Mewing, the new social media trend claims to improve your health and change the shape of your face for good, like most social media trend “Mewing” too was initially passed on as junk science until the results of people practicing mewing surfaced on the internet. But what is Mewing? Firstly, the term Mewing comes from Dr. Mike Mew, renowned orthodontist at the Royal London Hospital, UK, who continued the study of resting tongue position initiated by his father Dr. John Mew. According to Dr. Mike Mew “mewing is simply resting the entire tongue on the roof of your mouth until it becomes an unconscious resting position for your tongue whenever your mouth is closed”. Even though this little change sounds very insignificant, improper tongue posture is responsible for many health issues like snoring, sleep Apnea, Vision problems, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMI), crowned teeth, gap in front tooth, mouth breathing, overbite, tooth decay, recessed chin, headaches and neck pain to name a few.
However, the rising popularity of mewing is not because of the health benefits it may provide but because of the changes people have noticed in their facial structure, giving them a stronger jawline and a more symmetrical face.
So, how does mewing work? Improper tongue resting position destabilizes the opposing forces of the mandible and maxilla (the lower and the upper jaw) resulting in improper swallowing and breathing, it also weakens the tongue muscle and the jaw resulting in health problems. Resting the tongue on the roof of the mouth while keeping your mouth closed, drives the Maxilla up and forwards and the tongue muscle acts as the anchor and support for the head improving the posture, further helping with headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain and improving the breathing and swallowing pattern.
Though Mewing is a therapy which should be practiced as a child into adolescence so that the skeletal structure grows in the correct manner, which can help with proper breathing and posture, positive results have been achieved in adults too.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of social media trends, but its is important to remember that some trends can cause more harm than good, especially when practiced incorrectly. Before you dive into this new social media trend consult with your doctor about the right tongue resting position for your over all health.