The sudden appearance of blisters in the mouth can be very frightening and alarming. They appear with no warning and signs whatsoever. If you experience such a case, then do not fret. These blisters are usually not harmful and they go away on their own.
They are often caused by trauma or injury to the mouth. Sometimes, the blood vessels in your mouth or below the injured skin can rupture and blood will fill up the blister creating what is called a blood blister also known as Angina Bullosa Hemorrhagica (ABH).
In this article, you will get to learn what causes the sudden occurrence of blood blisters in the mouth and how you can treat this condition.
What are blisters?
Blisters are fluid-filled sacs that occur when an upper layer of the skin is injured. This is an uncommon oral disorder.
The fluid in these sacs usually comes from the injured skin or tissue and when the fluid accumulates, a blister is formed to serve as a barrier that protects the damaged skin from any additional harm.
There are also instances whereby blood vessels below the injured skin can rupture and blood will fill up the blister creating what is called a blood blister also known as Angina Bullosa Hemorrhagica (ABH). Blood blisters usually occur where there is friction.
Blisters in the mouth can appear suddenly or spontaneously in the mouth and can last up to a few days before bursting. The blisters may burst on their own or while the person is eating. The blisters in the mouth generally heal quickly when ruptured and they do not leave a scar.
What are the symptoms?
Blisters can occur anywhere in the mouth but are mostly seen on soft surfaces such as your tongue, cheeks, and the underside of your lips. One or several of these symptoms may develop at a time.
- Dark or purple color
- Pain in your mouth
- Discomfort when you chew or brush your teeth
What are the causes of sudden blisters in the mouth?
There are many causes of blisters appearing suddenly in the mouth. Some of these causes include the following
There are certain foods that can cause irritation to the lining of your mouth which can lead to the occurrence of blisters appearing suddenly in your mouth. You are also likely to develop blood blisters too.
Blisters can be caused by allergies to acidic foods such as citrus foods, astringents, such as those used in mouthwash and toothpaste, cinnamon flavoring, and certain medication.
The majority of blood blisters are caused by trauma to the mouth. Some examples of trauma to the mouth include: biting your cheek, burning your mouth with hot food, or puncturing soft tissue with sharp food, like a chip.
In situations like this, a blood blister usually develops quickly after the damage takes place.
Angina bullosa haemorrhagica
This is a rare disorder that causes painful blood blisters to spontaneously erupt on the soft tissues of the mouth. These blisters only appear and last for a few minutes then suddenly ruptures.
The blisters differ from other blood blisters in that they are not related to any systemic disorder, like thrombocytopenia, and often no cause can be found. The most common cause is trauma to the affected site.
Trauma may include hot foods, dental procedures ( e.g. fillings, crown placement, gum disease treatment, use of local anesthetic injections), and in some cases use of steroid inhalers. However, in some of the cases, no cause may be identified.
This is a condition in which you have fewer blood platelets than usual. Platelets are one of the types of blood cells, whose function is to help the body form clots and stop bleeding following an injury.
A low blood platelet count can occur due to a host of reasons including pregnancy, bone marrow disorders, severe bacterial infections of the blood, and certain medications such as heparin, sulfa-containing antibiotics, and anticonvulsants.
It can also occur when the body’s immune system wrongly destroys platelets as seen in autoimmune diseases such as lupus. Thrombocytopenia can cause blood blisters in the mouth.
Other causes of the sudden appearance of blisters in the mouth include
- Eating hard, hot or crunchy foods
- Having a systemic disease, such as diabetes
- Nutrient deficiencies involving vitamins such as B12 and C
- Injury due to biting of the cheek
- Ill-fitted dentures
- Viral infections such as oral herpes
- oral ulcers
The following tips can help treat blisters in the mouth
- Applying ice on the blood blister can relieve the swelling. You can avoid the formation of the blisters when you use ice instantly after an injury inside your mouth. To lessen the pain of the blood blister in your mouth, position the ice on the bump, and keep it in place for at least 10 minutes.
- The pain can also be reduced with over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Avoid eating foods that can irritate the blister, such as hot, salty, or spicy foods.
- Do not try to pop or squeeze the blisters. This increases your risk of infection and delays healing. The blister will pop naturally on its own.
- Cucumber slices can also be used for treatment. Cucumber has skin healing properties. A slice of cucumber should be held on the blister about two to three times daily until symptoms resolve . Drinking of cucumber water can also help do away with blood blisters in the mouth
- Turmeric has also been known to treat mouth blisters. It has been used for several years to aid in the reduction of swelling and pain. Take a teaspoon of turmeric and mix it with honey to make a paste. Apply this paste to the blisters and wait for the healing process to occur.
- You may have to see a doctor if necessary to carry out blood tests to rule out any blood disorder
- Mouthwash or sprays containing benzydamine may be used to alleviate any discomfort from the blood blisters
- Mouthwashes with chlorhexidine as a component can be used to prevent or reduce the incidence of a secondary infection. This facilitates the healing process
How to prevent mouth blisters
There are many ways to stop or prevent mouth blisters from occurring in the first place. Mouth blisters or blood blisters in the mouth are very painful and can cause great discomfort. You can try out the tips below to help prevent mouth blisters
- Avoid eating spicy foods
- Do not burst the blisters
- Eat only soft foods
- See a dentist if your dentures are poorly fitted
- Remove dentures until the blisters get better
The takeaway from this article
Most blisters or blood blisters that appear suddenly in the mouth are usually caused by many reasons. They are mostly harmless and they usually disappear on their own. They mostly disappear within 10 to 15 days.
Singh, D.; Misra, N.; Agrawal, S.; Misra, P. (2013). Angina bullosa haemorrhagica. Case Reports, 2013(feb08 1), bcr2012008505–bcr2012008505. doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-008505
Ordioni, U.; Hadj Saïd, M.; Thiery, G.; Campana, F.; Catherine, J.-H.; Lan, R. (2018). Angina bullosa haemorrhagica: a systematic review and proposal for diagnostic criteria. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, (), S0901502718302467–. doi:10.1016/j.ijom.2018.06.015