Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils and generally occurs in children. It is caused by either a virus or a bacterium, which is known as streptococcus, the same bacterium that causes strep throat.
What are tonsils
The tonsils are organs which are small and almond shaped that are located in the mouth on both sides of the throat. Tonsils are seen as the main defense against disease which cause germs to enter the body through the mouth, nose and throat. They protect against germs during early childhood by producing antibodies. By attacking bacteria and viruses, antibodies play an essential role in the immune system. The only problem is that, when going through the process of protecting the body, the tonsils can become in actual fact infected themselves. This can often result the need for tonsillectomy.
What is tonsillectomy
Tonsillectomy is a process whereby the tonsils are surgically removed. They are masses of lymphatic tissue which are located in the back of the throat. Tonsils are generally only removed when the patient has inflammation or infection in the tonsils.
It is one of the most common operations performed on children in the United States today, and new methods such as laser and electrosurgery have been introduced and continue to be developed to improve the technique of tonsil surgery in order to decrease pain and discomfort.
Side effect of tonsillectomy
By having tonsillectomy, the patient can suffer afterwards with bad breath. This is due to the healing process in the back of the throat. It is also caused by the fluid which comes out of the infected lymphatic tissue. This fluid can in actual fact coat the teeth and inner mouth which will result in bad breath.
Tips to speed up recovery after tonsillectomy
It is always essential that after undergoing a tonsillectomy, you rinse and gargle with a solution of salt water to improve bad breath. By chewing gum you can also decrease the smell of the breath. It is common that most patients breathe through their mouth when sleeping and snore during the recovery period. This is due to the swelling in the back of the throat. However, this generally only lasts for two to three weeks.
Though the patient may be inclined to rinse the mouth with an everyday mouthwash to help eliminate bad breath, it is advised that such mouthwashes be avoided whilst going through the recovery period. It is important to continue with the salt water solution. This is because such off-the-shelf mouthwashes can in actual fact cause the patient to have a dry throat and mouth which will cause discomfort.
Another reason for the bad breath after tonsillectomy is that the consumption of solid food is not possible. Therefore different dietary needs are required, which means that you will be eating different foods than your body is normally used to, which may also result in bad breath.