Can't breathe while mewing? Read this article to find out why

Can't breathe while mewing? Read this article to find out why
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Certified specialist with 5 years of extensive dental and orthodontic experience
How to Breathe While Mewing: Guide For Those Who Can’t Breathe During Mewing
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Can’t Breathe While Mewing?

Many people face breathing difficulties while mewing, especially when they first start practicing it. If you're struggling to breathe while mewing, don't worry, you're not alone. Fortunately, there are a few effective recommendations that can help correct your breathing while mewing. 

Read this article to find out how to breathe while mewing. 

To achieve a well-defined and stronger jawline, breathing correctly is one of the essential requirements.

In this article, we’ll go deep into:

  • Experienced mewers’ suggestions on how to breathe while mewing
  • Reasons why you can’t breathe while mewing and how to handle it
  • Comprehensive tips on how you can breathe while mewing 
  • Well-illustrated diagram of breathing while mewing
  • Breathing basics and general tips to better breathing 

Let’s dive right in!

Reasons Why You Can’t Breathe While Mewing

The issue of breathing while mewing is often associated with an incorrect mewing technique when the airway gets blocked. There are a few main causes why you can’t breathe while mewing and they should be solved to gain the desired result from mewing.

Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing basically makes mewing impossible, since you can’t keep proper tongue posture and breathe through the mouth at the same time. It’s because when your tongue is resting on the roof of the mouth, it simply blocks the oral airway. Moreover, the airways of mouth breathers are usually narrower, obstructing respiration even more. If mouth breathing is just a bad habit of yours (with no health disorders behind it other than weak chin), then the regular practice of mewing and nasal breathing exercises can bring good results.

Incorrect Mewing Tongue Posture 

As was mentioned, proper mewing tongue posture is crucial. If you keep your tongue too far back, pushing the soft palate, not only it will block the airway, but also will make your jaws and tongue feel uncomfortable. If you keep it too close to the front teeth pushing them forward, it may result in malocclusion. Therefore, make sure you’re mewing correctly and practice regularly to get the best results (get your inspiration from the “before & after mewing” reviews).

The posterior third of the tongue is too far blocking the airway

Orofacial Disorders

Orofacial disorders include many issues that could prevent you from breathing normally while mewing. Many of them, like malocclusion, and restricted maxilla, are caused by mouth breathing, so these problems are connected. In general, orofacial disorders should be treated by doctors, sometimes surgically. So if your breathing issue is connected with a health problem, consulting a doctor is important.

Orofacial Disorders: long face, incorrect swallowing, tongue thrust
Check out our guide on how how to stop tongue thrusting and why you should think about it.

Lack of Tongue Space

Another reason why you can’t breathe while mewing, according to Dr. Mew, is the lack of tongue space. Sometimes, the tongue appears to be slightly bigger, and once put in a correct mewing position, it blocks the airway too much. Still, if you can breathe through your nose, adjust your tongue posture so that even if complicated, respiration is possible. 

What Experienced Mewers Suggest on How to Breathe While Mewing?

The question “What do I do if I can’t breathe while mewing?” brought up a few useful pieces of advice from the experienced mewers on Reddit. 

“You are putting your tongue too far back. Say TING and close your mouth gently while breathing through your nose.”

- Prof John Mew commented on one of the user’s requests about breathing while mewing.

Tips from experienced mewers on how to breathe while mewing:

  • A reddit user who practices mewing explains that controlling his tongue properly was like learning to walk. He kept saying “sing” until he could control the back of his tongue and shift it forward a bit to enable breathing. It then became a habit allowing breathing. 
  • Another mewer says that if you can’t breathe it’s a sign your tongue is in the correct position. To breathe comfortably you should slightly adjust the tongue, but it will still be involved with the soft and hard palate.
  • Moreover, some mewers point out that doing a “swallow hold” is not necessary for mewing, especially with breathing difficulties. They basically expand John Mew’s words about swallowing position, that while swallowing the hyoid (a bone at the root of the tongue) comes up too high and forward, closing the airway. Instead, you should just raise the tongue in a mewing position.
A proper tongue position to enable breathing while mewing
A proper tongue position to enable breathing while mewing

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Breathing While Mewing Diagram

Correct nasal breathing while mewing is as essential as resting your tongue on the roof of the mouth. 

It’s a base of mewing, so the proper technique of mewing and breathing while doing it includes the following:

  1. Keep your lips sealed and slightly clench your teeth
  2. Say the word “sing”
  3. Hold your tongue in that position as you say the “ng” sound
  4. You should feel your tongue pressed against the hard palate
  5. Keep breathing through the nose
  6. Your tongue shouldn't touch the front teeth

Proper mewing tongue posture

The Connection between the Posterior Third of the Tongue and the Airway 

The problem with breathing for most mewing beginners is connected with the posterior third of the tongue. 

