Can yoga improve your oral health?

yoga benefits for oral care

Last updated Apr 12, 2024

Last updated Apr 12, 2024

Yoga is an ancient practice which brings together mind and body. It Incorporates different poses, meditation, and breathing exercises designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress. Surprisingly, Yoga also helps in improving your oral health by reducing stress. There are a number of major and minor issues our teeth and gums face due to stress. A hectic lifestyle can take a toll over our oral and overall health.

Here are some common issues which can be healed by practicing yoga on a regular basis for your better oral health.

Yoga Reduces stress

People in a stressful condition have a tendency to clench their teeth hard which not only affects your oral health but also your neurological behavior. Clenching your teeth hard can lead to minor cracks and cause pain in teeth and associated jaws. Yoga can, however, relax your oral muscles and teeth.

Stress can also lead to emotional eating which often results in binge eating. A stressed individual always gets attracted to sugary foods. Overeating of such food encourages the growth of oral bacteria and creates dental cavities. Yoga helps in reducing stress which diverts our mind to avoid binging on such sugary foods, thus stabilizing and protecting the oral cavity.

Also, stress is a result of the rise of the level of cortisol (stress hormone) which in turn leads to inflammation and swelling of gums. Regular practice of yoga lowers the cortisol level and heals the inflammation of gums, resulting in a healthy smile.

Yoga Improves posture

A protruded jaw isn’t a pretty sight. A bad posture of the jaw can lead to jaw issues like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder) which is a common medical condition. The side effects of a bad posture can lead to alteration in speech, difficulty in chewing and dull pain. A few minutes of yoga dedicated to the movement of the temporomandibular joint can result in great relief and long-term benefits.

Stimulate saliva production

Saliva is a lubricating substance in our mouth which helps in the breakdown of food morsel into a semisolid form which is easier to swallow. When the production of saliva slows down due to any medical conditions like calculi(calcium stones) in the salivary duct or gland, it leads to dry mouth.

The dry mouth creates an environment for the bacteria to multiply. The bacteria formed in the mouth can lead to dental caries and bad breath. Also, the toxins present in the bacteria can be carried into the digestive system along with food and water to further digestion issues.

Regular practice of yoga helps to release the stressed oral muscles and stimulate the salivary glands and increases the secretion of saliva. Increased production of saliva washes away the bacteria and toxins, fighting bad breath as well as indigestion.

Tips Before Practicing yoga

  1. It is important to consult a certified yoga instructor or guru before practicing.
  2. Always practice yoga preferably in the morning or in the evening as instructed by your trainer.
  3. Avoid eating anything immediately before and after practicing yoga.
  4. Consult your doctor or dentist in case of any discomfort or other issues.
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scanO (formerly DentalDost)

Stay Informed, Smile On!

Author Bio: Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali is the Co-Founder and Chief Dental Surgeon at scanO (formerly DentalDost). A recipient of the Pierre Fauchard International Merit Award, she is a holistic dentist who believes that everyone should have access to oral healthcare, irrespective of class and geography. She strongly believes that tele-dentistry is the way to achieve that. Dr. Vidhi has also spoken at various dental colleges, addressing the dental fraternity about dental services and innovations. She is a keen researcher and has published various papers on recent advances in dentistry.

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