Where Should Your Tongue Rest When Your Mouth is Closed or Sleeping

Discover the optimal position for your tongue when your mouth is closed or while sleeping in our comprehensive guide. This insightful article explains the importance of correct tongue posture for dental health, better sleep, and overall wellness.
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Certified specialist with 5 years of extensive dental and orthodontic experience
Where Should Your Tongue Rest When Your Mouth is Closed or Sleeping
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So, where should your tongue rest – at the top, bottom, or between your teeth?

In this post, you’ll learn more about the proper tongue posture, and how you can fix bad tongue positioning in just a few seconds.

What Is Tongue Posture?

Tongue posture or tongue positioning is basically how your tongue is placed within your mouth when it’s closed that is, at rest.

Why Is the Correct Tongue Resting Position Important?

The correct tongue posture provides dental and overall health benefits. Your tongue is a super strong muscle that affects many areas of your body such as the:

  • Mouth
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Eyes and nose

The correct resting position for the tongue in the mouth has been linked to better teeth alignment. Good tongue posture might help prevent or fix issues with teeth alignment and bad bite issues.

Proper tongue positioning helps widen the palate which in turn positively affects the upper airways, especially in young children, promotes proper tongue positioning, and helps fix sleep apnea. When the tongue is not positioned properly, other issues can arise including tooth damage, mouth breathing, and bad body posture.

What’s the Right Tongue Resting Position: What to Do

How do you know your tongue is resting in its correct position? You can find it out in the picture below.

Source: Alabama Tongue-tie Center

Where Should Your Tongue Rest When Your Mouth Is Closed

When your mouth is closed, your tongue should be resting on your mouth’s palate (the roof). Not just the tip of your tongue, but the middle and posterior sections as well. The tip of your tongue should rest behind your front teeth, but not touching. 

Now, identify where your tongue is resting as you’re reading this. If it is at the bottom, or just in between your teeth,

  • Close your lips
  • Pull your tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Keep the tip of your tongue behind your front teeth, but ensure they don’t touch

Practicing this proper tongue position may be challenging at first, however, there are many tongue posture techniques such as mewing that you can do to train your tongue to rest properly.

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Where Should Your Tongue Rest When Sleeping

When you sleep, your tongue should also rest on the roof of your mouth, tucked behind your front teeth. This can help prevent or fix sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. It will also prevent mouth breathing at night, teeth grinding, and mouth tension.

Risks of Bad Tongue Posture

There are many risks that come with bad tongue posture including health and facial aesthetics risks.

Sleep Apnea

This is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep because the nasal airways are restricted. When your tongue rests at the bottom of the mouth instead of the roof, this can restrict your airways.


Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder refers to an imbalance in your jaw joints that can cause:

  • Tooth damage
  • Jaw and neck pain
  • Headaches and migraine

Source: Healthline

Over time TMJ can worsen and cause face distortion. Bad tongue posture can cause this imbalance in your TMJ joints leading to misaligned teeth or jaw. 

Weak Jawline and Double Chin

While a weak jawline and double chin can be caused by other factors, a bad tongue posture can be a major contributing factor. When you raise your tongue to the roof of your mouth, you activate the muscle in your jawline, chin, and neck. This lifts the lower part of your face and makes it more defined. 

On the other hand, a bad tongue posture causes the muscle around your face to relax, which can lead to a weak jawline and double chin.

Bad Body Posture 

Beneath your tongue is the beginning of a connective tissue called the fascia. 

This tissue is just like a spider’s web and is responsible for giving structural support to your muscles, nerves, bones, and internal organs. This makes for a direct connection between the tongue and the body in general.

When the fascia is not as tight as it should be because of bad tongue position, it can cause 

  • Shoulder, neck, and back pain
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Slouching and rolled shoulders
  • Walking on the heels or tips of the foot

One or more of the above can contribute to bad body posture which may have other health consequences.

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Tooth Damage

Improper positioning of the tongue can shift the teeth, leading to misaligned teeth and bite issues such as

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Openbite
  • Crooked teeth

Bad tongue posture can result in teeth grinding as well. Teeth grinding leads to quicker wear and tear of your teeth.

Alter Face Shape

Because of how your tongue helps your overall facial appearance, a bad tongue posture can cause:

  • Recessed jawline and chin
  • Flatter nose
  • Narrower mouth, and
  • Less prominent cheekbones

These can alter the shape of your face, and make you more conscious of your facial appearance.

4 Ways to Fix Bad Tongue Positioning

If you have a bad tongue posture that is already affecting your dental health, overall health, or facial appearance, all hope is not lost. 

Fortunately, there are some proven ways to fix bad tongue positioning. 

#1: Mewing

Mewing is a technique that places the tongue in its correct position which is on the roof of the mouth and tucked behind the front teeth.

Mewing can help fix issues associated with bad tongue posture and improve your facial appearance. However, it can be difficult to mew if you don’t know how, or keep forgetting to place your tongue in the right position.

Our Mewing App contains tons of proven techniques and how-to guides to help you mew effectively. It also keeps you consistent by reminding you to mew throughout the day. If you want to fix bad tongue positing naturally with less effort, you can download our mewing app to start mewing today.

#2: Tongue Posture Exercises 

Specific exercises can help train the tongue and help it rest in the correct position. You can try:

  • Saying words such as si-NG or ki-NG. Keep your tongue in that position when you sound the “NG”. You’ll notice that your tongue is on the roof of your mouth. Close your lips and continue to breathe through your nose.
  • Swallowing exercises. When you swallow your tongue should be doing all the words. Start by sipping a small quantity of water, push it to the roof of your mouth, and swallow using just your tongue.
  • Make the tut or tsk-ing sound. This is the sound you hear when you drag your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This exercise can help teach your tongue to rest on your mouth’s palate.

#3: Frenectomy

A frenectomy is a surgical procedure to treat tongue-tie or lip-tie. The procedure involves cutting the frenum — a connective tissue that joins two parts. You can find a frenum between your upper lip and your top teeth and another between your lower lip and your bottom teeth.

If a tight frenulum is limiting your tongue’s range of motion, making it difficult to achieve the correct tongue posture, a frenectomy can help create more space.

#4: Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment options such as ALF (Advanced Lightwire Functionals) Appliance, palate expander, or braces can help create more room in the mouth for the tongue to rest correctly.

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Proper tongue posture can improve dental health, overall body health, and facial appearance. The correct position of the tongue, when the mouth is closed, is on the roof of the mouth, behind the front teeth, and not touching. If you have bad tongue positioning, there are different ways you can fix it. Mewing is a natural and proven way to help the tongue rest correctly. This technique can also be complemented with other treatment options like orthodontics for better results.

Learning how to mew properly and consistently is the key to training your tongue to rest at the roof of the mouth. Our Mewing App contains various exercises that teach you to mew properly. It also helps you stay consistent with reminders that nudge you to mew throughout the day.

Join over 100k+ users who have used our app to mew their way to improved dental health, facial appearance, and a confidence boost. Download the app now.

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
Yury Nebyshynets
May 31, 2023