Tonsils and Adenoids - Body Guards Against Infection
Know your Body

Tonsils and Adenoids : Our Body Guards Against Infection

Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi profile Authored by Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi on 18 Feb 2014 - 13:59.
"Tonsils and Adenoids are bodyguards against an offending infection. They bear the maximum brunt in quest of a cease-fire."
The tonsils are two masses of tissue on either side of the back of the throat like two bodyguards to prevent entry of infection beyond the mouth, whereas the adenoids are located high up in the throat behind the soft palate (one of the two portions of the roof of the mouth). The Tonsils and the adenoids are strategically located near the entrance of the breathing apparatus like watchmen to prevent offenders entering the respiratory tract.
When normal the tonsils look like two grapes one on each side behind the back of the tongue and are always vigilant. They resemble two bodyguards patiently watching any offending infections.
Functions of the tonsils adenoids: The tonsils and the adenoids are body’s natural bodyguards. They guard against any offending infection and prevent entry of any organism or virus.
They sample these organisms and allow themselves to be the victims in their quest to prevent their entry. In the process they form antibodies against the offending organisms and viruses to fight when infection takes over.
There is a common belief that the tonsils act like a kitchen strainer to strain away bacteria entering through food or breath. However, they sacrifice themselves and fight any infection before it enters the lungs, which is why their size increases in tonsillitis and adenoiditis.
If the tonsils and adenoids fail to function normally for whatever reason, deadly infections through bacteria and viruses enter the body effortlessly without any resistance from the body or  formation of antibodies by the diseased or non-functional tonsils. Infections become more common and become a one-sided battlefield in the oral cavity. Children get recurrent sore throats causing difficulty in swallowing and breathing.
Disorders: The most common problems affecting tonsils and adenoids in children are recurrent infections; significant enlargement of tonsils, making breathing and swallowing very difficult. Also, in adults the tonsils become the sheet of infection causing peritonsilar abscess, diphtheria and follicular tonsillitis. Though tumors can grow on the tonsils, they are very rare.
  • Avoid risk of infection by thorough washing of mouth using antiseptic mouthwash.
  • Scrape the tongue properly to ensure clean and healthy mouth.
  • Consult the doctor at once, if you have difficulty in breathing, and/or swallowing and severe pain in the throat.
  • In the incidence of recurrent tonsillitis, the doctor may advise removal of the diseased tonsils.
*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.