tonsils (cheesy debris in tonsillar crypts)

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • tonsils have crypts which increase their surface area - their function is significant in the first few months of life and then this tissue tends to regress
  • however, in some cases, tissue regression does not occur and these crypts may become quite deep and allow food and bacterial debris to collect
    • this may cause chronic tonsillitis and halitosis
    • patients may be able to express cheesy debris from the tonsillar crypts in the mistaken belief that they are emptying a boil or abscess
  • management - the only measure, although it may seem rather extreme, to resolve this problem is to remove the tonsils


  • (1) Pulse (2001), 61 (23), 96.