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4 ways yoga boosts oral health

 

Yoga is more than just a great way to stretch your muscles and improve focus. This popular practice, which combines physical exercise and meditation, also has ways of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. 

More than 36 million Americans practice yoga, according to Harvard Medical School.

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1. It reduces stress.

Constantly stressed? That can take a toll on your teeth. For many people, stress causes teeth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism. This might also happen unconsciously, while you’re asleep. Bruxism has been linked to gum disease and other inflammatory illnesses and is even known to trigger canker sores.

According to a 2012 study, practicing yoga can lower stress and anxiety levels. With its emphasis on mind and body awareness, yoga can help take your mind off that big project at work and loosen all those tense muscles ⁠— including your jaw.

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2. It can improve your posture.

If you’re like millions of Americans, you spend a good part of your day sitting — at a desk, in the car, on the couch. All that sitting can wreck your posture and contribute to a misaligned mouth. Slouching pushes your lower jaw forward, which can cause jaw pain and an awkward bite. Yoga can help you improve your posture and teach you how to align your whole body.

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3. It can relieve dry mouth.

When you’re active, your mouth automatically boosts saliva flow as a way of strengthening its defenses. Saliva helps shield against tooth decay and strengthens your enamel.

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4. It gives you more energy.

According to a 2017 review, practicing yoga can improve quality of life and relieve insomnia. In fact, yoga has been found to be so effective in reducing anxiety, fatigue and depression that it’s recommended as a complementary therapy alongside medical treatment for cancer and other diseases. Improved energy levels then contribute to better self-care and overall health for the rest of your body ⁠— including your mouth.

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