About Tonsils

The term tonsils most commonly means the palatine tonsils, which can be seen in the back of the human throat. The palatine tonsils and the nasopharyngeal tonsil are lymphoepithelial tissues located near the oropharynx and nasopharynx. These immunocompetent tissues are the immune system's first line of defense against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens. However, the fundamental immunological roles of tonsils have yet to be understood. Tonsillitis is a disorder in which the tonsils are inflamed (sore and swollen). The most common way to treat it is with anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, or if bacterial in origin, antibiotics. Many sufferers treat it by having their tonsils surgically removed by a tonsillectomy. Tonsils in humans include, from anterior (front), superior (top), posterior (back), and inferior (bottom): Together this set of lymphatic tissue is known as Waldeyer's tonsillar ring.

Contributions by Arcadian, Tedder, and SmackBot.

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