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Brenner Children’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location. Learn more

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A to Z: Peritonsillar Abscess

A to Z: Peritonsillar Abscess

What's in this Article?

A to Z: Peritonsillar Abscess

A peritonsillar abscess is an area of pus-filled tissue at the back of the mouth, next to one of the tonsils.

More to Know

A peritonsillar abscess can be very painful and can make it difficult to open the mouth. It can also cause swelling that may push a person's tonsil toward the uvula (the dangling fleshy object at the back of the mouth). If this happens, it can become hard to swallow, speak, and maybe even breathe.

Keep in Mind

A peritonsillar abscess should be seen by a doctor. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious health problems. Treatment includes antibiotics (often given through an IV) and draining the abscess.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.