Capable of helping you fight dangerous diseases and infections as an integral part of your immune system, the Tonsils are the two circular glands that are situated at the back of your throat.
Just like any other part of your body, the tonsils can also develop health issues that cause discomfort such as infections, swelling, itch, and pain. In cases where these tonsils-related problems develop into being seriously chronic, your healthcare physician might deem it necessary for you to get a tonsillectomy done i.e. a procedure that removes your tonsils.
What is a Tonsil?
Also referred to as palatine tonsils or faucial tonsils – Tonsils can be described as two fleshy masses, circular in shape that are located at the back of your throat called pharynx. Tonsils are just like the lymph nodes, and being a part of your immune system they are responsible for protecting the entire body from being infected by filtering out the germs that try to make their way into your body through your nose or mouth.
What Causes White Spots on Tonsils?
The bizarre-looking white patches on tonsils can be developed at the back of a person’s throat for a couple of reasons – some reasons are:
- Bacterial infections (like bacterial tonsilitis, strep throat or pneumoccocus)
- Viral infections (like mononucleosis, measles or cytomegalovirus)
- Tonsil stones
Anyone who has been noticing some white stuff on tonsils or even swollen tonsils with white spots on it, should learn what is causing these white patches on tonsils – and the most effective way to accurately identify the underlying cause for these white spots on tonsils is to consult an expert physician and opt for the recommended assessment. Establishing what’s causing the white stuff on tonsils will consequently lead to choosing the appropriate treatment required to work against the cause.
How To Get Rid of White Spots on Tonsils?
An otolaryngologist or a family doctor needs to be consulted in order for them to assess and diagnose the cause of the infection – since the reason that is causing these white spots on the tonsils will determine what treatment is required for its recovery.
Pharmaceutical medications are commonly used to treat the appearance of white stuff on tonsils – consulting a doctor will lead you to get a prescription for the medications listed below, that might be prescribed individually or even as n effective combination:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, nimesulide and ketoprofen – Help to improve inflammation, redness, difficulty swallowing and fever.
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or dexamethasone – Are used when anti-inflammatory drugs do not resolve the problem, or if the throat pain is unbearable.
- Antibiotics, such as penicillin, amoxicillin or azithromycin – These are prescribed if a bacterial infection is present.
There are certain cases of white spots on tonsils being formed due to an underlying infection, where the infection may lead to form an abscess in the tonsils – In such instances when it does happen, the physician administering the treatment is required to drain all the accumulated pus from the infected area to appropriately conclude the treatment and initiate the journey towards recovery.
Why Do People Get Their Tonsils Removed?
The surgical procedure that is carried out with the objective of removing the swollen tonsils with white spots from a person’s throat is called “tonsillectomy.” It removes both the round-shaped pads of tissues, one from each side, from the back of the person’s throat; in instances when they get severely infected.
A tonsillectomy has always been a commonly carried out surgical procedure that was once used to treat the occurring infections and inflammation of the tonsils, called tonsillitis.
Nowadays, the reason for conducting a tonsillectomy is to treat the commonly occurring sleep-disordered breathing – however, it is still used as a very effective treatment for tonsillitis, when it tends to occur repeatedly and frequently; or refuses to respond to any other relevant treatment being performed.
Enlarged tonsils cause several health-related problems, which include breathing disorders as well as other rarely occurring tonsil diseases – A tonsillectomy is still necessary and the most effective procedure to treat the aforementioned health concerns.
A tonsillectomy is used to treat:
- Recurring, chronic or severe tonsillitis
- Complications of enlarged tonsils
- Bleeding of the tonsils
- Other rare diseases of the tonsils
Can You Get Strep Throat Without Tonsils?
Strep throat is a highly contagious infection. It causes swelling of the tonsils and the throat, but you can still get it even if you don’t have tonsils. Not having tonsils may reduce the severity of this infection, while also minimizing how frequently you suffer from the strep throat.
If you are someone who has been frequently suffering from very contagious strep throat; your physician might, and rightfully so, recommend you to remove your tonsils altogether. The procedure performed to successfully remove the tonsils of a person is called tonsillectomy. While having this procedure done will surely minimize the number of times you suffer from strep throat – however, this in no way means that having your tonsils removed makes you absolutely immune to getting strep throat.
Can Your Tonsils Grow Back?
There is a common query among patients who want to inquire if the tonsils that are removed once can grow back, completely or partially. Once the tonsillectomy is performed, the majority of the tonsils are completely removed – however, there are cases where some amount of tissues are left behind, which can become a source for tonsils regeneration. The regrown tonsils can never really grow back completely to how big and wholesome they once were.
What is a Normal Tonsils Size?
Tonsils of a healthy person appear pinkish in color – however, when inflamed or infected they might appear much redder, and even increase in size as they experience swelling.
The size of tonsils is significantly different for each individual – but an in-depth and well-researched study explains that:
- The average overall tonsil size is 42.81 cubic centimeters (cm3)
- The average tonsil size in women and people assigned female at birth is 37.65 cm3
- The average tonsil size in men and people assigned male at birth is 52.4 cm3
– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.
About The AuthorDr. Syra Hanif M.D.
Board Certified Primary Care Physician
Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.Read More