What Are the Symptoms of Tonsil Sores?

A fever and swollen lymph glands may be signs of infected tonsils.
Symptoms of tonsil sores include inflammation and bad breath.
A sore throat is one symptom of tonsil sores.
A doctor may recommend tonsil removal if tonsils are infected on a regular basis.
Tonsil sores may be caused by smoking.
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  • Written By: Marisa O'Connor
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
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There are many symptoms of tonsil sores. Sore throat, yellow or white pus, as well as swelling and inflammation are likely to be present with sores on the tonsils. Other common symptoms are fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and bad breath. A doctor should be consulted to properly diagnose and treat the tonsils.

A sore throat is the most common and obvious symptom of tonsil sores. The severity of the pain will vary with each case, depending on the cause and how far along the problem has progressed. The sore throat is often worse when swallowing and may result in difficulty swallowing. It may be experienced as sharp, dull, scratchy, or some combination of these sensations.

A yellow or white coating on the tonsils is another common symptom of tonsil sores. Typically this coloration is pus or mucus produced by the sores. Yellow or white spots on the tonsils are often a sign of strep throat, and a doctor should be consulted to determine the cause and treat the problem.

Swelling and redness of the tonsils often accompanies tonsil sores. The sores on the tonsils cause them to become inflamed. The inflammation shows up on the tonsils as swelling and redness. Swelling of the tonsils is a very serious symptom and can cause difficulty swallowing. If the swelling remains untreated, it can actually obstruct breathing and lead to death.


Symptoms of tonsil sores may also include fever. The fever is indicative that an infection is present. The fever reflects the body's temperature rising above normal, caused by the immune reaction combating the infection. When fever is present, an over-the-counter fever-reducer can be taken. Extended fever means that the body is overheating and can cause long-term, serious damage.

Swelling of the lymph glands in the neck is another common symptom of tonsil sores. Swollen lymph glands can be alarming, particularly because they are a symptom of cancer, but it is fairly common for the lymph glands to become swollen when there is an infection in the throat. The swelling should go away when the infection is treated. The lymph glands in the throat will also swell when an infection is present in the sinuses or ears.

Bad breath is also symptomatic of tonsil sores. This can be caused by a number of reasons. It is usually caused by bacteria on the tonsils, where the sores are present. Another reason bad breath might come about with sores on the tonsils is because it is difficult to brush, particularly the back of the tongue. Increased levels of bacteria in the mouth is a primary cause of bad breath.


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