Yoga is a great way to stay healthy and keep the body supple. However, yoga offers amazing benefits to oral health as well. Thanks to these benefits, you must consider incorporating yoga in your life for your dental care, amongst it's numerous other benefits.
5 benefits of yoga on dental health include:
High stress levels cause an increase in the production of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. This increases inflammation, which will worsens the swelling of gums if you suffer from them. Gum swelling will increase the risk of gum diseases.
Yoga helps in reducing stress levels, which further reduces inflammation and swelling.
Alleviates Jaw Pain
Yoga promotes better posture. When you slouch or have rounded shoulders, the head will fall forward and go out of alignment with your spine. This misalignment will result in 2 things: Discomfort in the jaw and an affected bite.
If you have chronic jaw pain, it may be because of temporomandibular disorder (TMD). This condition affects your ability to chew food, sleep and talk. Different yoga poses help the body back into proper alignment, thus reducing jaw pain.
Stimulates Saliva Production
One of the benefits of yoga for oral health is its ability to stimulate saliva production. Saliva naturally rinses the mouth and washes away harmful bacteria. It also removes food particles that can be stuck in the teeth. Saliva contains antibacterial enzymes that help in breaking down the food.
When there is low production of saliva, the mouth will get dry and the bacteria will flourish. Chronic dry mouth leads to bad breath, tooth decay, a build-up of plaque and gum diseases. One of the first signs of dry mouth is bad breath.
Certain types of yoga such as vinyasa yoga and poses that incorporate forward bends, twists and inverted stances stimulate the salivary glands. This will increase saliva production. Yoga can also prevent the mouth from drying, thus preventing bad breath and several oral diseases.
Good posture offers numerous benefits. Some of these include stronger core muscles, improved breathing, better brain function, more energy, better productivity, and better mood.
Poor posture affects the spine, mouth, and neck. When you hunch over, the lower jaw will shift forward. This causes the upper and lower teeth to come out of alignment. The skull also moves back and compresses the spine. This movement will put stress on the surrounding joints, muscles, and bones. If this is left untreated, it will create pain and inflammation in the joints and muscles when the mouth opens and closes.
Bad posture can also lead to jaw problems like temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ. Those suffering from TMJ also suffer from headaches, jaw tenderness and a change in jaw alignment.
When poor posture causes the head to jut forward, it creates stress on the neck, spine, and collarbone. It can also cause compression of the ear canal and poorly balanced shoulders which can cause stress on the ribs and the organs underneath.
Just by improving the posture, you can prevent a lot of pain and many oral issues. Yoga poses help in correcting the posture, which pulls the shoulders back and puts the head in alignment. This takes the strain off the jaw and helps in preventing dental issues.
Stress affects the health of the teeth and gums. Stressed individuals tend to grind their teeth or clamp their jaws. This causes the teeth to be worn out and can lead to broken fillings and micro-cracks in the teeth. This can also cause nerve damage.
When the teeth grind down to the dentin, it will result in sensitivity to cold and heat, loose teeth, gum recession, and gum pockets. Headaches and aching jaw are also common.
Moreover, stress also slows down the production of saliva and increases inflammation. This leads to dry mouth and gum issues.
Yoga is a great stress buster and it brings down the stress levels. This helps in protecting the gums and teeth apart from relaxing the entire body.
As you can see, there are myriad benefits of yoga for dental health. Yoga along with proper oral hygiene habits like regular brushing, flossing and dental care will ensure you a healthy set of teeth and gums.
By Anu Isaac
Author Bio: Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD, runs a successful dental practice in Salem, MA. As the founder of Coral Dental Care, she is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles for her patients and also to educating dental and non-dental community with her engaging articles on all things related to oral health, recent dental innovations, and latest treatment modalities.
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