What Are the Common Causes of Pink Saliva?

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  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 23 May 2019
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Any abnormal coloring of body fluids can cause concern among individuals, particularly if bleeding is involved. Blood does typically tinge saliva pink, but particular causes are usually correctable and not a reason for major worry. The most apparent cause for blood mixed into saliva is bleeding gums, often resulting from gingivitis. If the abnormality takes place primarily in winter months, nose and throat dryness may play a significant role. On occasion, stomach or lung-related conditions may induce pink spit as well.

Dentists promote the importance of oral care in health. Neglecting sanitary steps such as brushing the teeth and flossing can damage not only the teeth, but the structures that support the teeth: the gums. If abnormal saliva is accompanied by tooth or gum pain or if the gums appear red and inflamed, gingivitis is likely. A particular indicator occurs if the pink saliva appears after brushing the teeth.

The linings of most body parts are intended to be moist, particularly in the nose and throat. Harsh winter weather can, however, strip these passages of their natural moisture. When body areas become dry, they are more vulnerable to irritation and bleeding. Some blood may seep into the mouth from the throat, particularly with sneezing. This process changes saliva color.


While the majority of pink saliva cases can be traced to minor problems in the mouth or throat, in some cases the symptom may indicate a more serious underlying condition. In particular, the issue should be medically evaluated if other troubling symptoms persist, such as coughing. Chronic coughing can bring blood into the mouth. If blood is present, this may signal a lung-related disease or infection.

Multiple sclerosis represents one condition that may cause pulmonary problems, and thus pink-colored saliva. This neurological disorder causes lesions in the brain, which in turn can overly stimulate portions of the nervous system. As a result, both the heart and the lungs can experience hypertension. The aforementioned blood can then appear with coughing. Generally, dark pink saliva bordering on red is more likely to indicate a deeper problem than slightly pink saliva.

In addition to pulmonary issues, gastrointestinal problems may also serve as the source of dark pink saliva. For example, acid reflux from the stomach can damage the throat’s lining. When the acid travels up the throat, some of it may reach the mouth, bringing blood from the throat with it. Long-term stomach issues can cause raw spots, or ulcers, to form in the stomach, which can also leak blood that may make its way to the mouth and to saliva. Such gastric issues are usually accompanied by other symptoms like burning sensations in the chest, stomach pain, and sore throat.


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