Causes of Snoring, Charlotte NC Dentist

Snoring is a sound made in the upper airway of your throat as you sleep. Anything that constricts the airway can cause snoring. Then sound can come from air passing in from your nose, mouth or both. Snoring can be cause by one or more of the following:

  • Weight – weight gain causes increase fat in the throat that restricts air flow
  • Alcohol consumption - relaxes throat muscles
  • Sleeping pills – relaxes throat muscle
  • Sleeping posture – sleeping on side causes lower jaw and longue to drop back and constrict throat
  • Seasonal Allergies – swelling in nose caused from outside allergens such as pollen
  • Perennial allergies – swelling in nose generally caused by internal allergens such as dust mites, animal dander and mold.
  • Mouth breathing (see below) – anything that interferes with breathing through your nose will cause you to breath through your mouth more. There are more obstructions (soft palate, uvula, etc.) to the air flow in the mouth than the nose. Air will vibrate these structures and more likely cause the snoring sound.
  • Anatomy – larger soft tissue structures (tonsils, adenoids, uvula). The more restricted the airway the louder the snore.
  • Malformation – deviated septum in nose, nasal polyps.
  • Smoking – causes inflammation of the throat and nasal cavity

Nose breathing vs. Mouth Breathing:

Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth will decrease the chance of you making a snoring sound because there are less structures interfering with the flow of air. but there are many other reasons why breathing through your nose is healthier than breathing through your mouth. These reasons include:

  • Because your nostrils are narrower than your mouth, they create a backpressure in your lungs when you exhale. This slows the air escape out of the lungs which allows the lungs to pickup up more oxygen.
  • Mouth breathing fools the brain into thinking too much CO2 is being lost. The brain causes mucous production, slow breathing and constrict blood vessels.
  • The nostrils and sinuses warm and filters the air before it gets to the lungs. The sinuses produce nitric oxide (NO) which kill bacteria. NO is also important in sexual arousal.
  • Mouth breathing increases water loss from the body.
  • Mouth breathing will cause dry mouth. A dry mouth increase dental disease.

2009 Paul Plascyk, DDS • Site designed and maintained by TNT Dental