Medically reviewed by Nicole Leigh Aaronson, MD, MBA, CPE, FACS, FAAP — composed by Hana Ames on June 21, 2021

A tonsil cyst is a bump on one or both of the tonsils. A physician should inspect to ascendancy out other problems that can cause growths in the area.

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The tonsils are two masses of soft organization at the back of the throat. As soon as cysts type there, they may not reason symptoms or be noticeable. A person may only feel the existence of larger cysts. These cysts room usually no a reason for concern.

Below, discover all about tonsil cysts and also other problems that have the right to be basic to mistake because that them.

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A cyst is a slow-growing, noncancerous fixed of cells had in a sac wall. Cysts can kind anywhere in the body.

Types of cyst that may build on the tonsils include:

Most tonsil cysts carry out not cause symptoms, so human being might no seek medical care. Together a result, researchers space unsure how common they really are.

Tonsillar retention cysts space the many common kind of tonsil cyst. They type because of clogged mucus glands.

Epidermoid cysts account for much less than 0.01% of all cystic lesions in the mouth and throat.

A person can not know that they have a tonsil cyst until a healthcare skilled finds that while analyzing the area for various other reasons.

Tonsil cysts perform not usually reason symptoms and also grow slowly. They space not typically a cause for concern.

However, a bump on the tonsils can an outcome from much more serious issues. Anyone v a expansion on your tonsils need to let a medical professional know.

Cysts ~ above the tonsils may cause no symptoms. They are usually painless and grow slowly.

A bigger cyst might feel prefer a international object in the back of the throat and cause difficulty swallowing. Other symptoms might include:

pain one earachea dried cough

Learn what could reason swollen tonsils here.

A doctor may recommend operation removing the cyst, i m sorry is kept intact to avoid irritating surrounding tissues. Some civilization need a full tonsillectomy, which requires removing the tonsils.

Instead, a doctor may recommend watchful waiting, to watch whether any type of changes in the cyst occur.

This is a kind of oropharyngeal cancer, which is cancer that starts in the mouth or throat. Cells prosper too conveniently and type one or much more tumors.

According to the American culture of Clinical Oncology, more than 54,000 adult in the country receive a diagnosis of dental or oropharyngeal cancer every year.


A person with tonsil cancer may have:

a ill in the mouth that doesn’t healred or white patches on the impacted tonsilmouth ache or bleedingan earachebad breathchanges in speechunexplained weight lossfatiguea brand-new mass or lump on the neck


The treatment arrangement may indicate a mix of approaches, including:

Surgery: This involves removing the tumor and also some healthy tissue approximately it come ensure the all the cancerous tissue is gone. The strategy to surgery counts on the size and location the the tumor. Radiation therapy: This is the use of high-energy particles to damage cancer cells.Chemotherapy: This involves using particular drugs to remove cancer cells.Immunotherapy: This boosts the body’s immune system, and doctors may integrate it with various other treatments.Targeted therapy: This targets cancer cells, and doctors may also combine it with various other treatments.

Several health problems share some attributes with tonsil cysts. Some examples include:

Tonsil stones

These are likewise known as tonsilloliths. They take place when debris, such as dead cell or food, collect in the crevices the the tonsils and also harden, forming little yellow or white “stones.”

The size have the right to vary widely. A human being may it is in unaware the they have them, however someone can mistake a big tonsil stone for a cyst.

One symptom is negative breath, together the stones tempt bacteria and also fungi.

Learn an ext about tonsil stones here.


Tonsillitis happens because of a bacter or viral epidemic in the tonsils. The disease is highly contagious, and it is usual in children.

Symptoms can incorporate a fever, chills, swelling of the tonsils, and also a sick throat. Yellow or white pus may be clearly shows on the tonsils, and also people may mistake this for cysts.

Peritonsillar abscess

Peritonsillar abscesses are additionally called “quinsy.” A peritonsillar abscess is an infected bag of pus, when a cyst has actually a wall or lining.

These abscesses an outcome from tonsillitis and can be painful. A doctor might treat them v antibiotics or drain them.

Strep throat

Strep neck is a highly infectious infection that results from group A Streptococcus bacteria.

This problem can reason the tonsils to come to be inflamed and also red, with white patches. A human being may failure these because that cysts.

Learn how to recognise strep throat here.

Infectious mononucleosis

Also known as mono, the “kissing disease,” or glandular fever, this is a viral epidemic of the tonsils.

It can cause swelling that the tonsils and a sore throat, which might cause a person to doubt that they have tonsil cysts.

Anyone that may have actually a tonsil cyst should call a health care professional. Tonsil cysts space unlikely to reason issues, but they deserve to be similar to numerous other conditions, and also these require treatment.

It is necessary to seek clinical attention as shortly as possible if a person likewise experiences:

a persistent high feverswelling that interferes through breathingmuscle weakness

Tonsil cysts space noncancerous masses of cells on the tonsils, in ~ the back of the throat. They thrive slowly and are usually no cause for concern.

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Many health problems that need treating deserve to be comparable to tonsil cysts, however. Anyone that notices a growth on their tonsils should call a doctor.


Medically reviewed by Nicole Leigh Aaronson, MD, MBA, CPE, FACS, FAAP — created by Hana Ames ~ above June 21, 2021