Posterior third of the tongue

The thing is, when people put the tongue up to the roof of the mouth, the posterior of the tongue blocks the airway. It may happen when this part of the tongue pushes the soft palate, obstructing respiration. John Mew, the founder of mewing, suggests that the posterior part of the tongue shouldn’t be pressed so hard on the roof of the mouth and the soft palate. Proper breathing is crucial, so the correct tongue posture should be kept while allowing normal nasal breathing.

Meanwhile, his son, Dr. Mike Mew, insists that the posterior third of the tongue is vital in the mewing process. To get a result, you should still press the posterior third of the tongue up, even if it slightly pushes the soft palate and complicates breathing. You can control it and with continuous practice, it will get to normal breathing.

Read also our article about hunter eyes and "Does Chewing Gum Help Jawline?".

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How to Breathe While Mewing

Proper nasal breathing is crucial for successful mewing and maintaining the correct tongue posture. To gain maximum mewing results, it's crucial you adopt the right breathing technique. 

However, if you're struggling to breathe while mewing, don't worry. Here are some tips that can help you during the process:

Adopt Proper Mewing First 

The first thing to fix the breathing problem while mewing is to make sure you avoid mewing mistakes

You can also check out the following points to see if your mewing technique is correct:

  • Your tongue doesn’t touch the front teeth
  • Try to inhale through the mouth - you shouldn’t be able to do it
  • Your tongue pressure is distributed evenly
  • Your teeth are not tensely clenched, they’re touching lightly

How to Breathe While Mewing - Step By Step Guide 

The first thing to fix the breathing problem while mewing is to make sure you avoid mewing mistakes. 

Also, check out the following points to see if you’re mewing technique is correct:

  1. Your tongue doesn’t touch the front teeth
  2. Try to inhale through the mouth - you shouldn’t be able to do it
  3. Your tongue pressure is distributed evenly
  4. Your teeth are not tensely clenched, they’re touching lightly

Then, make sure that breathing obstruction while mewing isn’t connected with nasal problems (deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, adenoids, etc). If that’s the case, surgical intervention is sometimes needed, so a medical consultation will clarify it. 

If you can breathe through the nose and just feel difficulties, or lack tongue space, then regular practice can help you breathe properly while mewing.

Proper breathing while mewing

In the following section, we've compiled a list of the most common reasons why people experience these issues. Take a look and see if you can identify the cause of your struggles. It will help you tackle the problem head-on and achieve the results you're looking for.

Consistently Practice Correct Mewing: 

Consistent practice of correct mewing will most likely get you the desired results. 

If you can breathe through your nose but still struggle with tongue placement or lack of tongue space, regular practice can help you improve your breathing while mewing. 

By focusing on proper tongue posture and breathing technique, you can overcome these difficulties and achieve the perfect jawline. So, don't give up and keep practicing until you get it right.

Make Sure to Keep Your Lips Closed:

Earlier on, we mentioned that successful mewing requires nasal breathing. It means you must keep your lips and teeth closed for proper tongue placement. 

It's important to note that excessive clenching can lead to discomfort. So, be gentle and avoid forcing any movement. Keeping your lips closed while mewing can significantly improve your results. Make sure to practice this technique regularly and be patient as you begin to see the desired outcome.

Try Saying the Word “Sing”:

To position the entire length of your tongue at the roof of your mouth, try saying the word "sing." 

  • As you make the "ng" sound, lift the back of your tongue against your soft palate. 
  • Be careful not to put too much pressure on your soft palate, as this can block your airways and prevent proper nasal breathing. 

If you're struggling to achieve the correct tongue posture, keep practicing until it becomes second nature. With consistent practice, you'll soon be mewing like a pro and seeing visible results with your mewing.

Get in a Proper Body Posture:

Maintaining good body posture is essential when practicing mewing. Slouching or being in an uncomfortable position makes it hard for you to breathe correctly while mewing.

Experts recommend sitting or standing with your back straight to reap the best benefits of mewing. This not only helps you focus on proper nasal breathing but also enables you to engage the right facial muscles for the best results. 

So, make sure to maintain good body posture while practicing mewing and keep practicing until you perfect your technique.

Adopt Correct Chewing and Swallowing Technique:

Proper chewing is crucial for successful mewing and breathing. It’s important you sync both processes to get the results you desire with mewing. Chewing helps integrate the nasal breathing process better and is a major part of mewing.

