear, speak with your medical team about possible alternatives. If an injury is a problem, consider wearing mouthguards during sports or at night for bruxism in order to reduce the risk of injury. If you continue to experience blood blisters or are having blisters develop that are blocking your airway, talk with your medical and dental team in order to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Helping you maintain good oral health

At Soundview Family Dental, we understand how concerning it can be when you experience something wrong with your oral health, such as blood blisters. Our team can provide a thorough examination to rule out any potential underlying causes and help create an oral hygiene routine that helps promote good oral health. To learn more, contact us today.

Eric Kitts, DDS

Eric Kitts, DDS

Owner @ Soundview Family Dental

Born in Seattle and raised in Puyallup, Dr. Eric Kitts received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University and his DDS from the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Dr. Kitts began practicing dentistry in 2000, at his office in Richmond Beach. In 2011, Dr. Kitts built a brand-new, state-of-the-art dental facility located in the heart of downtown Edmonds.

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At Soundview Family Dental in Edmonds, WA, we understand that not everyone likes the dentist. Our team of caring professionals works with you to ensure that you feel comfortable from the moment you walk through the door. Specializing in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, Dr. Kitts and his team work hard to preserve your natural teeth and give you back a smile you can be proud of.

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