Snoring: Different Types and What Causes It

Snoring is common. As many as one in four people snore regularly. While anyone can experience it, it’s more prevalent in adult males aged between 40 and 60.

Why do people snore?


You may think that it is a regular mundane thing. However, there are a few different types and causes of snoring. Snoring comes in three varieties, so to speak: occasional, habitual and serious or obstructive. The last two are when you should consider getting a professional involved.

What causes it?

Snoring is caused by vibration, as you breathe in and out during sleep, of soft tissue in your head and neck. This includes the nasal passages, the soft palate in the roof of your mouth, and your tonsils. The chances of you being someone who snores increase with your weight, consumption of alcohol and if you’re a smoker.


What causes nasal snoring?

Nasal snoring is cause by partially blocked nasal passages, which forces more air through the mouth. This causes a pressure overload that will eventually result in snoring. This partial blockage could be as a result of a blocked nose, because of colds or flu, sinuses, or allergies. This blockage could be temporary, such as in flu season, or when struck with hay fever from time to time. Other causes of nasal stuffiness could be pet hair, certain perfumes, certain household cleaners, dust mites, and some bedding like feathered pillows. Even a crooked nose could play a part!

What about tongue or mouth based snoring?

Tongue based snoring is literally caused by the tongue blocking the passage to the lungs! As your muscles relax when you fall asleep, the tongue will slide back and obstruct the airway to the throat. The person rolling onto their side can usually stop it. Majority of people will suffer from this type.

Mouth based snoring is caused when the soft tissues of the soft palate such as the uvula vibrates against each other, also called palatal snoring.


This is mostly found in people that tend to breathe through their mouths when they sleep. Often when people breathe through their mouths at night it’s because they have an underlying nasal issue, resulting in no filtration of the air through the nose and a tendency to contract throat infections.


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Is there a cure?

Treatment may be able to curb the rumble. However, it isn’t always guaranteed to help. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, are usually recommended first, then, anti-snoring devices, such as mouth guards or nasal strips. Surgery may be an option if anti-snoring devices don’t work. But, surgery is seen as a last resort to the problem and can cause side effects and complications. Speak to your dentist if you feel like you have a problem.


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