Inflammation or swelling of the tonsils from frequent or ongoing (chronic) tonsillitis can cause complications such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Disrupted breathing during sleep (obstructive sleep apnea)
  • Infection that spreads deep into surrounding tissue (tonsillar cellulitis)
  • Infection that results in a collection of pus behind a tonsil (tonsillar abscess)

Strep infection

If tonsillitis caused by group A streptococcus or another strain of streptococcal bacteria isn't treated, or if antibiotic treatment is incomplete, your child has an increased risk of rare disorders such as:

  • Rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disorder that affects the heart, joints and other tissues
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, an inflammatory disorder of the kidneys that results in inadequate removal of waste and excess fluids from blood
Aug. 04, 2012