Common Causes of Snoring: How and Why It Happens

By John Rink DDS on January 31, 2018

A woman putting up with her partner's snoringSnoring occurs when breathing in and out during sleep causes the tissues that are in your mouth to vibrate. Most times the sound is causes by air passing by the soft palate and the tongue. Everyone will snore a little bit every now and then, but frequent snoring and excessively loud snoring may be the sign of another issue that’s worth getting treatment for.

Our Charleston, SC dental practice offers different snoring treatment options, including procedures to address sleep apnea. We want to focus predominantly on the causes of snoring in this post since many people know what snoring sounds like but have no idea why it happens.

The Anatomy of Your Mouth

The most common cause of snoring involve the anatomy of a person’s mouth. If your tongue has a tendency to roll back in your mouth or you have a large soft palate, snoring may be more likely. These tissues can grow slack and block airways as you are asleep.

Problems with Your Nasal Passages

In addition to the anatomy of your mouth, the anatomy of your nasal passages can also lead to worse snoring. Nasal congestion as well as a crooked separation between nostrils have been shown to increase your risk of snoring.

Your Sleeping Position

Snoring is much more common when a person sleeps on their back. In this position, the tongue and the soft palate are more likely to block your breathing passages. Snoring is less likely when sleeping on your side.

Exhaustion and Sleep Deprivation

If you’ve had a long day of work, are extremely exhausted, or haven’t been sleeping a lot lately, snoring is usually more likely. Your throat and soft tissues will relax even more than usual, causing higher risk of snoring.

Gender and Snoring

Research has found that men are more likely to snore than women. This has to do with the different anatomies of men and women. This isn’t to say that women can’t snore, but for men, snoring is much more common and regular.

Alcohol Consumption

Consuming alcoholic beverages can cause the muscles of the throat may relax more than they usually would, leading to a higher chance of snoring.

Obesity and Being Overweight

People who are obese or overweight tend to be more likely to snore than people who are of average weight. Part of this is because of the constriction of the throat and breathing passages caused by the excess weight one carries.

Genetic Factors Linked to Snoring

If you had parents who snored, you are also more like to suffer from snoring. This may be due to genetic predispositions for being overweight or obese, or simply linked to the layout of your breathing passageways.

Is Sleep Apnea Considered More Severe Snoring?

No. Sleep apnea is not just snoring. Rather, snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea refers to an interruption in your breathing that can lead to problems getting a restful sleep. If you snore frequently and also wake up multiple times during the night or feel fatigue during the day, you may be suffering from sleep apnea and not even realize it.

Learn More About Your Treatment Options

If you snore excessively and would like to find out what treatment options are avaialble, be sure to contact an experience dentist today. The team at the Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry is here to help you experience good health and a restful night of sleep.

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