It’s no secret that yoga is good for the body. You’ve probably heard about all the benefits by now! Flexibility, focus, and stress management are just the beginning.
Did you know it can help teeth and gums, too? You read that right. The benefits of yoga affect various conditions that may harm your dental health. In turn, you’ll get these seven benefits.
1. Reduces Stress
Stress relief is one of the most popular reasons for doing yoga. The combination of breathing, stretching, and meditation is amazing for anxiety and depression.1
Stress is a known cause of toothaches and jaw pain.2 This is especially true if you get headaches from anxiety. By doing yoga, you will release tension around your head.
2. Helps Stop Clenching
Do you clench or grind your teeth? This is a condition called bruxism. You might do it during the day or while you sleep. If left untreated, clenching and grinding will lead to tooth damage and jaw pain. Your teeth might even become sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods.
The major cause is stress. But yoga will save the day! It’ll also improve poor posture and abnormal sleeping habits – two risk factors of bruxism.3
3. Cures Jaw Pain
Clenching and grinding your teeth can lead to temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders or TMJ disorders. It’s a painful condition of your jaw joint and muscles. The pain can easily radiate to your teeth, making it hard to chew.
TMJ may also alter the way your upper and lower teeth match up.4 However, by putting an end to clenching and grinding, you can ease TMJ. Relieving stress through yoga will do just that.
4. Calms Inflammation
Inflammation is the reason behind so many diseases. Hypertension, asthma, and heart disease are just some examples.5 Some inflammatory conditions, like gingivitis and periodontitis, can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums.6
To banish inflammation, decrease stress with yoga. Chronic anxiety and tension can flare up your immune system.7 It’ll enhance inflammation, making way for diseases like gingivitis.
5. Prevents Dryness
Dry mouth or xerostomia can be irritating for your gums. Plus, saliva controls bacterial growth. Without enough saliva, bacteria will flourish, increasing the chances for gum inflammation.8
6. Wards Off Cavities
Dryness is also a risk factor for cavities. The lack of saliva makes it easy for bacteria to grow. As they feed on food and release acid, plaque will build up and cause tooth decay.11
Again, yoga helps by treating depression and high blood pressure – two conditions treated with drugs that promote dry mouth.
7. Promotes Healthy Habits
Practicing yoga heightens body awareness. This will help you adopt more healthy habits, like regularly brushing your teeth.12
The benefits will extend to other habits that affect your teeth. For instance, by relieving stress, you’ll be less likely to smoke cigarettes. It’s a major risk factor for gum disease, bleeding, and even tooth loss.13
Yoga is a life-changing activity. Even a few minutes each day makes a huge difference. Eventually, your teeth and gums will reap the benefits.
|↑1||Desai, Radhika, Anisha Tailor, and Tanvi Bhatt. “Effects of yoga on brain waves and structural activation: A review.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 21, no. 2 (2015): 112-118.|
|↑2||Toothaches of Non-dental Origin. American Academy of Orofacial Pain.|
|↑4||TMJ Disorders. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.|
|↑5||Oxidative Stress/Inflammation and Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Disorders. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.|
|↑6||Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.|
|↑7||Slavich, George M., and Michael R. Irwin. “From stress to inflammation and major depressive disorder: A social signal transduction theory of depression.” Psychological bulletin 140, no. 3 (2014): 774.|
|↑8||What Is Dry Mouth? NIH Senior Health.|
|↑9||What Causes Dry Mouth? NIH Senior Health.|
|↑10, ↑12||The Benefits of Yoga. American Osteopathic Association.|
|↑11||The Tooth Decay Process: How to Reverse It and Avoid a Cavity. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.|
|↑13||Smoking, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss. Centers for Disease Control.|