While most of us are familiar with the location and function of our lymph nodes, not many of us understand much about our adenoids tonsils. Comprised of a ring of glandular tissue, these structures are found in the back of the throat. They are believed to serve an immunological function, particularly in the first year of life.
Looking into the mouth, a portion of these structures are readily seen as two, hopefully healthy and pink, masses on either side at the back of the throat. The unseen portion of the adenoids tonsils rests behind the nose and roof of the mouth.
The surface of the two dangling structures at the back of the throat may be pitted with crypts, or indentations. These indentations may appear quite deep and contain tonsil stones. Pus pockets may also be found within the adenoids tonsils.
Medical professionals have speculated that the need for for these structures later in life is low or non-existent. While the structures do provide a barrier for bacteria and help the body produce antibodies, problems and illness are also common.
A frequent complaint associated with adenoids tonsils is tonsil stones. These are globs comprised of bacteria and post nasal drip. In addition to the bacteria and post nasal drip, these uncomfortable bits also contain odorous sulfur compounds.
Other common discomforts include infection, which can require complete removal of one or both of the structures, and enlargement of the structures, also known as hypertrophy. Adenoids tonsils problems can be characterized by pain, fever, bad breath, and often a feeling of having something caught in the throat.