Many factors contribute to snoring, including the anatomy of your mouth and sinuses, your weight, and your health and lifestyle. The partial blocking of the airway causes the rushing air and the snoring.
As you age, your tongue, which is a muscle, loses muscle tone. With that loss of tone, your tongue falls backward and blocks all but a tiny portion of the airway, causing apnea episodes. When your airway is blocked, 80% or 90% of the air coming in picks up speed and rushes through the small opening. The harsh, snorting sound of snoring comes from rushing air passing over loose tissue in the back of your throat.
Snoring is also a sign of sleep apnea, which occurs when your tongue or other soft tissue in your mouth fully obstructs your airway. No oxygen getting to the body for 10 seconds to 90 seconds is an apneic event. This becomes problematic when it occurs from five times an hour to 100 or more times an hour.
Apneic events lessen the amount of oxygen your body receives, clinically known as hypoxemia, which contributes to cancer, infectious bacteria, viruses, and acidity.