Tonsils Pictures – Pictures of Tonsils

A Guide to tonsils pictures: normal tonsils, sore throat, infected tonsils, strep throat, tonsillitis, and tonsillectomy tonsils pictures

Tonsils Pictures

What Are Tonsils?

The human immune system is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces. It consists of masses of lymphoid tissue scattered through the body to identify and attack harmful invading germs, viruses and fungi. Many of us know that the neck, armpits and groin contain lymphoid tissue.

What many of us don’t realize is that our tonsils are made of lymphoid tissue. Having these infection fighters in the mouth and throat makes perfect sense, considering the potentially harmful substances we inhale or ingest every day.

tonsils pictures normal

tonsils pictures normal

The adenoids, or pharyngeal tonsils, sit on the roof of the mouth at the back of the nasal cavity. In children the adenoids are visible as a soft mound where the nasal and oral cavities come together.

The pair of lingual tonsils rests on the back of the base of the tongue. Composed of dense lymphoid tissues, each of these tonsils has a single crypt, or pit, into which its mucous gland ducts drain. Connective tissue partially encloses the lingual tonsils.

Waldemeyer’s ring is most active in children between the ages of 3 and 6. As millions of parents know, that’s when children are most likely to have colds, sore throats and ear infections.

New Article: Pediatric Tonsillectomy Recovery

How Tonsils Work

With our every swallow or breath, the tonsils identify incoming substances as friendly or hostile. They trap the hostile ones and release antibodies to destroy them. These specialized proteins circulate in the bloodstream, targeting and eliminating specific organisms.
Researchers from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s Immunology Program have identified five antibody types produced in palatine tonsils. They battle staph, strep, polio, flu and diphtheria bacteria and viruses. Such a powerful defense system would seem immune to attacks on its own tissue.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The tonsils themselves are vulnerable to disorders requiring medical or surgical treatment.


The Mayo Clinic defines tonsillitis as a bacterial or viral inflammation of the tonsils. As they bar germs and viruses from entering the body, the tonsils themselves may become infected. Group A Streptococci bacteria often cause tonsillitis. The Epstein-Barr virus responsible for infectious mononucleosis can cause tonsillitis in older children. Viral tonsillitis persists up to three months, advises the BBC’s Dr. Trisha Macnair.

Tonsillitis symptoms include:

• Swollen, red tonsils with patches of yellow or white

• Difficulty swallowing

• A scratchy voice

• Fever

• A stiff neck with enlarged lymph nodes

• Headache

• Bad breath

Abscess of the Tonsils

Peritonsillar abscess, a complication of untreated tonsillitis, surfaces as an accumulation of pus around the tonsils. A severe abscess may rupture, spreading infection from the tonsils to the palate and lungs. Symptoms include:

• Fever

• Sore throat

• Hoarse voice

• Drooling

• Facial swelling

• Throat and jaw tenderness

Possible complications from untreated abscessed tonsils include obstructed airways, fluid buildup in the lungs, cardiac infection and pneumonia.

Cancer of the Tonsils

Men between the ages of 50 and 70 with a history of smoking and alcohol consumption have the greatest risk of tonsillar cancer, according to the Merck Manual. A growth in the neck and throat soreness that spreads to the ears indicate the disease. Untreated tonsillar cancer can spread from the lymph nodes throughout the body.

Treating Disorders of the Tonsils,

A 10-day course of oral penicillin is the standard treatment for bacterial tonsillitis. Viral tonsillitis doesn’t respond to antibiotics. The Mayo Clinic advises a treatment regimen of salt-water gargling, regular consumption of warm liquids and non-prescription pain medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Treatment for abscessed tonsils includes antibiotics, prescription pain medication and draining the abscesses. Surgical tumor removal, radiation and chemotherapy are all used against tonsillar cancer.


The National Institutes of Health recommend tonsillectomy for children with seven or more throat infections over one year, five or more infections over two years or tonsils with abscesses or growths. With the patient under general anesthesia, the doctor props open the mouth and burns or cuts away the tonsils. Many doctors advise simultaneous adenoid removal.

Please post tonsil questions or concerns on any of these pages.

Take care my friend!

Home Remedies For Sore Throat? You Bet!



Please post tonsil questions or concerns on any of these pages.

tonsils picture


35 thoughts on “Tonsils Pictures – Pictures of Tonsils

  1. Inhee

    They are great photos.
    I, too, am developing a tonsil stone site at the moment and I’d like to use some of your pictures. Would that be ok?

  2. Gary

    Ha ha ha- I’ve never seen a website strictly designed to show pictures of tonsils! Why not though. I looked for tonsils pictures. I guess other people do too! Thanks

  3. Glen

    I have seen pictures of post-tonsillectomy throat as it heals. that was helpful for me after surgery. This site is just plain “off the hook” lol. Tonsils, tonsils, tonsils!

  4. Marianna

    @Glen- what was the name of that site where you saw the pictures taken after tonsillectoy? I had surgery 3 days ago and my throat looks awful! Not sure if it’s normal or not! Thank you!

  5. Robert

    @ Marrianna- yes, that is normal. Those are the “scabs,” that form. You are healing- No worries! Is there a place where I can upload my tonsils pictures? I have some good ones!

  6. Irene

    My best friend just had her tonsils out and it looked really weird. Whoa. But what’s more weird to find a website with only pictures about tonsils. He he. Thanks anyway. It’s very informative.

