Tonsil abscesses or peritonsillar abscesses form in the soft tissue at the back of the throat, around the tonsils. They can be very painful and cause throat blockage in severe cases. Tonsil abscesses usually form when a tonsillitis infection spreads further into the throat. However, they can also occur due to infections of the teeth and gums. The person will usually experience discomfort when swallowing and the throat will appear reddened and inflamed.
Tonsil abscesses are sometimes known as 'quinsy' and are usually caused by a bacterial infection of the tonsils. The abscess is a pus-filled swelling in the soft tissues around the tonsils that may leak pus and is usually visible upon examination. If the abscess is very large, it may displace the uvula from its usual position.
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