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The 5 Types of Snoring & How to Test for Them

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A man snoring loudly while sleeping.

The 5 Types of Snoring & How to Test for Them

A great night of sleep is something we all strive for and need. Anything that may interfere with that can be a cause for concern. Snoring can be the cause of this interference, and a trip to your sleep doctor can help you overcome this chronic issue.

Understanding the 5 different types of snoring can help you navigate those sleepless nights. Let’s explore the different types of snoring and how to test for them.

What Are the 5 Types of Snoring?

Snoring can affect those around you much more than you, and it can lead to your partner’s rest being disturbed and also lead to sleep deprivation. A continuously interrupted cycle of sleep can lead to more serious health issues.

Snoring can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • The anatomical structure of your mouth
  • Allergies or a cold
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Excess weight around your neck 

Snoring is associated with a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Although not all snorers have OSA, it can be a common symptom.

Other risk factors that can contribute to snoring include: 

  • Being overweight
  • Having a narrow airway
  • Nasal problems
  • A family history of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea

There are different types of snoring that may affect you—while your doctor can conduct a full sleep study to determine your specific needs, understanding the different types of snoring is helpful. 

Let’s explore the 5 types of snoring and how to test for them. 

#1 Nose-Based Snoring

This type of snoring is caused by a blockage in the nostrils due to a deviated septum or a physical obstruction in the airwaves. 

Testing for nose-based snoring involves monitoring the symptoms, which can include: 

  • Nasal breathing is impaired even while awake
  • Loud whistle-like snoring
  • Dry mouth and bad breath

Your doctor can further diagnose nose-based snoring and prepare a treatment plan.

#2 Mouth-Based Snoring

This type of snoring involves inhaling air through your mouth instead of your nose while sleeping. When you cannot breathe through the nostril due to a blockage, your body automatically starts breathing through the mouth. 

Testing for this type of snoring involves identifying sleep patterns such as snoring with an open mouth or having a tendency to sleep on your back or your side.

#3 Tongue-Based Snoring

Tongue-based snoring occurs when the tongue gets too relaxed and blocks the airflow into the lungs. This type of snoring can make breathing difficult. 

Recognizing the symptoms of tongue snoring can help make your snoring type clear. With tongue-based snoring, you only snore while sleeping on your back, and inconsistent high-pitched sounds characterize your snoring.

A white sleep apnea appliance.

#4 Throat-Based Snoring

Throat-based snoring is a loud and dangerous type of snoring. This type of snoring can be caused by sleep apnea and occurs when the muscles and soft tissues in the throat get too relaxed. 

The obstruction in your airway can leave you feeling choked and wake you from your sleep.

This type of snoring is considered dangerous and linked to sleep apnea, so the best option is to get a sleep study through your doctor

#5 Multifactorial Snoring

Multifactorial snoring involves multiple organs contributing to your snoring. This type of snoring can be caused by a combination of your nose, mouth, tongue, and palate.

Your doctor can help you navigate and manage multifactorial snoring and determine a management plan. 

Testing & Managing Snoring

The most effective way to test and manage your snoring is to visit your doctor and opt for a comprehensive sleep study. 

Snoring has been linked to sleep apnea, so quick recognition and treatment are essential. Your doctor can provide oral appliance therapy. 

Oral appliance therapy involves using a custom-made mouthpiece that can help you stop snoring and get some much-needed rest. 

Your mouthpiece is customized around your unique needs for maximum convenience. 

A Comfortable Night of Sleep

Snoring can prevent you and anyone around you from getting a comfortable night of sleep. Understanding and recognizing the different types of snoring can help determine your treatment plan.

Book an appointment with your doctor to learn more about snoring and get the treatment and rest you deserve today.

Dr. Saleema Adatia

Written by Dr. Saleema Adatia

Dr Adatia did her dental training at Tufts University in Boston MA and graduated in 2006.  Returning to her hometown of Calgary, Dr. Adatia worked as an associate for many years before starting Symmetry Dental.  

Dr. Adatia has focused her clinical practice to the dental management of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. She has completed extensive training in dental sleep therapy, including a residency at her alma mater, Tufts University, and multiple courses focused on evidence-based education and the medical aspects of sleep related breathing disorders.

Dr. Adatia is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, which focuses on training dentists on how to provide oral appliance therapy for people who suffer from sleep apnea.  She has also been involved in clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of novel technologies for the treatment of OSA.

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