Mewing has exploded in popularity in recent times, and the before/after photos speak for themselves. But what about the hard data? Is there any scientific evidence for mewing?
There are no direct studies on mewing. However, there is plenty of scientific evidence for many of the principles behind mewing itself.
If you’re looking for a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study with a large sample size that specifically tests mewing, it doesn’t exist, and it won’t any time soon. Mewing is a challenge to the orthodontic community. If you can avoid malocclusion and avoid surgery by just having proper posture as a kid, you won’t need them, and they won’t make any money. Nobody is going to fund that kind of study. Only Dr. Mew and a handful of people are collecting data and doing real mewing research. But it’s going to take time.
In the meantime, here are several studies that support the principles behind mewing, sorted by date.
Tongue posture cured anterior open bites in preschoolers.
Mandible muscle volume correlates with a wider, more trapezoidal ramus, more massive coronoid, more rectangular mandibular body, and a more curved basal arch. This study supports the fact that chewing more is good for facial aesthetics.
Interaction Between Deglutition, Tongue Posture, and Malocclusion: A Comparison of Intraoral Compartment Formation in Subjects With Neutral Occlusion or Different Types of Malocclusion – Knösel et al. (2016)
Correct tongue posture and swallowing could be responsible for widening the palate during development, whereas the opposite does not.
Proper tongue posture and increased knee flexion peak torque are correlated. In other words, tongue posture correlates with whole-body posture.
This study looked at palatal expansion and face mask treatment for kids to see if it can work for adults. This case study took a look at a 19-year-old with an underbite. The maxilla was expanded and moved forward.
A 19-year-old patient had his overbite corrected and face brought forward with a corrective tongue posture technique. Whereas his retainers caused a relapse of his symptoms after two years, the mewing technique successfully produced lasting effects. A 10 year follow up found the tongue posture technique was still working. His lip competency and facial profile improved.
A 22-year-old girl with class III malocclusion used a tongue appliance with slow palatal expansion. The researchers later gave her a fixed appliance. She cured her class III malocclusion and improved her nasolabial angle after 24 months.
It’s possible to move the maxilla forward in adults. This study accomplished this with a facemask and elastics over two years.
This study found that proper tongue positioning helped reduce snoring in patients with a normal BMI in conjunction with an oral shield.
This study verifies the core concept behind the tropic premise: continuous forces over a long period lead to change. And, that change will be more dramatic than if you just pressed really hard intermittently.
Researchers monitored proper tongue posture in patients with an average age of 19. They found that the tongue on the roof of the mouth increased activity in the muscles of mastication and also reduced heart rate variability.
A removable orthodontic appliance (Homeoblock) caused facial changes in adults.
- The maxillary arch had a 30% size increase
- A 10% size increased of the maxilla
- The canthal tilt of the eyes had improved.
The background behind this is that Dr. John Mew ended up having a challenge with an orthodontist. They took two twins needing treatment. One received orthotropic treatment from Dr. John Mew, and the other received traditional orthodontic treatment from a local orthodontist. By simply ensuring proper tongue posture, the orthotropic treatment provided much better results.
This study found a correlation between the tongue resting on the roof of the mouth and stronger chewing muscles, particularly the temporalis and suprahyoid.
One group of monkeys had their noses plugged, and the other group was left alone as the control. They were observed over three years and evaluated for craniofacial measurements. The monkeys that were nose breathers developed malocclusion and longer faces.
This study looked at the effect of traction head-gear on the growth of adult monkeys. They found several facial bone changes and most importantly concluded the following:
The termination of active sutural growth is of little significance to the remodeling potential of the sutural articulations and the morphologic adaptability of the facial skeletal complex.
Just because your sutures have started to fuse doesn’t mean this will stunt your mewing results.
The suture on your cheekbones doesn’t fuse until the 8th decade of life, which means you can still get sutural bone growth, just like children. Most sutures remain open throughout life, except the midpalatal.
Dr. Mew and other Orthotropics/Forwardontics practitioners apply the concepts behind mewing in their professional practice. Dr. Mew works with kids, and the results he has achieved by focusing on posture instead of surgery speaks for itself.
The kids below have all received orthotropics treatments and improved their facial aesthetics:
Orthotropics focuses on traditional dental expansion but also makes use of devices that teach the child to keep their tongue on the roof of their mouth.
However, the harmful results of mouth breathing, which can be considered the polar opposite of mewing, has been well researched.
We found that mouth breathing is closely related to increased overjet, reduced overjet, anterior or posterior crossbite, open bite and displacement of contact points. Therefore, it is necessary to intervene early on these aetiological factors of malocclusion to prevent its development or worsening and, if already developed, correct it by early orthodontic treatment to promote eugnatic skeletal growth.
This child had a wide and attractive face before he got a hamster. He ended up being allergic to the hamster. The allergies caused him to mouth-breathe and had disastrous results on his facial aesthetics.
For more information regarding mewing, visit our Ultimate Mewing Guide.