Yoga is commonly recommended for helping many aspects of general health, but what about oral health? Could yoga improve your oral health?
Possibly. It should be noted that there aren’t any studies to show this connection, but there are many ways that yoga could, theoretically, improve your oral health.
Yoga Can Reduce Stress
One of the most verifiable benefits of yoga is its ability to reduce stress. Stress can be very bad for your teeth. With lower stress, you may be able to control your TMJ, and reduce your instances of teeth clenching and grinding.
But stress can impact your teeth in many other ways, too. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to stress eat, which often includes fast food and sugary snacks which can be bad for your oral health. And stress also impacts your immune system function. The more you’re stressed, the less effectively your immune system may function. Stress can also trigger systemic inflammation, which can worsen the health effects of gum disease.
Yoga Can Stimulate Circulation
The health of your teeth and gums depends on good blood circulation. Poor circulation is one of the reasons why smoking has such negative consequences for your oral health. Yoga can stimulate blood flow. This benefit is seen in your skin, and it will likely contribute to healthier teeth and gums, too.
Yoga Can Stimulate Saliva Production
Yeah, we know that sounds a little strange, but it’s one of the proven effects of yoga. There are even special poses that are designed for this purpose, so incorporating one or two into your regimen isn’t a bad idea.
Producing more saliva is good for your teeth and gums. Saliva serves to neutralize acid that attacks your teeth. Your saliva also contains minerals that help repair your teeth. And saliva has natural antibiotics that can suppress the growth of oral bacteria so they don’t damage your teeth too much.
Oral Health Is about More Than Brushing and Flossing
Part of the philosophy of holistic dentistry is that oral health is closely integrated with your whole body health. If you want to maintain healthy teeth and gums, it’s important to make healthy lifestyle choices that promote oral health as well.
Although yoga hasn’t been specifically proven to improve oral health, it does seem like it would likely benefit you. And with few concerns about potential side effects, there is no reason why you shouldn’t try yoga as part of your healthy lifestyle changes to improve oral health. And don’t forget that regular dental visits can also help you enjoy improved overall health, too.