Should My Tongue Hurt While Mewing?


For people who are new to mewing, you might not be sure how it should feel. Many people assume that it is okay if their tongue hurts while mewing.

Your tongue should not hurt while mewing. You may feel some discomfort during the first few days of mewing, but your tongue is a muscle that quickly gets used to it. If your tongue hurts, you need to reconsider your mewing technique.

How Should My Tongue Feel When I Mew?

It is normal for many people to feel discomfort during the first few days or the first few weeks that they mew. You put your tongue in an unfamiliar position, and it adds pressure to your palate. Since it is a new feeling, slight discomfort is normal, but the pain is not.

Your Tongue Feels Tired, Not Painful

If you did not make any mewing mistakes, your tongue probably feels tired. As stated earlier, you correct your tongue posture with mewing, so your tongue is not used to the new position.

Think about mewing like the gym. The first week may be tough, and you may be sore. You may find it hard to maintain correct tongue posture all day.

However, consistency is key. The more often you mew, the stronger and more familiar your tongue gets with the roof of your mouth.

So with time, your tongue will grow accustomed to proper posture, and it will feel comfortable. Some people even say that they mew as soon as they wake up out of habit.

Mewing Mistakes You Might Be Making

If your tongue feels painful, then there is probably something wrong with the way you mew. 

You Apply Too Much Pressure

When you mew, you should apply comfortable and gentle pressure to your palate using your tongue. The idea is that consistent, gentle pressure to your palate will slowly encourage facial upswing growth and expand your palate.

If your tongue feels painful, you probably apply too much pressure on your palate. However, some people who mew for a long time prefer that technique.

People call it “hard mewing.” You do the same thing you usually would, but add as much pressure to your palate as possible. People believe that they get faster results because they add more pressure. 

Hard mewing is not necessary unless you want to try it. While some people stand by the idea of hard mewing, Dr. Mike Mew is unsure if hard mewing is more effective than “soft” or regular mewing. Additionally, you should not try hard mewing if you are 18 years old or younger. 

If you want to learn more about hard mewing, you can see our guide.

If you think you apply too much pressure to your palate, try to dial it back. If you do not feel pain and your tongue feels comfortable, it would be best to stick with “soft” mewing.

Tongue Forces in Mewing

Your Tongue Touches Your Teeth

If your tongue touches your teeth while you mew, you might feel pain because you push your tongue’s sides on your teeth. It can cause your tongue to feel sore and painful if you do this for too long.

When you mew, your tongue should not touch your teeth. Not only is this the improper way to mew, but it can affect your teeth. 

For instance, if your tongue juts forward when you mew, it will push on your front teeth. It can create crooked teeth and an overbite. 

While it may not hurt your tongue all the time, it could still ruin your teeth. For instance, a girl who played continuously with a stud on her tongue created a gap between her two front teeth (Tabbaa et al., 2010) because of frequent pressure from her stud and tongue.

Try to reposition your tongue if you find it hard to keep your tongue flat without touching your teeth. Think about “thickening” your tongue. It should lay flat and get a bit narrower. 

However, if changing your tongue’s shape does not help, and you still touch your teeth, move onto the next step.

You Have a Small Palate

While this is not really a mistake, it could be why it is painful and hard for you to mew. If you find it painful and nearly impossible to keep your tongue on your palate, especially without touching your teeth, your palate might be too small. 

If you can reshape your tongue to mew and not feel pain, you can slowly expand your palate. Most people state that they can expand their palate after mewing for 3-12 months. Therefore, you will eventually be able to comfortably mew. However, you must be careful not to touch your teeth with your tongue.

However, if you find it impossible to mew without pain, you may need a palate expander. Palatal expansion can help quickly and effectively expand your palate. Most people will wear palate expanders for about 3-12 months.

There are different kinds of expanders available that suit different ages, cases, etc. You can consult an orthodontist to learn about what sort of palatal expander you can get. 

mid palatal suture
The midpalatal suture

A palate expander slowly pulls your maxilla apart at the midpalatal suture.

Most orthodontists will leave your palate expander in after you get your desired expansion. It will give your body time to create new bone at the suture and keep the new maxillary size. Therefore, you should never attempt to remove it too early. 

You will probably get a key to turn the screw of most palate expanders. The screw helps the device separate the halves at your mid-palatal suture, expanding your maxilla. 

Your Tongue Is at an Awkward Angle

How to mew

Your tongue might be at a strange angle, causing part of it to feel painful. It usually happens if you mew using the front of your tongue instead of the back third. 

If your tongue is at the wrong angle, you need to go back to the mewing basics. When you mew, you need to focus on using the back third of your tongue to place pressure on your hard palate.

It would be best if you did not jut your tongue forward or put too much pressure on your soft palate. You also want to make sure you use your tongue to cover your palate as much as possible.

If you want to perfect your mewing technique, see our ultimate mewing guide.

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