ZocdocAnswersWhat could be the reason for really dark blood in the phlegm I pull up?

Question

What could be the reason for really dark blood in the phlegm I pull up?

I'm very concerned. I'm not coughing but often I get that stuck feeling in my throat and I pull up what some call a "loogie". Lately it has been dark red blood...sometimes all blood, sometimes mixed with mucus. Now, I just had surgery a month ago in which I had 8 teeth extracted including wisdoms. I had immediate dentures put in so I didn't have the gauze to absorb all the blood. However, for the first two weeks after surgery i did not spit out any blood due to fear of a dry socket. I'm sure I swallowed a lot of blood and I really want to believe I'm just now pulling all that old blood up. Some have told me blood can't be digested or redistributed therefore, that is what is finally coming up. My dentist said it can't possibly be blood from the surgery a month later and that the swallowed blood was probably digested and nothing else in my mouth is bleeding. I am a smoker. I do feel great...no coughing or any other possible symptoms.

Answer

So sorry to hear about your concerns. While there are many possible causes of your symptoms, you will need to discuss them with a doctor in person, as some of the potential reasons for you to be coughing up blood are quite serious. Your dentist is reasonable in his or her explanation that swallowed blood is quite unlikely to still be coming up this far after the fact. Usually, blood is digested or passed on through the GI tract quite a bit faster than that. For that reason, your doctor may end up suspecting a different or new source for the bleeding. While your dental surgery is a likely explanation, it sounds as if your dentist does not believe that to be the source. The next move is often to look for other potential causes. Some of these include the head and neck, the GI tract, or the lungs. Potential reasons for this could include tumors, vascular anomalies, other medications, or many other causes. Any of these are perhaps more likely to be bleeding due to your history of smoking, and so I would recommend that you speak with your doctor about this concern in the very near future.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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