Is Your Snoring Really Sleep Apnea?

Individual Snoring in Sleep While Spouse Covers The Ears With a Pillow
Is Your Snoring Really Sleep Apnea?


Snoring can be a very common action, often occurring after a few drinks or during allergy season. Snoring occurs when the airflow from your nose or mouth vibrates the tissues in the back of your throat. For partners, it can be disruptive and annoying, but sometimes there’s a deeper cause of snoring.

In some cases, snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, the disorder that causes you to temporarily stop breathing when you’re at sleep. As you may guess, there are serious health risks associated with sleep apnea.

Is snoring a sign of sleep apnea? Here’s how you can find out.

Is All Snoring Sleep Apnea?

While snoring is one sign and symptom associated with apnea, it is not a definitive sign of apnea. We may snore for different reasons, and one of those reasons could be sleep apnea. When snoring is caused by sleep apnea it’s referred to as primary snoring, but other reasons for snoring may include:

  • Relaxed throat muscles due to old age
  • Sleep style (sleeping on your back)
  • Consuming alcohol or other muscle relaxants near bedtime
  • Being overweight which causes more tissue around the neck

Is Snoring a Sign of Sleep Apnea?

Primary snoring is one sign of sleep apnea. Other signs include:

  • Pausing while breathing.
  • Shallow breaths while sleeping.
  • Gasping or chocking
  • Restlessness.
  • Extremely loud snoring.

Your anatomy, underlying medical conditions, or anything else that blocks your airways while you sleep can cause sleep apnea including:

  • Large tonsils
  • Hypothyroidism or endocrine disorders
  • Neuromuscular conditions
  • Genetic conditions including cleft lip or cleft palate.
  • Premature birth.
  • Kidney or heart failure.


Sleep Apnea vs Snoring

Does snoring mean you have sleep apnea? Not necessarily. While people can get snoring and sleep apnea confused as the same thing, they are two different issues that can co-occur. All untreated sleep apnea sufferers snore but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring is one symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, so if you snore you MAY have sleep apnea, but that’s not always the case.

Snoring Treatment

Whether or not you have sleep apnea, snoring can impact your sleep and disturb your partner. If you suffer from snoring, it’s important to seek a solution that can help you and your partner. Advanced Dental Arts in Quincy and Norwell is here to help you with your snoring and/or sleep apnea. To learn more about your condition and find a safe treatment option, book your appointment today.