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Why do I snore?

If you snore at night, it may be an indication that you are not sleeping well. Snoring occurs when the movement of air through the nose and throat is partially blocked because of a closing of your upper airway.  The audible snore is the result of vibration as the air tries to pass through the blocked part of the airway.

Snoring may occur for many reasons. If your snoring is left untreated, it can disrupt you or your partner's sleep, leading to daytime fatigue, irritability, and other more serious conditions.


Depending on the causes of airway collapse, there are 4 different types of snoring, (though you may have more than one):


Source: Convergent Dental

What kind of snorer am I? The 4 Different Types of Snoring:

Nose-based Snoring

Blockage in the nostrils due to a deviated septum or some physical obstruction in your nose may lead to nose-based snoring. Other causes for this type of snoring include pet and dust allergies, nose stiffness, cold or using certain types of medication. Nasal snoring can be minimized in several ways depending on what causes it:

  • Treating a deviated septum may require surgery

  • If a dust allergy causes snoring, keeping your home neat and decrease dust, use allergen pillows/bedding and air purifiers

  • Similarly, quitting smoking or using nasal dilator strips or a nasal rinse, taking allergy medication can be effective against nose-based snoring.

Mouth-based Snoring

Mouth-based snoring is the process of inhaling air through the mouth instead of the nose while sleeping. If you can’t breathe via your nose at night due to blockage, it causes you to breathe through the mouth, resulting in a vibration of the tissues and hence snoring. Blocked nasal passages, enlarged tonsils, or weak palatal tissue may also cause close-mouthed snoring. Getting your tonsils removed may help. Breathing via the mouth can lead to infections as the nose is not filtering the air that’s passing through.

Tongue-based Snoring

Tongue-based snoring occurs because the tongue gets too relaxed, mainly when we lie down on our back, thus blocking the airflow into the lungs. Because of this, it becomes difficult to breathe. Tongue-based snoring may occur in people who drink alcohol or use sleep medication. Excessive fat around the neck may also be a cause of tongue-based snoring. Anti-snoring pillows may help prevent this kind of snoring as they keep you on your side, preventing you from turning on your back. Cutting out alcohol and loosing weight if you are overweight may help.

Snoring mouthpieces or mandibular advancement devices (MADs) are specially designed to be used as a remedy for tongue snorers. It helps move your jaw forward, thus preventing the tongue from blocking the back of your throat and ensuring uninterrupted breathing.

Throat-based Snoring: Palatal Snorer (Palatal Flutter)

** The Most COMMON type of Snoring: Caused by Vibration of Soft Palate**

If you are a palatal snorer, you've got what's called a palatal flutter:  your soft palate (the soft part of the roof of your mouth near your throat) and your uvula (the dangly thing at the back of your throat) vibrate, causing snoring.  Palatal snoring or throat-based snoring, is typically the loudest. In severe cases, palatal snoring may lead to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition where the person stops breathing several times during the night while sleeping.

The great news is that Solea Sleep works for snoring that occurs when airflow moves past the relaxed tissue in the soft palate and causes tissue to vibrate. The laser energy "shrinks" (restructures) collagen in this area to reduce snoring.

All Palatal Snorers can be Treated with Solea Sleep. This includes:

  • (80% of all snorers) with or without a diagnosis for OSA

  • Patients using a CPAP or an oral appliance who continue to snore

  • Patients who snore that cannot use CPAP or oral appliances


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious medical condition that requires intervention by a trained physician to diagnose. Dominion Dental Spa can provide a sleep appliance in some cases to treat mild to moderate OSA as an alternative to a CPAP/BIPAP. However, it is outside the scope of a general dentist to diagnose this medical condition so we work closely with your physician to ensure you get the proper care.

Snoring by itself does not automatically mean you have Sleep Apnea (OSA). Snoring is often a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This website is informational only and not intended to diagnose any medical condition. Solea Sleep is a treatment for snoring only.

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