Does Yoga Affect Oral Health?
Everyone knows exercise is important to maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle, but when it comes to your oral health, are any fitness routines better than others? As a member of the Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), Cincinnati family dentist Dr. Tara Hardin believes in the intrinsic link between oral health and general health. Your choice of fitness regime is an important factor in the overall wellbeing of your mouth and body.
According to recent studies, endurance athletes are at greater risk for dental problems than non-athletes. Evidence shows that these findings are related to two major factors: improper breathing techniques (causing dry mouth) and consumption of large amounts of sugary sports energy drinks.
The two big take-away lessons from this research are to hydrate with good old-fashioned water and try to breathe through your nose more frequently.
Yoga breathing techniques typically promote nasal breathing, and the nature of the exercise offers other dental advantages, such as:
- Stress relief: Yoga is incredibly effective for alleviating stress. People who are under significant amounts of stress tend to sleep less, neglect their oral hygiene routines and grind their teeth, all of which can harm the condition of your teeth gums and jaw.
- Inflammation reduction: This is also a benefit of stress relief. Inflammation is the body’s natural way of responding to harmful stimulus, such as bacteria in the mouth. However, chronic inflammation, caused by excessive stress, can worsen gum inflammation and lead to gum disease.
- Improved posture: Poor posture affects almost every part of your body, including your mouth. Poor posture can cause your jaw to move forward, affecting the alignment of your teeth and ultimately resulting in a condition called TMJ disorder. TMJ can cause pain and difficulty when chewing or swallowing. Yoga can help improve your posture and help take strain off your jaw.
If you live in the Cincinnati area and would like to learn how our family dentist can help your family’s athletes of all ages, please call Hardin Advanced Dentistry at (513) 234-5531 to schedule an appointment. Our Mason office serves patients from Dayton, Ohio as well as Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana.