You probably only notice your lingual tonsils — more simply known as just tonsils — when they're infected. Suddenly, swallowing is painful and you notice that the lumps in the back of your throat are red, swollen and might also be covered in white patches.
Your tonsils are the first line of defense in your immune system, and the antibodies they produce fight the viruses or bacteria that invade your throat. However, sometimes the tonsils themselves become infected, and if you suffer from repeated bouts, it may be better to have your tonsils removed. Learning about how the tonsils function in relation to the immune system and speaking with your doctor about your experience with infections can help you be more informed about tonsil removal.