Tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue that can be seen in the mouth.
Tonsils are located on either side of the tongue in the back of the mouth. These are known as the “palatine” tonsils.
Tonsils play a role in the body’s immune response. Tonsils typically go unnoticed until they become enlarged and sometimes painful during episodes of infection or tonsillitis. Tonsil stones may form in tonsils. Tonsils may also be a site of cancer sometimes caused by the human papilloma virus. Tonsillectomy is a surgery to remove tonsils.
Tonsillar tissue on the back of the tongue, which can’t be seen through the mouth are the lingual tonsils. There is also tonsillar tissue behind the nose, which is known as the adenoids.