If you’re one of the 1 billion (yes, you read that correctly) people around the world who use the social media app TikTok, you may have noticed it’s chock full of so-called beauty treatments that may or may not work.
One up and coming trend that has gained a lot of traction on TikTok is a practice called “mewing”. No, it’s not the sound cats make when they want your attention, but the practice of lifting your tongue to the roof of your mouth behind your teeth to help align your jaw so it looks more defined and chiseled. It got its name from a former orthodontist in the U.K. named John Mew. Mew was eventually stripped of his orthodontic license due to theories like this. So the question is, does it work? Well, no.
Mewing is being marketed to kids as a way to change the shape of their developing jaws, claiming this can be changed simply by holding your tongue differently. Unfortunately, however, this simply isn’t possible. What mewing can do is temporarily change the appearance of your face, say for a photo, but as soon as your tongue goes back to its natural resting position, the effects stop.
Unfortunately no matter how long your tongue stays in mewing position it will never change the shape of your jaw, however it can cause a whole host of other medical problems, including sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint dysfunction! Ouch!
So, suffice it to say we do not recommend mewing, or really most of the odd trends that start on TikTok. That being said, if you ever do see a trend that interests you on social media, give Dr. Abelar a call and he can help you determine if this type of trend is useful or dangerous.
For those who do have temporomandibular joint dysfunction already, mewing can be especially dangerous, and for those who develop the condition from mewing, please contact Dr. Abelar for your treatment options.
Typically an orthotic device or orthodontics can help assist with temporomandibular joint dysfunction. As for creating that sculpted jaw look, mewing is fine for a snapshot here and there, but should not be done for longer than a few seconds at a time.