  7. Cara Cornel

    Oh my gosh! I’m scheduled for a surgery next week, my doctor has decided to remove my tonsils because of the infection. I’m quite scared you know, that I may lose my affinity for food and taste because of the surgery. But if it’s for the best, then let’s do it.

  8. Oliver

    Cara, you are not alone. It is not the end of the world if you have no more tonsils. I mean come on, I’ve been tonsils-less for five years and I still have a pretty good appetite. Sure, it affects your taste. But other than that, you can still enjoy food.

  9. Harrison

    “It is simply designed for people who are curious about how tonsils look in various conditions.” — It sure is! I have to admit, the pictures scared the hell out of me. But I’m glad I came across this site. Being informed makes me smarter, I think.

  10. reni

    Really? Is there such as thing as tonsil stones? Like gallstones or kidney stones? Please help me out here. I’m sorry if I sound stupid, it’s just that the pictures are really weird and…excuse me, gross.

  11. Caroline Darson

    So is it really not true that your tonsils can be removed because of eating too much sweets? I swear I grew up believing this lie. My mum used to tell me that my doctor will have my tonsils out if I don’t stop eating chocolates.

  12. Winona T.

    Ha ha ha ha! Caroline, I can relate. Well, we all grew up to some myths when we were kids. But that’s okay now. I use that with my kids too and it’s quite effective. I hope they don’t access google yet, though.

  13. Ricky Arnold

    Caroline, same here. I read that tonsillitis is actually caused by bacteria and other viruses such as herpes, and measles. Which only means that sweets are innocent! They can cause sore throat, though, but not really tonsillitis.

  14. Scarlett

    My 9-year-old son experienced tonsil stones when he was still five. It’s a good thing it was remedied easily though. His doctor said it might be because of measles.

  15. Kara

    “This site is not for the faint of heart.” – I definitely agree! I was stunned to see all these pictures of tonsils. They’re kind of weird but it’s better to be informed. Thanks for this post.

  16. Judah Jenkins

    I had my tonsils removed when I was thirteen too. I’d like to share my photos but I don’t know how to post it. Can anyone help me? Thanks.

  17. Leonard H.

    Tonsil stones? Really? Like kidney stones? That is weird. Do they have to be removed or would the entire tonsil be taken out? Like when doctors operate on the kidneys. I’m just curious.

  18. Kirsten Anther

    To the previous person who commented before me: I think the mechanism is the same. Like when the doctors remove the kidney stones first, then when the condition worsens, they finally take the kidney.

  19. Molly

    Tonsillitis and surgery may not be life-threatening in most cases, but they are issues that should be taken seriously. Our tonsils are there for a purpose, and having them taken out may cause some “lack” of something to our taste and living.

  20. Mich U.

    A chef without tonsils is like a swimmer without arms. But whatever may be the case, tonsillectomy is no cause to have one’s hopes down. Just continue going forward.

  21. Erika Mendez

    I agree with Mich. Surely, it is not the end of the world when one gets his or her tonsils removed for some reasons. You can still enjoy the food if you only let yourself.

  22. Krissa Darren

    Looking at these pictures reminds me of my crush back in middle school. He had his tonsils removed and most of the kids teased him, which made him transfer to another school.

  23. Janice

    Looking at these pictures reminds me of my crush back in middle school. He had his tonsils removed and most of the kids teased him, which made him transfer to another school.

  24. Rina Eriks

    Oh, Janice. That is a sad story. Most kids don’t know any better. But I’m sure your crush, wherever he is, has gotten over his situation. Who knows, he might have become a chef now.

  25. Carl L.

    Well, what have I to say. I’m surprised that there is such a site dedicated to tonsils and the lack thereof. It’s not that I don’t see tonsils as important but maybe unconventional topics might be a little off.

  26. Lorna Cummings

    Oh my goodness! Is this really what’s going to happen to me once I have my tonsils out? I’m scheduled for surgery next week and I’m scared as hell.

  27. Jerome T.

    Lorna, don’t be scared. Everything is going to be alright. You won’t have to see your tonsils every day though. I don’t know if there are any advantages to having your tonsils removed but just think positive.

  28. Joan Devinsky

    I read that more and more people are experiencing tonsil stones because of untreated virus. I think people should be careful when they experience symptoms such as vomiting and sore throat.

  29. Paula Astaire

    Is it true that tonsil problems are a bad sign for people with heart failure? What is the connection between the heart and the tonsils anyway? I’m not very familiar with anatomy or medical whatnot.

  30. Jessy Serafin

    Hi, I read from Wikipedia that if tonsillitis is caused by streptococcal infection, it will most likely lead to vascular heart disease. Whatever streptococcal infection is, I still have to check it.

  31. Ara Dorothy

    Jesse, I don’t think that’s vascular heart disease. I think you meant “valvular” heart disease or “rheumatic” heart disease. Better check it for yourself, though. Valvular means the valves in the heart.

  32. Terri

    My father in-law had a lump appear one day on the side on his neck. Within 2 weeks it was massive. It was found he had tonsilar cancer. He had major surgery, chemo, radiation… It has been probably 5 years, and he is doing well. Now I am having my tonsils out because one is substantially larger than the other (both are ugly) and I just can’t get my father in law out of my mind. Surgery is in 4 days, fingers crossed pathology is good, because the tonsillectomy part is going to be bad enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.