Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
Yoga is the new flossing! Ok, that’s not entirely true because you should still floss, but yoga does help your oral health. Before you even ask, no, we’re not kidding. Yoga isn’t just for improving your flexibility, balance, finding your Zen, and tightening up your backside. Tusculum Dental Care wants to explain to you how yoga can help improve your dental health.
The benefits of yoga and how it affects your teeth
Stress Levels: If you’re a Star Wars fan, you probably remember that Yoda once said, “Anger leads to hate and hate leads to the dark side.” Well, stress is kind of like that for your teeth; stress leads to inflammation, which could lead to gum disease. Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which can cause swelling. When you’re stressed, this swelling leads to inflammation—and having inflamed gums increases your risk of developing gum disease. Stress can also cause saliva production to slow, depriving your mouth of one of its natural defenses against the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Stressed people are more likely to grind their teeth or clench their jaws. This habit can damage your teeth and even lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder).
Yoga is a tried-and-true type of exercise used to manage stress levels. We’re not saying yoga can magically relieve all the stresses in your life. However, when correctly done, yoga can decrease stress levels, thus lowering your risks for these multiple dental health issues.
When you were a child, your mother probably always told you not to slouch. Little did you know that her piece of advice was good for you in more than one way. Slouching and bad posture can cause your head to fall forward. This will bring your head, jaw included, out of alignment. Jaw misalignment can lead to TMJ disorder. Symptomized by chronic jaw pain, this ailment impacts your ability to eat, talk, and sleep. Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorder, which often goes undiagnosed for a long time as the symptoms of TMJ can vary so much, ranging from headaches to cracked teeth to hearing a clicking or popping sound in your jaws and so much more. Maybe your mother didn’t know that her advice would help your oral health, but now that you know your posture can affect your teeth and gums, you should work on improving how you sit and stand. A simple way to improve your posture and stop slouching is—you guessed it—by practicing yoga. Used in many rehabilitative therapies, yoga is a method that many medical professionals agree can improve posture.
If you have noticed a dry mouth more often, it may be that you’re living with diminished saliva production. Specific types of yoga, such as vinyasa and kechari mudra, have special techniques that can stimulate your salivary glands. The kechari mudra is a specific exercise that entails drawing the tip of the tongue along the roof of the mouth toward the back of the nostrils to the upper throat and then holding that pose with your eyes and mouth closed for as long as you can. Vinyasa, on the other hand, is not a single position but an entire technique that focuses on seamlessly flowing from one posture to another. It works on blood flow, fluid movements, and body awareness. Stimulating your salivary glands increases your body’s natural defenses against the causes of tooth decay and can save you hundreds of dollars in dental care costs.
Yoga and Your Health
Yoga has been used for centuries for its health benefits—both mental and physical. If it is good for the rest of your body, it stands to reason that it’s good for your mouth, too. Yoga only can be good for you if you take the time to practice it. In the meantime, don’t forget the basics of oral care. Combine yoga with good dental hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing, and seeing your Greeneville dentist every six months for a check-up.
Comprehensive dental care in Greeneville
Tusculum Dental Care knows that you value a healthy smile. We also know that it can be hard to find time to work something like yoga into your busy schedule. Just like brushing and flossing, you could devote a few minutes every day to yoga. You might be surprised at its many benefits! Dr. Nathaniel Renner and Dr. Craig Shepherd want to help you keep your mouth healthy. Contact us today by calling (423) 639-7575 to schedule a checkup.
Tusculum Dental Care is here to serve our patients in the areas of Greeneville, Jonesborough, or Erwin, TN.