Differences Between Mouth And Nasal Snoring And How To Deal With Each

If you have encountered snorers, you may have noticed that snoring doesn’t always sound the same. The reason is that there are different types of snoring, namely nasal, mouth, throat, and tongue. Snoring of any kind is a sign that your body is having trouble breathing correctly during sleep. Knowing which type of snoring you or your loved one suffers from can help you figure out the cause of the snoring and find a solution to cure or minimize it.

This article will be looking at mouth and nasal snoring, how the two differ and how to fix each.

mouth and nasal snoring

Nasal Snoring

Nasal snoring doesn’t take place in your nose, despite being referred to as such. Nasal snoring takes place in the back of the throat, just like every other type of snoring. It occurs when there is a break of the airflow through the nose, hindering air from flowing freely through your nose and forcing your mouth to pick up the slack.

Many factors can cause a blocked nostril, including;

1) Structural defects: sometimes the obstruction may be caused by a physical issue, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps. These obstructions generally require medical attention. In any of these cases, surgery may be the only way to go.

2) Colds, flu, or allergies: a stuffy nose from a cold, flu, or allergies can compel us to breathe through our mouths and subsequently cause snoring. Colds and flu are occasional and can be easily treated using over-the-counter medicine for the same. 

Allergies may be more of a recurring problem. Try getting rid of allergens such as animal hair and dander in your living or working space. 

3) Small or collapsing nostrils: Do you have small nostrils, or do your nostrils collapse as you breathe in? Try this small exercise at home to determine if you have a tiny or collapsing nostril. Close your mouth, close one nostril with a finger, and try to breathe through the other one. If one collapses, try holding it open with a finger or a cotton swab. If this makes breathing more manageable, then it’s likely that nasal dilators can effectively facilitate nasal breathing and help stop your snoring.

4) Smoking and taking certain types of medication: If your nasal blockage is caused by smoking, you should seriously consider quitting.

And if you suspect that some of the medication you are on could be causing the blockage, see your doctor about possibly changing your meds.

It’s vital that you find out the exact cause of your blocked nose so you can seek the proper treatment for it. You can seamlessly cure allergies or colds with over-the-counter medication, and you can quit smoking. However,

Mouth Snoring

Mouth snoring or ‘palatal snoring’ occurs when you cannot breathe through your nose during sleep and automatically end up breathing through your mouth. If you aren’t certain if you are a mouth breather, try this easy exercise to find out. Start by opening your mouth and making a snoring noise. Next, close your mouth, and try to make the same sound. You are probably a mouth snorer if you can’t make the same sound with your mouth closed.

Like with nasal snoring, various reasons can cause you to breathe through your mouth, including; enlarged tonsils, having weak palate tissues, and blocked nasal passages. You can get the tonsils removed, and performing some mouth exercises can help strengthen the weak palate tissues.

There are various ways to remedy a blocked nose, as we will discuss below. But first, let’s look at the two types of mouth snorers;

Snorers with a blocked nose

Colds, allergies, pollution, hormones, and the weather can cause blockage in your nose and cause snoring.

There are several ways you can treat your blocked nose.

1) Nasal sprays: medicated nasal sprays can reduce inflammation and constrict the blood vessels in your nose to create more space and facilitate the free flow of air. You can also use saline nasal sprays, which are non-medicated. They use a mixture of water and salt, which moisturizes your nasal passages to reduce inflammation and break down excess mucus.

2) Nasal dilators: there are two types of nasal dilators, and they both mechanically open your nasal passages. Internal dilators prop open your nostrils and external strips, which use a springboard action to pull open your nasal valves whereas.

They are non-medicated and give instant results. 

1) Air purifiers: these can fix snoring brought on by allergies and pollution. Air purifiers use internal fans to pull in the air, and the harmful particles present it. The device then traps the particles in a filter or treats them to stick to surfaces instead of floating freely in the air.

2) Neti pots: these are devices used to flush out your nasal passages. They resemble a small teapot, hence the name, and are used to pour salt water through your nasal cavity to reduce nasal congestion.

Neti pots remedy snoring by;

  • Soothing inflamed tissue, which widens the nasal passages,
  • Flushing out allergens and other potential irritants, and
  • Breaking down and clearing excess mucus.

Note: Neti pots are made of different materials and need to be used and cleaned properly.

Snorers with a clear nose who cannot sleep with their mouths closed

If you breathe clearly through your nose but often wake up with a dry mouth, a sore throat, and even some drool on the pillow? You most probably sleep with an open mouth.

There are several different remedies you can try to prevent mouth breathing, including;

  1. Mouth tape – Use specialist, medical-grade mouth tape specially designed for use on skin to hold your mouth closed to promote nasal breathing.
  2. Chin straps – these are effective in keeping your mouth shut during sleep, though quite cumbersome. Chin straps go from under your chin and around the top of your head.
  3. Mouth shields – These fit behind your lips but in front of your teeth to hinder mouth breathing. 
  4. Tongue retainers – tongue retainers such as the Good Morning Snore Solution block the mouth breathing route, promoting nasal breathing. They also hold your tongue forward, ensuring the airway is not secured.
  5. Anti-snore mouthpieces – these are especially effective if your snoring is caused by more than one factor. If mouth breathing is one of those factors, using a mouthpiece can promote nasal breathing while also advancing the jaw forward to tighten the loose airway tissue responsible for snoring.


Snoring is no doubt a nagging problem for the snorers and bed partners alike. There are many techniques, devices, and exercises that can help remedy the problem. I hope the information in this article equips you well on how to deal with mouth and nasal snoring. Remember, first figure out what kind of snorer you are and take the proper steps to treat the factors that cause both types of snoring.