What Muscles Does Mewing Work?

muscles that mewing works diagram

We know that mewing can impact bone structure

But, the role of facial muscles in mewing is less discussed.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the specific muscles that mewing works on and how they contribute to the overall desired results.

Mewing and Facial Muscles

Mewing, a technique popularized by Dr. John Mew, involves the correct placement of the tongue on the roof of the mouth to promote ideal changes in facial structure.

The main muscle group involved in mewing is the tongue, while other muscles such as the masseter muscles, hyoid muscles, and buccinator muscles also play a role in the process.

The brand voice of this article is informative, confident, and motivating, aiming to provide a knowledgeable and reliable guide for those interested in understanding the impact of mewing on facial muscles.

The Tongue: The Key Muscle in Mewing

The tongue is a collection of muscles that plays a central role in mewing.

The proper placement of the tongue on the palate leads to several changes in facial structure, including widening the dental arch, advancing the maxilla, and affecting the hyoid muscles.

Widening the Dental Arch

There is a strong correlation between the resting position of the tongue and the form of the dental arch, as shown in a study by Dean (2016).

The tongue’s muscles work to widen the dental arch, creating space for the teeth to fit correctly. This aspect of mewing is what initially led the Mews to promote proper tongue posture.

Advancing the Maxilla

Mewing contributes to forward facial growth by applying pressure to the palate through the tongue.

This forward growth can be quite noticeable over time and can enhance one’s overall appearance.

Proper tongue posture seeks to correct the adverse effects of mouth breathing and improper tongue placement by slowly rotating the maxilla upwards and forwards.

Tightening the Hyoid Muscles

In order to correctly place the tongue on the roof of the mouth during mewing, the hyoid muscles, or the area beneath the chin, must be engaged.

These muscles work to lift the back third of the tongue to the palate, a crucial aspect of mewing that is often emphasized by experts.

Consistent engagement of the hyoid muscles over time leads to tightening, resulting in a more pronounced jawline and reduced double chin.

Raising the Cheekbones

Mewing can also influence the prominence of the cheekbones. As the dental arch widens, the cheekbones expand outward.

The tongue’s pressure on the palate indirectly affects the cheekbones’ protrusion, contributing to a more defined facial appearance.

Buccinator Muscles

buccinator muscle diagram

Mewing does not actively work the buccinator muscles; rather, it encourages them to work less. Proper swallowing technique is essential for achieving optimal mewing results.

The correct method involves using the tongue, not the cheeks (buccinator muscles), to swallow.

To swallow correctly, food should be rolled into a ball and pushed down using the tongue. Sucking on the teeth while swallowing is not advisable, as it can hinder mewing progress.

By using the buccinator muscles less frequently, the desired hollowed-out cheekbone appearance can be achieved.

Masseter Muscles

masseter muscle diagram

While mewing does not directly affect the masseter muscles, the muscles responsible for chewing, engaging these jaw muscles is essential for the mewing process.

Our ancestors chewed more vigorously and frequently than we do today due to their consumption of tougher, low-calorie foods.

This intense chewing led to wider jaws and better teeth, as evidenced in various studies.

Chewing gum is often recommended as part of mewing to encourage regular jaw movement.

However, excessive chewing can cause overdevelopment of the masseter muscles, leading to a disproportionate appearance.

It is crucial to strike a balance between engaging the jaw muscles and avoiding overdevelopment.

The Hyoid Muscles

The hyoid muscles are a set of muscles that elevate the hyoid bone. When mewing, pushing the tongue against the palate causes the hyoid muscles to move upward.

This movement is easily noticeable and serves as an indicator of proper mewing technique.

Observing the hyoid muscles’ position in a mirror can help ensure correct tongue placement during mewing.

The hyoid muscles consist of four components:

  • Stylohyoid: A thin strip of muscle that aids in swallowing.
  • Digastric: Contributes to hyoid elevation by pulling the mandible down and exerting upward force on the hyoid bone.
  • Mylohyoid: A triangular muscle located beneath the oral cavity that supports the base of the mouth.
  • Geniohyoid: Similar to the digastric muscle, the geniohyoid elevates the hyoid bone and assists with mandibular depression.


Mewing is a technique that can lead to noticeable changes in facial structure over time.

The primary muscle worked by mewing is the tongue, with the masseter muscles, hyoid muscles, and buccinator muscles also playing a role.

With consistent practice and proper technique, mewing can lead to a more defined, attractive facial appearance.

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