There are four main causes of snoring for most people and they are mouth-breathing, nostril collapse, tongue base, and palatal flutter.
To check to see if your snoring is caused by either your nostrils, mouth or tongue, there are some quick and easy tests for you to do at home.
There is no easy and specific test that can be done to see if your snoring could be caused by your soft palate but if all the other tests related to nostrils, mouth and tongue are negative then it is probable that your snoring is caused by your palate.
It helps to know ahead of time that you would feel pretty foolish as you’re doing these tests. So just try to relax and not feel too self conscious.
The Nostril Test
To see if your snoring is a nostril related problem you will need a mirror and a paperclip. Stand in front of a mirror so that you can clearly see your nose.
Now with the index finger of your right hand, press on your right nostril so that it is closed. Close your mouth and breathe. What is happening to your left nostril?
If it stays open and you can breathe without difficulty then in all likelihood, your snoring is not caused by issues related to your nostrils.
However, if your left nostril starts to close and you are struggling to take a breath, try propping your left nostril open with a paperclip.
Be careful, you don’t need to push the paperclip right up into your nostril just push the top part of the paperclip in so that it holds the nostril open.
Now test your right nostril by repeating the above steps and closing your left nostril. Remember to keep your mouth closed as you breath.
If either nostril closes as you take a breath and it is easier to breath with the help of a carefully inserted paperclip then it is more than likely that your snoring is related to your nostrils. You need to look at nasal strips or nasal dilators to help you.
The Mouth Test
This test is assess whether your Snoring might be related to your mouth. You might want to stand in front of a mirror and do this test but you don’t have to.
With your mouth open, make a snoring noise. Now close your mouth and try to snore again.
If you can’t snore with your mouth closed but you can when it’s open, then your snoring is most probably caused by your mouth.
The solutions that you need to be looking at include chin strips and vestibular shields. Vestibular shields are similar to mouthguards or gum shields.
They mustn’t be confused with mandibular advancement devices which look very similar but which are the solution to tongue based snoring.
The aim of chin strips, chin straps or vestibular shields is to stop a person breathing through their mouth and to breath through their nose instead.
The Tongue Test
The purpose of this test is to work out if your snoring might be caused by your tongue. Stick your tongue out and gently clamp your teeth onto it.
Now try and snore. If you can’t snore while your teeth are holding your tongue, it is likely that your tongue is the reason why you snore.
In terms of solutions you will need to look at mandibular advancement devices or MADs for short and these are very similar to mouth guards that sportsmen wear.
Unfortunately, there is no test for palatal flutter but if the other three tests have proved negative and you are not overweight then you’re snoring might be caused because of your soft palate.