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Characterized by sore throat, facial swelling, drooling, fever, chills, bad breath, and jaw pain; peritonsillar throat abscess is more than your average sore throat. The abscess is typically caused by more than one type of bacterial infection. However, the two most common species of bacteria that cause the abscess are Bacteroides and Streptococci.

Such bacteria spread throughout the throat and cause an infection in the tonsils. Consequently, pus forms and the buildup can put extreme amounts of pressure onto the tonsils. A person experiencing this buildup of pus will notice pain and discomfort. In fact, the pain can get so extreme that the affected person can no longer swallow even his or her own saliva. However, without attention, peritonsillar throat abscess can advance to become a life-threatening infection. If the infection is allowed to spread into the roof of the mouth, the neck, and lungs; there is a chance that the inflamed tissues will block airway passages resulting in an inability to breathe.

Because of the potential of the bacteria spreading to surrounding areas, it is important that peritonsillar throat abscess be treated in a timely fashion. Treatment options vary and some are more controversial than others. The treatment you receive depends largely on the severity of your abscess and the beliefs of your doctor. It is possible that surgical drainage of the abscess by either aspiration or incision will be performed. Another method of treatment involves a tonsillectomy, removal of the tonsils. Assuming the cause of the abscess is bacterial, yet another treatment could involve simply a prescription for antibiotics.

So you’re young and healthy? Don’t be misguided and think that prevents you from experiencing the joys of peritonsillar throat abscess. The occurrence rate is estimated at 30 per 100,000 persons in the United States. However, this abscess is most common in young, healthy adults. The reoccurrence rate is estimated at 15%, but those who have reoccurring episodes tend to be between the ages of 16 and 30 and have a history of recurrent tonsillitis.

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Information gathered and stored in my brain from ivillagehealth.com, thirdage.com, and various other readings along the way.