Tonsilectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils. Tonsils are a pair of lymphoid tissue and they have an important function as a part of the immune system. They keep the infections that affect the mouth from spreading to the lungs and other parts of the body. However, sometimes tonsils create more problems than good, and they need to be removed.
Tonsillitis and tonsillectomy
Tonsillitis is an infection or an inflammation of the tonsils and it is particularly common in the childhood, when the tonsils are larger. The symptoms of tonsillitis include sore throat, swollen and painful tonsils, possibly with white patches on them. The swelling causes difficulty swallowing, which leads to loss of appetite. A person who has tonsillitis will most likely feel tired and worn down and he or she will probably have fever as well.
Tonsillitis is usually treated with antibiotics, which almost always cure the infection completely. However, in some people tonsillitis tends to reoccur, sometimes three or four times per season. It becomes more difficult to treat it with antibiotics and in that case most doctors recommend surgical removal of tonsils, in a procedure called tonsillectomy.
Tonsillectomy is a routine procedure that can be done under general anesthetic or with the use of local anesthetic and some sedatives. Children seem to recover from this surgery much faster than adults, who may take several weeks to return to their normal activities and eating habits.
Bad breath after tonsillectomy
Bad breath is actually associated with infected tonsils and processes that go on inside the mouth. The problem of bad breath is cured as soon as the tonsils are removed. However, in some cases bad breath occurs after tonsillectomy, along with other side effects of the surgery, such as fever and earache. Bad breath is probably the result of tonsillar plaque and tonsillar fluids that linger in the area after the tonsils are excised. Another reason for bad breath after tonsillectomy can be the fact that the back of the mouth is in the process of healing. Of course, there is also the obvious reason - a person cannot eat normally or brush the teeth normally for several days after the tonsillectomy, which inevitably leads to bad breath.
Bad breath after tonsillectomy is a temporary problem that will go away as soon as the healing process is complete. It can help to gargle with saline solution twice a day. If it still persists after two weeks, it is best to see a doctor.