There is a movement / theory paddled by Dr. Mew, that heavily revolves around tongue posture (among other things).

The claim is that the tongue should rest in a suction hold on the roof of the mouth.

This is supposed to provide a multitude of benefits such as:

  • Well defined, attractive cheek bones
  • Prevention of under bite
  • Prevention of receding chin

Is there evidence that there is a correct, preferred tongue posture and that the benefits listed above are accurate?



  • The claim about resting position of the tongue related to languages seems to be a notable claim. I'm not sure how your title relates to that though. As your source states, Germans and people from France apparently also rest their tongue on the floor of their mouth. I'm also not sure how this is a "poor tongue posture" or how a "less defined jaw line" is a "problem".
    – tim
    Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 20:39
  • I think you could improve your question by adjusting your title to match a notable claim from your sources, by removing your own speculation, and/or by adding a source to show notability of problems from tongue positioning / connection between tongue position and ethnicity (if they exist).
    – tim
    Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 20:39
  • 2
    This question is unclear and not notable. Let's try to fix it. You have several claims here: (1) Tongue resting position depends on language. Wow! Interesting and surprising. You cite a study. Do you doubt it? (2) The claim that the "right" tongue position is on the roof of the mouth. Never heard this. Needs a citation of someone making the claim - but, in particular, a specific problem (preferably just one) that poor tongue posture causes - otherwise it seems just opinion. (3) Do Slavs have more rounded jaws? (Who is making that claim?) I would lose the pictures; they don't help much.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 3:18
  • 1
    I edited the question to only be about one of the claims. Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:05
  • You would think things like under bite, cheekbones and receding chins would all be far more affected by genetics than tongue posture...
    – JMac
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


Mew's orthotropics are considered fringe or pseudoscience because they lack the standard scientific support such as randomized controlled trials.

Sir, I was bemused to find myself reading the book review of J. Mew's book in the 9 May edition of the BDJ (216: 493) whilst the radio news announced another controversy regarding the publication of controversial research on statins in the BMJ. During my 25-year career as an orthodontist I have lost count of the number of times Dr Mew has had his controversial views published in the BDJ. Now he has self-published a 354 page book which costs £140, and is of 'limited relevance to the general practitioner or dental student, but specialists will be able to reach their own conclusions...' There is no information about from where this book can be obtained so it will not be easy for me indeed to do so. Is this really worthy of half a page of copy in our scientific journal? If there were a prospective controlled clinical trial to show the superiority of the techniques he has been promoting for so many years I would of course use them for the benefit of my patients, for that would be my professional duty.

[...] Perhaps it will come from the London School of Facial Orthotropics (of which J. Mew is a Professor) whose 'premises consist of one clinical room and one private consultation room'.

By the way, there are two Mews who promote orthotropics (J. and M.)

To be fair there are a some peer-reviewed papers by J. Mew, including one on tongue posture, but these seem to have low citation counts (~13). That 1981 paper in particular contains much of the same cases that are showcased in the OP's video.

There's a shorter (but freely available) 2005 article by J. Mew in which he complains that the field has been ignoring these tongue posture issues.

There's also an article in Vice titled "Mewing Is the Fringe Orthodontic Technique Taking Over YouTube". Among other stuff it says:

To understand how we got to a place where YouTubers are giving orthodontic advice, it's best to start with Dr. Mew himself, who you could call the original "mewing" YouTuber. His channel, Orthotropics, has been up since 2012 and hosts hundreds of videos about it.

"I'm here putting forward a very controversial point," he tells me, "saying that few people in the modern world have gained the full genetic potential in their facial development."

You'd assume Dr. Mew had coined the term "mewing," but that isn't the case. "I have no idea where it came from," he says. "I just started noticing it in the comments below the videos." [...]

Dig into Dr. Mew's channel and you'll find videos where he discusses being expelled from the British Orthodontic Society for his "social media postings," as well as a hearing with the General Dental Council in December last year. Dr. Mew wouldn't discuss any of this, citing legal reasons. When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the British Orthodontic Society said: "As we are not a regulatory body, we cannot comment on [an] individual's membership of BOS or status."

To check the orthodontic trade's feelings on the technique, I speak to Dr. Uchenna Okoye, who says she doesn't believe mewing is damaging; she has more issues with YouTubers who claim they whiten their teeth with bicarb and lemon. She adds: "I wouldn't disagree that there is benefit in some cases, but I wouldn't say it's the be all and end all."

That's as deep as this article goes in terms of scientific discussion.

  • You've published a letter in the BDJ. As we all know, letters reflect the opinion of a single scientist. While I don't deny the conclusion, would you have other sources? Commented May 5, 2019 at 4:45
  • @BarryHarrison: do you have (better) sources that what this letter says is not true? Commented May 5, 2019 at 4:52
  • 1
    Again, not disputing your source or conclusion. I'm just saying: Extra sources could be better. Commented May 5, 2019 at 4:53
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    Without context, citation counts aren't the best estimates of an author's credibility. Different fields may have more/less researchers. Commented May 5, 2019 at 5:14
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    Instead of saying how many citations the papers have, it would be worthwhile to speak about what kind of evidence they provide for their assertions (e.g. as far as I understand only evidence from individual case reports and no study with multiple participants).
    – Christian
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 9:27

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