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Lingual Tonsil

The lingual tonsils are aggregation of lymph follicles at the root of the tongue. Their lymphatic tissue are dense and nodular, their surface is covered with stratified squamous epithelium which invaginates as a single crypt into each lingual tonsil. They are partially surrounded by connective tissue placing them in the group of Partially Encapsulated Lymphatic Organs, tonsils, the only one of its kind. They have associated mucous glands which are drained by ducts directly into the single tonsillar crypt. They are composed of lymphatic tissue that functions to assist the immune system in the production of antibodies in response to invading bacteria or viruses. If the tonsils are repeatedly swollen or infected over an extended period of time, they may need to be removed. An infection of the lingual tonsils causes many uncomfortable symptoms, including a sore throat and very painful swallowing. Swollen tonsils are often easily visible on the back of both sides of the tongue, a condition called tonsillitis. A fever may develop as the immune system tries to fight off the infection. A medical professional can visibly examine the tonsils to see if a bacterial culture should be made from a throat swab. Preliminary antibiotics may be prescribed until the results of the culture have returned from the laboratory. If no bacteria are revealed in the cultures, the antibiotics will be discontinued. If the infection is caused by a virus, the healthcare professional may be able to prescribe medication to relieve the painful sore throat and other uncomfortable symptoms. A solution of salt and water can be gargled to relieve some of the sore throat pain. The salt water also acts as an antiseptic rinse for the tonsil.