Snoring is vibration of your airway to create sound. This vibration can come from any part of your airway, with the nose and the throat being the two main sources. Oral appliances are effective for most snoring in the throat, but won’t work if snoring comes from your nose.

So how do you know if your snoring comes from your nose? Here are a few factors to consider.

Woman plugs her man partners nose in bed because of his snoring

Do You Have a Family History of Deviated Septum?

Deviated septum is one of the main reasons why people have chronic nasal snoring. The septum is the bone that divides the nose into two halves. If your septum is deviated, one side is larger than the other or perhaps both are narrowed at different points. This restricts the airflow and leads to turbulence, which creates vibration and therefore sound.

Deviated septum is a developmental condition, and most people who have it have a family history of it. Of course, your parents or grandparents might not have been diagnosed.

Did You Break Your Nose?

Another reason why people develop nasal snoring is that they broke their nose at some point in the past. When the broken nose heals, it doesn’t always restore the full size of the air passages. This can lead to constriction of the nose, which then leads to snoring.

This includes breaking your nose as part of a rhinoplasty (nose job). While sometimes a nose job can be used to fix constricted airways, not all plastic surgeons are paying attention to airway architecture when they’re focused on changing the appearance of your nose.

Do You Have Chronic Allergies or Illness?

Another reason why your nose might cause snoring is that chronic allergies and illness could restrict the airways in the nose because of inflammation and mucus buildup. Of course, this can also lead to restriction anywhere in the airway, but since the nostrils are narrower, they tend to become constricted first.

The Snoring Has a Whistling or High-Pitched Sound

The sound of snoring relates to the vibrating tissue. Smaller airways tend to create higher-pitched sounds. Think about a small instrument like a piccolo and the kinds of sounds it makes, compared to the sound of a larger instrument like a bassoon. It’s the same with your airway. When your nostrils are vibrating, the sound is more likely to be higher-pitched. Vibration in the throat, which is a much broader air passage, tends toward a more bass, penetrating rumble.

Don’t Waste Time and Money on Nasal Solutions

Looking at these different aspects of nasal snoring should give you a good idea of whether your nose is responsible for your snoring or not. If your nose isn’t the problem, don’t waste time or money on snoring solutions that focus on the nose, such as nasal strips, sprays, or even surgery. Instead, look at solutions designed to open up your throat, including oral appliances.

To learn whether an oral appliance can improve your snoring, please call (248) 480-0085 today for an appointment with Detroit-area sleep dentist Dr. Jeffrey S. Haddad at the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness in Troy.