Tonsillitis | Overview

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What is tonsillitis?

Tonsils are the oval-shaped areas of pink tissue on each side at the back of your throat. They help fight infection by reacting to germs and bacteria that enter through the nose and mouth.

Tonsillitis occurs when your tonsils are infected by a virus or by bacteria. This causes your tonsils to become inflamed and swollen. In most cases, when you have a sore throat or pharyngitis, you also have tonsillitis.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/14
Created: 08/09

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