Why do lingual tonsils get swollen?

Written by eric smith
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Lingual tonsils are areas of lymphatic tissue that are located in the back of a person’s throat. Lingual tonsils become swollen when they are infected. Tonsillitis, or a tonsil infection, can have several causes and a sore throat may develop.

Acute Infection

Swollen lingual tonsils can be caused by acute tonsillitis, an infection with rapidly increasing symptoms such as a severe sore throat, fever and difficulties with swallowing, according to the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago.

Other Infections

Subacute tonsillitis can cause swollen tonsils and develops slowly with a moderate or mild sore throat and other symptoms. Swollen lingual tonsils can result from chronic tonsillitis, an infection that produces intermittent and recurring sore throat symptoms.


Infections that result in swollen tonsils may be caused by bacteria such as Hemophilus or streptococcus. Bacterial tonsillitis can be treated with antibiotics and analgesics may be used to relieve fever and pain.


Tonsillitis can be caused by viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus or adenovirus. Antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections but patients may receive medications to relieve pain and fever.


Tonsil infections can develop in patients with diphtheria. Healthy people can prevent diphtheria if they get vaccinated against the disease.


Chronic or serious cases of swollen tonsils may be treated with surgical removal of the lingual and palatine tonsils.

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