Causes of Snoring

Causes of Snoring

Posted by Dr. Alicia Abeyta DDS FAGD on Nov 18 2014, 09:34 AM


Lifestyle factors can contribute to snoring. Snoring is often caused by sleeping on your back, drinking alcohol, and consuming caffeine before bed. Avoiding these habits can help to alleviate snoring. Similarly, smoking can cause nasal congestion, which can contribute to snoring. Quitting smoking will not only improve your overall health, but it can also improve your snoring.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea affects approximately 4 to 5 percent of adults. Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea and is often accompanied by daytime sleepiness.

During sleep apnea, a blockage in the back of the throat causes a person to stop breathing for periods of time. They typically wake up from these episodes gasping for air.

Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being older.
  • Being overweight.
  • Smoking.
  • Having large tonsils or adenoids.
  • Having a family history.

Treatments include:

  • Weight loss.
  • Dental devices.
  • CPAP.

Oral Appliance

Snoring can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer while sleeping. People with untreated sleep apnea stop repeatedly breathing throughout the night, which can cause heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.


Many patients come to use looking for solutions to stop their snoring. Fortunately, we can help. Many patients are surprised to find that their snoring may be caused by their bite. The alignment of the jaw, and the placement of the tongue, can both be huge contributing factors to snoring.

Overweight and Underweight

Overweight and underweight individuals are more likely to snore.

Snoring occurs when the airway becomes temporarily blocked during sleep. This may be caused by excess tissue in the throat. If your throat is narrow, this tissue may block the airway.

Overweight people have excess tissues in their throats. This tissue can obstruct the airway and cause snoring.

Underweight individuals may have narrowed airways because of poor muscle tone.

Drugs and Alcohol

Drug and alcohol use can have many side effects and complications. Snoring can be one of them. Snoring occurs due to respiratory obstructions. These obstructions happen when the soft tissues of the throat relax due to the sedative effects of drugs and alcohol. This can cause the airways to narrow and have vibrations that turn into the sound of snoring.

Medical Conditions

Snoring can be caused by certain medical conditions. For example, sleep apnea is a common condition where breathing stops during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, such as from a collapsed throat.

This condition is known to cause snoring. Snoring can also be caused by a cold, allergies, sinus infections, and tonsillitis.

Jaw Misalignment

Snoring is the result of an obstruction in the airway. When the jaw is misaligned it can restrict breathing and airflow. This is known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes interrupted sleep and poor quality sleep.

Sleep apnea sufferers are often tired throughout the day and can experience difficulty concentrating during the day. People who have sleep apnea also snore loudly and have problems breathing while they’re sleeping.

Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids

The tonsils and adenoids are lymph tissue located at the back of the throat. They can become enlarged as a result of tonsillitis.

The adenoids tend to shrink by adulthood. However, the tonsils may not shrink and can become enlarged. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can contribute to snoring.

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