The Oral Health-Yoga Connection

The Oral Health-Yoga Connection

Studies have shown that regular yoga practice has many health benefits including decreasing blood pressure, reducing heart rate, and stress reduction. Yoga increases flexibility, strength and coordination – simultaneously and is an excellent form of weight-bearing exercise for prevention of bone loss. Yoga also targets the glands and organs of the body helping to regulate hormones that maintain bone density, which is important during menopause. These facts are important to oral health because: Our teeth are supported by the jaw bone. Maintaining good bone density helps to prevent bone loss of the jaw and therefore tooth loss. Stress diminishes resistance to infections including gum disease and abscesses, and can make you more likely to develop canker sores and cold sores. The jaw muscles and joints (TMJ) become strained and painful if you grind or clench your teeth due to stress. This is termed bruxism, and can also wear down and crack your teeth, or cause you to bite your cheeks. Many yoga poses also help with alignment of the spine and relieve tension of the jaw, neck and shoulder muscles associated with TMJ dysfunction. The Water Factor Yoga, and exercise in general encourages us to drink more water, which is a good thing for your mouth! Water is naturally neutralizing and prevents a dry mouth. More water intake means more saliva. Our saliva is actually made up of ninety percent water. We must drink adequate amounts of water daily to promote good amounts of salivary production for all of these reasons: Saliva helps us to properly chew and swallow food Saliva contains enzymes to breakdown and digest food Saliva is essential...