Is there a scientific evidence for Mewing?

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Mewing is controversial as there’s no clinical evidence behind the same. However, this doesn’t deter a mewing community of over a 100,000 people to give up this DIY technique. Mewing seems to be working for thousands of people across the globe and one cannot understand as to why Dr. Mike Mew is being looked down by the traditional Orthodontists. Is it because there’s no scientific evidence for mewing? or is it because he’s taking their business away?

A debated issue

There’s no argument that mewing is a unique DIY practice enabling you get a better facial structure all by yourself. However,  Orthodontists seem to disagree and are tight lipped on mewing.

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Their silence can be interpreted in several ways. First and foremost, it feels as if Dr. Mike Mew is letting all the trade secrets out and that’s busting their business. Mewing seems to affect the traditional orthodontists and shifting the focus on Orthotropy – found by Prof. John Mew, Mike’s father.

Coming back to Orthodontics vs Orthotrophy issue, rumour mills won’t end anytime soon and the internet isn’t short of any assumptions. We can go on and on about this, but let’s focus on what matters – Does mewing actually work & is there scientific evidence for mewing?

Before jumping onto the studies, let us understand

What does mewing entail?

  • Proper tongue posture
  • Proper teeth placement
  • Nasal Breathing
  • Proper Swallowing
  • Supporting the skull

Coming back to the point, there are dozens of mewing transformation stories across the internet. Mewing before after posts on platforms such as Reddit, Instagram and Imgur are daily source of motivation for the mewing community.

Is there a scientific evidence?

The answer is No. Yes there are some transformation stories about mewing but there isn’t a concrete clinical evidence on the same. Scientific community brands clinical evidence as the golden standard of any practice, which in case of mewing is still lacking.

One cannot deny that this sphere lacks studies and though the individual pointers above have a clinical evidence for each of them, mewing as a whole subject does not. To add to the confusion, traditional orthodontists have stood quiet regarding mewing, mainly because they prefer the dental devices as compared to the oral therapy? There’s one positive amidst all this – 10-Year Korean Mewing Study

Mewing Works – Yes, it certainly does as per a 10-year study published in the Korean Journal of Orthodontics. This research comes as a direct confirmation about the effectiveness of mewing.

What’s in the 10-year Korean Study?

A study emphasising on a 19-year old patient suffering from an anterior open bite. A state where the back teeth touch but the front ones don’t. This patient used retainers for two years in the past but to no effect.

In the following experiment, he was given a tongue elevator (painless device) which would help him maintain correct tongue posture subconsciously. With its help, he was able to keep the tongue on the roof of his mouth at all times and the results were extra-ordinary. Not only was the subject able to fix the overbite and swallowing but his entire facial structure had transformed.

The ultimate conclusion was that the tongue elevator with zero discomfort was able to ensure long-term stability. Though this in no ways comes as a scientific evidence for mewing, it does talk about tongue posture and its impact on the entire facial structure. Though this does not relate to mewing as tongue elevator is involved, it does provide us the hint about the role of the correct tongue posture.

Additional Studies on Impact of Proper Tongue Posture

Scientific evidence for mewing are only going to increase in near future. However, as of now, there’s a lack of clinical evidence or an in-depth study and thus we need to connect the dots ourselves. Here are some studies which you must check with regards to the effect of proper tongue posture which is mewing’s integral part:

Aga Khan University Hospital: Tongue positioning affects the tongue-to-palate distance. The study states, “tongue posture has a significant effect on sagittal jaw relationship and dental arch widths.”

European Journal of Orthodontics: This study points out the direct relationship between morphology of jaw and lower face in relations to the tongue posture. This study highlights that smaller palates had lower tongue posture and vice-versa.

Even after these groundbreaking studies, the relationship between a proper tongue posture and our overall health is poorly understood. As per a literature review published in the Oral and Maxillofacial Journal, there was a need to conduct more research involving imaging to understand a direct relationship.

Studies conducted by Prof. Mew:

While it’s Dr. Mike Mew, who is the face of Orthotropy, much of the credit for laying the initial groundwork goes to his father, Prof. John Mew. He is the true father of mewing and suggested about the poor tongue posture and growth back in 1981. In his notable work ‘The Tropical Premise‘, Prof. Mike Mew states, “The ideal development of the jaws and teeth is dependent on correct oral posture with the tongue resting on the palate, the lips sealed and the teeth in light contact for between four and eight hours a day.”

scientific evidence for Mewing
Photo Credits: John Mew Orthotropy
scientific evidence for Mewing
Photo Credits: John Mew Orthotropy
scientific evidence for Mewing
Photo Credits: John Mew Orthotropy
scientific evidence for mewing
Photo Credits: John Mew Orthotropy

Adding Dr. Mike Mew’s observation

Mike Mew, if you follow the YouTube channel Orthotropics often suggests that it’s easier to develop proper tongue posture as a child. However, his observation stems from his father’s research and is nothing extra-ordinary. As per the observation, the younger a person, the better the chances of improving the facial shape. And thus, teenagers mewing often see the results earlier than those in their early 20s.

To back his observation, a study published in Radiology and Oncology in 2018 found that tongue positioning in children between 3-5 years is closely related to articulation disorders and anterior open bite. By correcting their tongue posture i.e. the roof of the mouth, their mouth will be well positioned for a proper development.

Other notable sources to find scientific evidence for Mewing

If you are a person who believes in going beyond the clinical studies and study deep. Then, you don’t have to look any further than the International Association of Facial Growth Guidance, i.e.Orthotropics – You will find a lot of valuable materials including studies, case studies, tutorials to start with. You can even stay up-to-date with mewing by following Orthotropics Channel on YouTube.

You can also tune into Dr. Mike’s Harvard note where he talks about mewing and proper tongue posture at the Ancestral Health Symposium. His note clearly outlines the entire process of how he arrived at different conclusion. If you’re just getting started with mewing, you don’t need to dwell deep into the scientific evidence for mewing, you can simply start with his Harvard speech.

Conclusion

Mewing is spreading like a wildfire and it’s not going to slow down. These scientific evidence for mewing will keep on increasing as the time passes and sooner or later there will be a concrete clinical studies on this subject. Until then, keep mewing.

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