Yoga therapy for bad breath? Only if you want a dry mouth
SUMMARY: Believe it or not, several yoga systems claim to be able to treat or cure dry mouth.
Posted: March 7, 2012
Do you have bad breath caused by a chronically dry mouth? If so, what are some of the effective treatments that come to mind? If you said "specialty breath freshening gums" or "mouth-wetting lozenges," good job! You're on the right track. However, if you've tried something a bit more roundabout - like yoga - you may need to redraw your battle plan.
More than a few yoga regimens claim to be able to eliminate your dry mouth. But can they really do it?
Let's put it this way: As a complementary therapy, yoga is quite popular. In fact, a survey conducted last year found that about 3 percent of American households use mind-body therapies at the suggestion of a healthcare provider. That adds up to about 6 million people!
However. Just because it's popular, does that mean it's practical? Not really. (We like to call this the 50-million-Elvis-fans-can't-be-wrong fallacy. Google "argumentum ad populum" if you're curious.) Yoga is fun and healthy, but that doesn't mean it can cure dry mouth.
In a way, it can help. For starters, the Mayo Clinic recommends that people with chronically dry oral tissues try breathing through the nose more often. This means that nasal yoga breathing may keep your mouth wetter. But have you ever heard of a yoga routine that makes you keep your mouth clamped shut the whole time? Neither have we.
To give it all due credit, yoga can also help people relax. And since chronic anxiety can lead to dry mouth and bad breath, the holistic system may indirectly be of some help. But really, if you're turning to yoga as if it were your only hope, get ready to have your horizons expanded.
Chronic dry mouth - and its clinical cousin, xerostomia - can be very uncomfortable. Without saliva to wet the tongue and palate, your mouth can get as parched as the Gobi Desert. With all that dryness comes halitosis.
To do something about it without resorting to huffing, puffing or contorted yoga poses, try a mouth-wetting, breath freshening lozenge. These all-natural products taste great, and their specialty formula oxygenates your tongue and neutralizes oral odor.
Likewise, you might consider making some basic lifestyle changes. Try drinking more water, cutting down on caffeine and tobacco, brushing with specialty toothpaste and using a humidifier in your room at night.