Taste Of Blood In The Mouth : Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Last Updated: 12/09/2022

Taste of blood in the mouth is a characteristic unpleasant taste of blood in the mouth, which is often accompanied by nausea. The symptom is observed in the pathology of the oral cavity and teeth, lesions of the upper gastrointestinal tract and liver, viral infections of the respiratory system. To determine the cause of the taste of blood, an examination of the oral cavity, x-rays, ultrasound, and laboratory tests are performed. To eliminate discomfort, therapeutic pastes and rinses with antiseptic solutions, antisecretory drugs are indicated.

Causes of the taste of blood in the mouth

Taste changes during pregnancy

Pregnant women are characterized by sharp hormonal changes, which cause an aggravation of smell, a change in taste preferences and sensations. As a result, a specific taste of metal, felt as a taste of blood, occurs when eating fully cooked meat products, fish, or even vegetable dishes. The symptom is noted periodically and often goes away on its own after a while.


The main causes of taste changes are a drop in hemoglobin and coagulation disorders, leading to capillary fragility. Especially often the taste of blood in the mouth in young women is noted in the case of anemia during pregnancy. Its persistence during the day, combined with excruciating nausea, urge to vomit, indicates a concomitant pathology (coagulopathy, hypovitaminosis). In the absence of gestation, an anemic change in taste is noted in chronic bleeding, neoplasia, etc.


Inflammatory damage to the gums of a chronic nature occurs in 20-30% of the adult population. Usually, the taste of blood appears after brushing the teeth with hard toothbrushes, which cause trauma to the mucous membrane and bleeding of the gums. With aggravation of gingivitis, an unpleasant taste in the mouth is felt at any time of the day for no apparent reason. The symptom is accompanied by redness and swelling of the gums, the formation of hard-to-remove plaque on the teeth.

Other dental causes

A bloody taste in the mouth is detected in various pathological processes: medium and deep caries, pulpitis, periodontitis. The symptom may occur spontaneously, but is more often provoked by the intake of solid food, brushing your teeth. A specific unpleasant taste of blood develops against the background of intense pain in the area of ​​the diseased tooth. Odontogenic causes are dangerous for their complications, so you need to visit a specialist as soon as possible.


ENT pathology

The taste of blood in the mouth often occurs in chronic rhinitis and sinusitis, in which atrophy of the mucous membrane occurs and scanty bleeding periodically begins. The bloody taste disturbs in the morning, when the blood accumulated during the night begins to drain down the back of the throat. A person experiences severe nausea, aversion to food. Unpleasant sensations disappear after rinsing the mouth and brushing the teeth.

Respiratory infections

Most often, the symptom occurs with influenza, for which a toxic effect on the capillaries and spontaneous bleeding from the oral mucosa are pathognomonic. Taste occurs periodically in the first 2-3 days of infection, then disappears on its own. A similar clinical picture also develops in severe ARVI, pharyngitis and laryngitis.

Diseases of the gastroduodenal zone

GERD and gastritis are characterized by a taste of blood in the mouth after drinking alcohol, stress and heavy physical exertion. With these diseases, the main causes of an unusual taste are the formation of erosions of the mucous membrane of the digestive canal, which, under the influence of adverse factors, begin to bleed. Patients experience a strong burning sensation and pain behind the sternum, against which the unpleasant sensations of blood in the mouth are disturbing.


Fibrous damage to the liver provokes the expansion of the veins of the esophagus and the thinning of their walls, which is fraught with spontaneous bleeding. In the mouth of patients with cirrhosis, a strong taste of blood suddenly begins to be felt, with massive bleeding, vomiting of dark red blood opens. The symptom is more common in men who abuse alcohol. If you suspect a rupture of varicose esophageal veins, a person needs emergency medical care.

Cardiovascular disorders

The symptom is determined by hypertension, vasculitis, which are accompanied by thinning and fragility of capillaries. A specific bloody taste appears after physical activity or stress, leading to an increase in blood pressure and rupture of small vessels. During an attack of angina, against the background of pain in the heart and shortness of breath, there is sometimes a sensation of an unpleasant taste of blood in the mouth.

Rare Causes

  • Respiratory system diseases : bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis.
  • Heavy metal poisoning: lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.
  • Pathology of the gastrointestinal tract : pancreatitis, cholecystitis, hepatitis.
  • Tumors : malignant neoplasms of the oral mucosa and tongue, lung cancer.


To find out the cause of the taste of blood in the mouth, the patient is referred to a general practitioner, and in case of complaints of toothache, to a dentist. During the initial examination, typical etiological factors of unpleasant taste sensations are excluded; modern imaging methods are used to clarify the diagnosis. The greatest diagnostic value, taking into account the probable cause of the disorder, are such studies as:

  • Examination of the oral cavity . With the help of a probe and a special mirror, the condition of the gums, the oral mucosa is assessed, and the crowns of the teeth are examined in detail. To diagnose caries, vital staining with methylene blue and a cold test are performed. If suspicious ulcers and tumors are detected, biopsy and cytological examination are indicated.
  • Blood test . To rule out anemia, they do a general blood test, check the level of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Leukocytosis and an increase in ESR indicate the presence of an inflammatory process. In women, hCG levels must be measured to confirm or exclude pregnancy. If necessary, serological tests are recommended.
  • Radiography . X-ray of the jaws is performed to detect periodontitis, granulomas and cystic formations. To exclude sinusitis, an X-ray of the paranasal sinuses is prescribed. If the taste of blood is combined with a sore throat, cough, a plain radiograph of the chest cavity is performed.
  • Other Imaging Techniques . Endoscopy allows diagnosing symptoms of inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and esophagus, discoordination of the lower esophageal sphincter. Targeted ultrasound of the liver is informative for detecting signs of cirrhosis. To exclude the cardiac cause of an unpleasant aftertaste, echocardiography data are indicative.


Help before diagnosis

To reduce the bloody taste, you need to rinse your mouth with clean water, decoctions of chamomile or sage after each meal. To reduce gum bleeding, doctors recommend choosing a toothbrush with a natural soft bristle that does not injure the mucous membrane. To find out why the taste of blood in the mouth is constantly disturbing, you need to contact a specialist.

Conservative therapy

Medical tactics depend on the cause of the appearance of discomfort. If the taste occurs in a healthy pregnant woman, it is enough to change the diet - eat more fruits, add mint, cinnamon to dishes, which neutralize the metallic taste. In other situations, treatment is aimed at eliminating the etiological factor, for which the following are prescribed:

  • Antiseptics . Regular rinsing of the mouth with solutions of chlorhexidine or miramistin helps to remove soft plaque and clean the gaps of the teeth from pathogenic microorganisms. Recommended therapeutic toothpastes with calcium, herbal extracts.
  • Antisecretory agents . In hyperacid conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, proton pump inhibitors and H2-histamine blockers are effective. The drugs reduce the production of hydrochloric acid, reduce the effects of reflux and promote the healing of erosions.
  • Antiviral drugs . Influenza shows the use of specific drugs that block the formation of viral proteins and inhibit the reproduction of viral particles. The drugs are combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to eliminate other symptoms that accompany the taste of blood in the mouth.



With carious lesions of the teeth, it is necessary to remove necrotic tissues and place fillings. For the treatment of periodontitis, the root canal is expanded to create conditions for the outflow of inflammatory exudate. When bleeding from dilated veins of the esophagus, endoscopic ligation or sclerosis of altered vessels is required.

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