If you’ve ever had problems with your teeth, you probably know that they’re not easy to maintain. There are simple things you can do to improve your dental health, such as: B. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and avoid sugary foods and drinks. But did you know that the stretching and breathing exercises of yoga can also improve your dental health? Just like brushing your teeth and flossing, a regular yoga practice can keep your teeth, gums, and general oral health in good shape. So if you are concerned about improving and maintaining your dental health, there are four reasons to consider adding a few minutes of yoga to your wellness routine.
How can yoga contribute to your dental health?
Experienced practitioners know that the benefits of yoga are great and far-reaching. Consistent yoga practice can also promote your dental health and help you get healthier and better teeth. While there are no yoga poses that directly affect your teeth, there are many indirect benefits that can affect your overall oral health and wellbeing.
If you have never tried yoga before, maybe you can take this as a sign to start now. Not only will you strengthen your mental and physical health, but you will also be doing your teeth a favor. There are four ways that yoga can improve your dental health.
1. Yoga relieves stress
Stress is inevitable and a daily struggle for many people. It can affect your mental, emotional, and physical health. When you are stressed you can quickly become exhausted, annoyed about the smallest of things and constantly tired, with almost no energy left to do other tasks. You may also experience physical symptoms of stress such as headache, back pain, neck pain, and muscle tension. But other than that, stress can affect your dental health as it can trigger jaw clenching and teeth grinding, or more commonly known as bruxism.
Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw are unconscious movements that some people make when they are constantly stressed. Sometimes they can even happen while sleeping. Over time, stress-related bruxism leads to long-term dental problems such as:
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Broken teeth
- Gum recession
- Lose teeth
- Flat teeth
- Jaw misalignment
- Worn enamel
- Jaw pain
- Tooth sensitivity
Fortunately, yoga can help your body recover and manage your stress levels. Regular yoga is known to significantly reduce stress, and later eliminate bruxism and other oral health problems. Some yoga poses are specifically geared towards stress.
It is also important that a visit to the dentist does not cause you stress, worry or fear. Before and during your visit, you can practice a few minutes of meditation or yoga breathing exercises to help you stay calm and relaxed. You may also want to make sure your dentist is equipped with sleep and sedation options like those offered by Martindale Dental. These can be used to relieve anxiety about deadlines and reduce your fear of painful procedures.
2. Yoga promotes saliva production
Your saliva serves a vital purpose in your oral health. It is responsible for keeping bacteria and food debris at bay, which are the main causes of tooth decay and gingivitis. Also, your saliva will keep your mouth moist and prevent it from drying out.
However, when your salivary glands reduce their saliva production, a chronic dry mouth can develop, which can be a thriving environment for bacteria. When bacteria multiply in your mouth, it ultimately leads to oral health problems like gum disease, tooth decay, and plaque build-up. Some common factors that can cause your body to slow down saliva production include allergies, mouth breathing, dust, dry air, certain medications, and illnesses.
Yoga is believed to stimulate the salivary glands. Some yoga poses, such as twists, forward bends, and reverse poses, can increase saliva production and ultimately improve your dental health.
3. Yoga encourages better posture
Another thing some of you may not know is that your posture is directly related to your dental health. When you’re not standing or sitting straight, your back arches, forcing your neck to push forward. This pressure leads to misalignment of your jaw and ultimately leads to misalignment of your teeth. That being said, poor posture can cause facial and jaw pain. Once your teeth are misaligned, it puts pressure on your jaw and face muscles, which leads to bruxism.
Doing yoga regularly can help support poor posture. Most yoga poses and stretches encourage you to maintain proper standing and sitting postures throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to do yoga poses after sitting in your office for long periods of time to avoid jaw misalignments from poor posture. Good posture also brings other benefits, such as improved breathing, increased self-confidence, and stronger core muscles.
4. Yoga reduces inflammation
Another adverse effect of stress is chronic inflammation in your body. When you’re stressed, your body produces higher levels of cortisol to help fight off stress. However, too much cortisol can make you feel even more stressful and anxious, and it can eventually lead to chronic inflammation.
Inflammation of the gums can be painful and sometimes unbearable. It can also lead to other oral problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Worse, if left untreated, inflammation can spread to the rest of your body and cause other types of pain.
Restorative yoga poses can help relieve stress, calm your body, and slow down the production of cortisol. Once your cortisol levels are under control, your gum inflammation will be reduced and you will be saved from other potential oral health problems.
The bottom line
Now you know how many benefits yoga brings to your dental health. The good news is that it is not too late to practice yoga to improve your overall wellbeing. You can sign up for online yoga programs, take a private class with a yoga instructor, or practice on your own using online videos. The sooner you start yoga, the sooner you can reap the health benefits!
Remember, however, that yoga will never replace a professional dentist. So, while practicing various yoga poses and pranayama on a regular basis, you should combine it with regular checkups at trusted dental clinics. In addition to completing your yoga sessions with regular dental checkups, you should also follow good oral hygiene for optimal dental health.