Yoga for Dry Mouth *PLEASE NOTE* - You should consult your medical doctor before beginning any course of exercise. The information below is not a substitute for advice from a medical professional. Please use proper discretion if you choose to undertake these exercises and techniques. What causes dry mouth and what are its effects on health? Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a condition that arises from a reduction of saliva production. While not a disease, but it may be a symptom of various medical conditions. People who receive radiation therapy often experience dry mouth. Xerostomia is also common among older adults. Approximately 20% of seniors experience dry mouth. Aside from general discomfort, chronic dry mouth can cause increased plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease. How does yoga help ease dry mouth? By training the body to breathe in and out through the nose, the drying effects of breathing in and out of the mouth are limited. Specific yoga postures such as forward bends, twists, and inversions stimulate the salivary glands to increase saliva production. What poses should we avoid when we are challenged with dry mouth? • Breathing in and out through the mouth • Any pose that causes the head to tilt back (i.e., most backbends) • Any poses that cause overheating • Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your practice Sample Postures (pictures found on YogaJournal.com) Forward Fold Pyramid Triangle Sage’s Pose Legs-Up-the-Wall Ujjayi Breathing Created by Compass Yoga. http://compassyoga.com. Compass Yoga expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of this information.