Swallowing correctly is also crucial when practicing mewing. By learning how to swallow properly while mewing, you can breathe naturally without struggling. This ensures you achieve the correct tongue posture and helps maximize the effectiveness of the mewing technique.

How Breathing Should Feel Like While Mewing?

Mewing is a technique that can take some time to master. And, for those just strating out, it's normal to experience mild pressure in your face, jaw, and chin. 

The key is to focus on maintaining natural and unobstructed breathing throughout the process. 

Don't worry if you struggle at first – with consistent practice, you'll be able to breathe and mew effortlessly in no time.

What is the Anatomy of Breathing?

To better understand the anatomy of breathing, it's important to know that our respiratory system is complex and intricate. While there are many muscles involved, the diaphragm is the primary muscle responsible for breathing. This parachute-shaped muscle expands and contracts with each breath, allowing air to enter and exit our lungs.

Stick with Your Natural Breathing Pattern – How to Discover Your Natural Breathing Pattern?

Do you wonder how your natural “non-forced” breathing pattern could look like? If you don’t, consider it now.

Whether you are practicing mewing or not, it's crucial to identify your natural breathing pattern and find the best way that suits your body. 

Luckily, there are several techniques you can use to identify your natural breathing pattern. 

  • One technique is to curl your fingers under the lowest rib of your torso and inhale slowly. 
  • Observe the exact moment when your ribs lift and press against your fingers as your belly expands.
  • Make sure to avoid forcing this process.
  • Focus on distributing the breath evenly in your torso and feel how much movement you can achieve with minimal effort. 
  • Now, gently exhale and perceive the gentle pressure in your heart, throat, and mouth region. Repeat the exercise for two minutes. 

Remember, achieving natural breathing and correct technique shouldn't be difficult and will require only minimal effort, considering your body's natural breathing anatomy and the practice of proper breathing methods.

Struggling to Breathe Properly? 5 General Tips to Improve Your Breathing Pattern 

Breathing difficulties can stem from a variety of causes, but there are many ways to improve your respiratory health. 

Here are some effective tips to improve your breathing patterns:

Fix Your Posture:

Maintaining good posture allows your rib cage and diaphragm to fully expand, which increases the range of motion in your body's front. This expansion allows your thorax to reach its full capacity, enabling you to breathe better.

Adjust Your Sleeping Position:

Did you know that sleeping on your back can cause your tongue to block your airways? This is why experts suggest sleeping on your side. Adding an extra pillow between your legs can also provide additional spinal support and improve the rhythm and quality of your breaths.

Practice Meditation:

Meditation is a powerful technique that can help you focus on your breath and regulate your breathing. You can also alleviate stress and anxiety by practicing meditation. This enables you to practice deep or shallow breathing based on your specific needs and objectives.

Stretch Regularly:

Stretching daily is a great way to relieve tension in your shoulders, chest, and back, ultimately allowing you to fully expand your ribcage while breathing.

Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Habits:

Making small yet impactful changes such as eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, and focusing on your overall well-being can significantly benefit your body, especially your respiratory system. Consistently practicing these healthy habits can improve your respiratory health and help you achieve better breathing patterns.

Final Words

We hope you found this article helpful in learning how to breathe while mewing. 

Mewing is a highly effective exercise that can help you achieve various goals, such as enhancing your bite, strengthening your facial structure, or resolving health concerns like facial asymmetry or TMJ issues. To ensure success, you are advised to maintain proper posture and breathing techniques while monitoring your progress closely. 

If you're new to mewing, don't worry! We've got all the new comers covered with our Mewing App. It’s where you can begin working on proper tongue posture and track your progress.

Everything you need for mewing in one app:

1. Learn the correct technique

2. Make it a habit

3.Track your progress



Q: Why Can’t I Breathe While Mewing?

There are a few possible reasons, including mouth breathing, lack of tongue space, orofacial disorders, and incorrect tongue posture. The solution is to fix the tongue posture, breathe through the nose and practice more and regularly. Also, treat the orofacial disorders if that’s the issue.  

Q: How Do I Know I’m Mewing Correctly?

Correct mewing implies proper tongue posture in the first place. Make sure your tongue is on the roof of the mouth, the pressure it makes is distributed evenly and you breathe through the nose. Your tongue shouldn’t touch the front teeth and they should be slightly touching, not clenched.



The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or a substitute for professional guidance. Mewing and other techniques mentioned on this website may not be suitable for everyone, and individual results may vary. We strongly recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as an orthodontist, dentist, or myofunctional therapist, before starting any new oral or facial exercises, particularly if you have existing dental, orthodontic, or health concerns.
Written by
Victoria Punda
May 17, 2023