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What Causes Snoring?

What Causes Snoring
What Causes Snoring

If you’re the partner of a snorer, you know what an aggravating predicament it can put you in to try to fall asleep each night listening to that heavy breathing and wheezing. By the same token, if you’re the snorer, you know how aggravating it can get being told every morning how annoying it is listening to your heavy breathing and wheezing. There are products on the market today that can help or even eliminate snoring, but the problems that accompany snoring sometimes aren’t just simple issues that can be rectified by wearing a little strip on your nose. And the causes of snoring can be even less simple to detect and treat. Of course, if you’re a snorer or the partner of a snorer, you likely have spent hours, days, even weeks investigating the reasons for the snoring and subsequent cures. Following is information on some of the most prevalent causes of snoring and what you can do to remedy your snoring problem.

Airway obstruction and nasal congestion

There are quite a few underlying medical conditions that can contribute to, or outright cause, snoring. Airway obstruction, nasal congestion, obesity, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, and obstructive sleep apnea are all health problems that can cause breathing problems that subsequently cause snoring. For airway obstruction, your family dentist in Summit can form fit your mouth with an oral appliance that will prevent your tongue from sliding back into your throat, thereby alleviating the obstruction in your airway that is causing you to snore. If you suffer from chronic nasal congestion that drips into your throat, your snoring likely is being caused by this medical condition. For some individuals suffering from chronic congestion, nasal strips can help to open up the nasal passages, thereby alleviating that wheezing sound they make when they sleep and allowing them to breathe more freely. For individuals who are significantly overweight, obstructive sleep apnea can be the underlying cause of their snoring. These individuals need to see their doctors in order to (1) get on an effective diet and exercise program that will get them on track to a healthier lifestyle, and (2) undergo examination for potential obstructive sleep apnea, as this is a medical condition that needs to be addressed by their doctors. Enlarged adenoids and tonsils also can cause significant snoring, and these conditions must be addressed by a physician.


Some medications can contribute to snoring because they act as muscle relaxants that loosen muscles in the back of the throat. This causes these muscles to vibrate while an individual is breathing during sleep, and this action in turn can cause snoring. If you’re on a CNS depressant such as a benzodiazepine and you suffer from chronic snoring, talk to your doctor regarding your medication.

Sleep position

In some cases, snoring is simply a matter of adjusting your sleep position. Although sleeping on your stomach or on your back may feel more comfortable to you, if you’re a snorer this may be what’s causing you to wheeze all night and keep both you and your partner from getting a restful night’s sleep. Try sleeping on your side, as this position typically allows for freer breathing. If you don’t like sleeping on your side, try using a body pillow that can make this position more comfortable, or consider sleeping on a different surface that will make side sleeping more pleasant for you. A mattress that is too firm can be the culprit as it doesn’t allow you to sink into it enough to feel comfortable. Conversely, a mattress that is too soft can cause you to sink too far down into it, and this can also cause discomfort while sleeping on your side.

It’s not necessary to just grin and bear snoring, and there’s no need to lose sleep over a situation that may have a solution. If you’re a snorer and you’ve tried various methods to eliminate it that haven’t worked, you should consider seeking medical attention, especially since your snoring may be caused by an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed. Contact a family dentist to schedule an appointment for examination in order to find out if your snoring is caused by a dental or medical condition.

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