Pus on Tonsils


Should pus on tonsils be a cause for concern? Read on to learn more.

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Tonsils are two clumps of lymphoid tissues located at the sides of the throat. The tonsils help in fighting off various infections. When the tonsils encounter bacteria or other harmful foreign bodies, they secrete mucous that helps destroy the bacteria or viruses that enter the body through the mouth. The excessive mucous secreted by the tonsils form into pus on tonsils. This pus can be painful and annoying but the presence of pus doesn’t indicate any disease but merely a symptom of tonsil infection or inflammation.

Causes of Pus on Tonsils

• Infection caused by bacteria, virus, and other disorders

• Tonsil Stones – are build-ups of natural calcareous materials that are not harmful but are naturally produced by the mouth. These stones develop due to the over activity of the salivary glands. They appear as small and white deposits located in the crypts of the throat and are generally not painful.

• Strep throat – a bacterial infection caused by the Streptococcus bacteria. The pus is formed due to sulfur and calcareous matter from the bacteria that has accumulated at the tonsils. When left untreated, the infection may go deeper into the heart valves and kidneys and may give rise to secondary infection like sinusitis, skin disorder, pneumonia, and ear infection.

• Tonsillitis – is an inflammation of the tonsils caused by bacteria or viruses. It is the most common cause of pus on tonsils. The surface area of the tonsils may appear bright red and may be filled with grayish white substance.

• Peritonsillar Abscess – is a complication of tonsillitis and is characterized by the collection of pus.

• Cellulitis – when bacteria like staphylococci and streptococci reach deep into the throat and surrounding tissues, a condition called cellulitis could develop. When left untreated it may result in the formation of pus and may lead into peritonsillar abscess.

Signs and Symptoms of Pus on Tonsils

Apart from the presence of pus, a person suffering from various throat disorders will also show these signs or symptoms:

• Pain and discomfort during talking or swallowing

• Swollen, red and inflamed tonsils

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• Foul smelling breath

• Weakness

• Fatigue

• Fever or chills

• Pain at the lymph glands

• Random cough with no apparent reason and won’t go away

• Mild ear aches

Treatment for Pus on Tonsils

Since the most common causes of pus are bacteria and viruses, patients are prescribed with antibiotics and non-steroidal antiinflammatory medications. In case of abscess, doctors may extract the pus through a needle. In some severe cases, surgery may be required such as tonsillectomy, a procedure in removing the tonsils. This is recommended for patients who have persistent case of tonsillitis, swollen tonsils that hinder breathing, and severe snoring and obstructive sleeping. According to studies, removal of the tonsils does not show any adverse effect on the patient’s immune system or health.

Home Remedy for Pus on Tonsils

Aside from medications, home remedies for patients include drinking lots of water, avoiding smoking, steering clear of drinking alcohol, eat healthy foods, and gargling with salt and water solution. These simple procedures can help lessen and give relief from the discomfort brought by pus on tonsils. For fast treatment, always follow your doctor’s instructions, good oral hygiene, and proper diet.

Pus on Tonsils Pictures

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