What Are Tonsils and Why Are They Taking Mine?
Tonsil surgery may not be fun, but it sure is common! There are a half-million tonsillectomies every year in the US! This is far less than it used to be, however.
Because tonsils are one of the organs you can live without, surgeons remove them to help solve sleeping problems, reduce infections and keep tonsils in creepy jars in their basements. Sorry, that last one is not true. I'm lying. Anyway, it's one of the most common surgeries for kids under age 15.
Tonsils and adenoids can be very crafty. Have you heard of tonsil stones? Technically, they're called tonsilloliths, and are made up of bacteria, dead cells, mucus, and other junk that can collect in the grooves of the tonsils. This buildup can happen due to stress, but the most common reason is tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils). Anyhoo, these mouth rocks cause pain and need to be removed.
What do tonsils do? Tonsils trap germs in your mouth. These blobs of lymphatic tissue battle bad guys! There are four types of tonsils: adenoid, palatine, lingual and tubal. Exciting spots such as tonsillar crypts and Waldeyer’s Ring make your mouth sound like it’s straight out of Tolkien. It's an immune system hero!
The tonsils are supposed to trap bacteria and foreign stuff, but when they are inflamed, they are puffier. This puffiness can cause grooves in the tonsils to close up, which means any bacteria or foreign stuff would get trapped, until it's big enough to poke out of the groove. That's when you see them and get grossed out!
Need tonsillectomy gift basket ideas? Your tonsillectomy care package should include soft and fun foods, and of course a cute tonsil plushie! Give your surgeon a cute tonsil lapel pin for their white coat, badge reel or lanyard to bring on the post-op recovery grins. Enjoy that ice cream!
Fun fact: our plush tonsil is #7 tucked between “25 Placenta Recipes” and “Edible Farts” on Buzzfeed's list of "20 Irresistibly Weird Products to Buy on Amazon." Awww, thanks, you guys!
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