Tonsils commonly refer to tissues located at the throats’ back that are involved in guarding against infection.
Sometimes, an abscess (which is a collection of pus - composed of dead tissues, foreign material such as bacteria and white blood cells) forms in the space between the tonsil and its capsule resulting in a peritonsillar abscess (quinsy).
In addition to fever, malaise, sore throat, etc patients with a peritonsillar abscess may have a muffled voice which has been said to resemble the voice of someone speaking with a hot potato in their mouth – hot potato voice.
As peritonsillar abscesses are caused by various bacteria (polymicrobial infection) their treatment includes antibiotics and drainage of the abscess.
The hot potato voice can also occur for example with throat tumors and in epiglottitis (inflammation of the epiglottis), which is a tissue flap found in the throat that helps prevent food and drink go into the airways.
Galioto NJ. Peritonsillar abscess. Am Fam Physician. 2008, 15;77(2):199-202. Go to reference
Tonsils, right quinsy (peritonsillar abscess)