Mewing can improve your facial structure. But if you can make it better, can you make it worse? Can mewing mess up your face?
Mewing has the potential to make your face look worse or lead to facial asymmetries. Chewing gum excessively can lead to TMJ problems. However, if you arm yourself with knowledge and mew correctly, your face will improve in form and function.
So why do people ruin their faces with mewing? It stems from several mistakes. For an in-depth explanation, see my video on the topic:
Here are some Reddit threads where users claimed to have experienced an asymmetry from mewing, more crooked teeth, or another side-effect:
So why do these happen? Can you avoid these problems? Let’s look into some of the mistakes that cause these problems.
For an in-depth analysis and explanation of mewing in the first place, see my Ultimate Mewing Guide.
Here’s a short video from the man himself explaining some of the possible dangers of mewing:
Basically, if you go too hard, too fast, you’re going to run into problems.
Realize that facial asymmetries are normal. Most people, even models, are asymmetric to some degree. Yes, mewing has the potential to make an asymmetry worse, but it also has the potential to make it better.
When you bring about changes with mewing, especially if they’re fast and you haven’t had time to acclimate to them, you’re going to be surprised by the results. Lots of this is psychological, and why we don’t like the way we look in photos, and why most of us hate our voice or our side profile. We’re just not used to it. For example, if you’ve mewed for a long time with a beard, and then shaved it, it would take time to get used to your new look.
Mewing is slow, which is why it’s key to take progress pictures. Most people who complain about facial asymmetries ended up starting with them to begin with.
Realize that most people’s experiences with mewing is that it balances out any asymmetries, not the other way around. Avoiding mewing isn’t going to fix any of your problems because your face changes whether you like it or not. Asymmetries get worse with age.
Look at the youthful vs. aging skull (Eduardo et al, 2017):
Bones change, whether you want them to or not. Except that the normal aging process will never improve your bones. Facial asymmetries will get worse with age if you do nothing. At least with mewing, you have a chance to counteract the effects and push your face in a better direction. You can accomplish something remarkable with mewing: getting the bones to age in reverse. One Reddit user claimed, “I much more closely resemble how I looked as a kid now.”
Can Mewing Worsen Existing Facial Asymmetries?
Say you have a minor facial asymmetry, could the process of mewing “bring it out” and make it major? Will mewing make a bad facial asymmetry already worse? Yes, anything is possible and mewing may make an existing facial asymmetry worse. Users claim this has happened. But I would guess this is much more of a factor with hard mewing, where you press with extra force and might not be able to disperse that force evenly. It most likely also might happen with chewing, where the forces on your jaw and TMJ are higher than normal. Normal mewing, where you merely rest the tongue on the roof with gentle force, shouldn’t give you any glaring asymmetries.
If you happen to develop an asymmetry, refine your technique and start again, but slower. Stop pressing with heavy force. At least by this point, you know that mewing works if it was powerful enough to cause a change in the first place. Your face will catch up and balance itself out later. You’re transitioning from years of poor posture and downward growth to the opposite. The transition might not always be easy, but the long term results of mewing, in both form and function have been extensively documented by other users. Click here to see our before/after photo collection of mewing photos.
Keep in mind we notice things on ourselves way before the rest of the world does. Most likely, you’re the only one seeing this asymmetry.
Cavemen, ancient peoples, and tribal peoples all keep their tongue on the roof of their mouth, breathe through their nose, and chew much harder foods than us. They don’t have any obvious asymmetries, and there’s no reason you should either. Those people had wide spacious jaws with no crooked teeth. Malocclusion, crowded teeth, and poor bites are only a recent phenomenon. Mewing and chewing hard foods is a proven concept. These are the evolutionary pressures that make us humans who we’re supposed to be.
The complaints about mewing causing crooked teeth stem from incorrect technique. Mewing should not cause crooked teeth because you should not be pushing on your teeth.
Some users get a gap between their teeth after mewing. This most likely means the midpalatal suture has split and they are achieving true palatal expansion. This is only a good thing, and Invisalign can always fix your teeth spacing.
The above image shows where your tongue rests. It should not touch the teeth.
Chewing and TMJ
The temporomandibular joint is responsible for opening and closing our mouths, but it is a sensitive joint. This is why you have to start slow. Start at 20 minutes per day, 5x a week. Chew regular gum at first, not hard gum. You can add 2-3 minutes every week until you get better at chewing.
The thing to remember though is that even though cavemen chewed tough foods and had amazing bite force, they grew up like this. We grew up on soft carbs and easy-to-access calories. We just don’t have the anatomy to handle really tough chewing.
So when you upgrade to harder gum like falim gum, take it easy and start back at 20 minutes again. Gum might not be that hard. But the endless repetition of the chewing can wear down your TMJ.
Chew only with your back teeth. Do not put too much food in your mouth. Most importantly, chew with the same amount of time on each side. Of course, you’re going to get an asymmetry if you chew on one side more than the other.
Pay attention to the way the muscle fibers are laid out in the masseter muscle. That’s the direction of the force you should be applying when chewing. It’s what you already do naturally.
But, if you’re mindful about how you chew, you shouldn’t develop any problems.
Mewing is proper posture. Provided you’re doing it correctly, it can’t make your face any worse than living your normal life can. Saying “I’m afraid to mew because it might ruin my face” is like saying “I’m afraid to sit with my back straight because I might get back pain”.
Proper posture cannot give you asymmetries. You can only get asymmetries if you’ve already had them to begin with or aren’t using proper posture in the first place. Again, the majority of users end up fixing their facial asymmetries. Even though mewing can technically give you asymmetries, so can aging. It’s not a meaningful enough criticism to force you to stay away, especially when long term mewing confers other benefits such as improved nose breathing, reduced risk of sleep apnea, etc.