Why Do I Snore?
For each patient, there is usually a different reason or a combination of factors that cause snoring, but it usually occurs because the soft tissues in the throat, along with the soft palate, begin to vibrate due to airway restriction. When air isn’t able to flow in and out of your airway freely while you sleep, the tissues within your mouth and throat will begin to vibrate, which then causes you to snore.
Tissues That Contribute to Snoring
Part of the problem with finding effective snoring treatment is that there are many potential tissues in your airway that could contribute to snoring. These include:
- Deviated septum: The divider between your nostrils can lead to snoring if it’s not straight. Sometimes dilator strips can help with a deviated septum, but it might need surgery.
- Enlarged turbinates: Turbinates are nasal structures that interfere with airflow in your nose to humidify the air and improve your sense of smell. These might also benefit from dilator strips or surgery.
- Tonsils: These structures on either side of the back of the mouth narrow the entrance to the throat. If these are large, they can obstruct your breathing and lead to snoring.
- Uvula: This is the dangling structure at the back of your mouth. Sometimes surgical removal of the uvula and tonsils is recommended as a snoring treatment, but it’s not highly effective, and results are often temporary.
- Soft palate: The back of the roof of your mouth is soft and flexible, and it can obstruct airflow and vibrate to cause snoring. Some procedures can shrink or firm the soft palate to reduce snoring.
- Tongue: Your tongue can sag to block your airway. In addition, your tongue can store excess fat, narrowing your airway and leading to snoring.
- Neck fat: Fat deposits in the neck can weigh down your airway, causing it to collapse. Or it can narrow your airway, similar to a fat tongue.
For many of these anatomical issues, oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment.
Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to Snoring
However, it’s not just your anatomy that contributes to snoring. Many aspects of your lifestyle can make your snoring worse.
Sleeping on your back can make your airway more likely to collapse. Consumption of alcohol in the evening can relax the tissues of your airway, leading to airway collapse. Smoking irritates your airway, causing it to swell and narrow.
If you consume foods that you have a mild allergic reaction to, it will swell your airway and narrow it.
Maintaining a healthy weight can also help reduce the frequency and volume of your snoring.
If you find that you are snoring on a consistent basis, it is time to consult with the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center so that this problem can be addressed and treated properly. Remember that snoring affects not only you but those around you, especially if it is known to be quite loud.