Why Your Mouth, Orthotropics, and Doing Mewings are the Key to Breathing Well and Sleeping Well
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to another Healthy Bite. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. I’d like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I am recording this podcast, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their Elders – past, present, and emerging.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:00:21] Well, this week’s Healthy Bite is a little bit unusual. I had earlier in the week spoken to Dr. Mike Mew about preventing crooked teeth and the implications that that has on your breathing, on your ability to sleep, on posture, etc., and Mike’s father, Professor John Mew, is a legend in dentistry, in orthodontics in particular.
And look, he transformed the way Orthodontics was practised for many dental practitioners. He annoyed the hell out of many others. His suggestion was that we could be doing much better than rather than just focussing on the mouth and getting teeth straightened in many cases, certainly in the vast majority of cases, up to about 30 years ago. That involved removing four or eight teeth to make room to get the remaining teeth beautifully aligned.
Now I’m often asked what is a holistic dentist. And a holistic dentist is a dentist with attitude and that attitude is that we are dealing not just with the mouth, but we are dealing with the mouth that is connected to a whole person. And one of the most important things that a whole person does is breathe and sleep and literally, the size and shape of your mouth determine your ability to breathe well and sleep well.
So what Professor John Mew was suggesting was that we needed to look more holistically at what we were doing. We needed to actually grow faces to allow faces to fulfill their epigenetic potential now Professor John Mew is in his nineties and I had the pleasure of speaking with him. He’s a very interesting character. He’s like his son, very passionate and I thought I would share this short interview I had with him now after that.
I’m also going to include a video on what it means, what mewing means. John Mew, Mike Mew. Yes, there is something called mewing and actually, that video went viral. As Mike pointed out in this episode this week, Mewing his demonstration of mewing went viral because he was suggesting that you could grow faces, which is true. You can grow faces and improve structure and make the lower half of your face more.
Well, I hesitate to use the word attractive, but a full of face, a broader smile, a better airway, a healthier person is more attractive, whether that’s physically more attractive, but certainly more attractive from a health perspective. And mewing when he suggested that, that video in the bigger world not just not in the orthodontic world in the bigger world went viral. So I’m going to include in this Healthy Bite two unusual aspects. One a short interview with Professor John Mew and finishing off with mewing.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:03:40] Welcome, John.
Prof John Mew: [00:03:41] Indeed. Good to see you.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:03:44] John, you have had such a long career in dentistry. I wondered if you had to summarise what you were doing. Why how would you describe your focus on your professional life?
Prof John Mew: [00:03:58] On my professional life, I would. In one word, I would say the truth. But, you know, I’m at odds with the conventional orthodontists and I think they are very mistaken generalise say.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:04:13] How they got it wrong. Tell us about that.
Prof John Mew: [00:04:15] Interesting question. Yeah, I have to go back in a bit of history here. Originally, people had straight teeth. If you go back even a few hundred years around the end of the 19th century, a lot of people began to get teeth crooked and the dentists found that they pushed for a bit to what they could straighten the teeth. So they thought that was a good idea.
And that was about the Orthodontics. But they never really, I think, studied the logic of what they do, because if everybody had straight teeth 500 years ago, why don’t they know I’m being up? I didn’t. Inquisitive chap I just spoke. it was quite obvious that it has to do with our lifestyle. You know, if we eat salt food and live in houses and don’t rest. It’ll mess up the natural process, which results in a good-looking face with straight teeth.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:05:25] Yes, I think people don’t actually appreciate it’s come to be normalised really, has not that crooked teeth, not enough room for all 32 teeth is actually quite normal. Why does it matter?
Prof John Mew: [00:05:37] Well, in this modern world, they just know and indeed it doesn’t make any difference to how you can eat. You can eat with very few teeth with the mush that we eat these days. But the side effect is that one has a deformed face because the jaws are properly known as your face.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:06:01] You started your career as Orthognathic Surgeon and you were doing surgery initially?
Prof John Mew: [00:06:07] Yes, that gave me a huge leg up because I realised the difference of shifting the balance about with me. I used to cut the bones and both of them together in different positions.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:06:21] That sounds I mean, I’m sure our listener is now picking themselves up off the ground just thinking about that. What was the turning point for you that changed your approach from Orthodontic surgery, which, as you say, is the movement of facial bones to orthotropic and actually, we should talk about what orthotropic is.
Prof John Mew: [00:06:42] Well, what do you want first?
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:06:44] Let’s do the let’s talk about orthotropics because then we can know where you come to.
Prof John Mew: [00:06:48] Well, as I say, orthodontists believe we are born with deformed faces, those that have them. But orthotopic say we have the natural ability to grow almost perfectly, but that doesn’t count because of our lifestyle.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:07] Okay, and what was the turning point that took you from surgery to orthotropics?
Prof John Mew: [00:07:12] Well, one was the lifestyle of surgeons. They call it an operating theatre, and it is a theatre. I’ve seen famous surgeons throw instruments across the road and it is a very high tense occupation. Everybody can see what you do it right or wrong. And the emotional strain is very large.
Also to me, I didn’t like the blood so I didn’t because I was moving faces around. I just didn’t trust the whole process. And the more I dug into it, the more I realised that the shape of a face is no more than the shape of the bones and that they should be okay. But then most people are not.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:08:01] And this is what intrigues me that we’ve like evolved to have five fingers on each hand. And if we didn’t have enough room for those five fingers, I’m sure we wouldn’t be as blasé about it as we are for the fact that we don’t have enough room for the teeth we’ve evolved to have.
Prof John Mew: [00:08:19] Well, you might be right about that, so it’s hard to be certain that we would realise people are very stupid in the short run, although they know where to get it right.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:08:32] Yeah. So, so your challenge to the profession really was that there was a better way of doing things. Now before we go in a natural way, but, I think we should remind our listeners what the way of doing things was or perhaps to some degree still is.
Prof John Mew: [00:08:52] Well, the conventional sort of approach, as you say, is primarily mechanical. It’s also surgical, but primarily orthodontists use mechanics to allow more teeth. They do that very efficiently. You fix the blood cells, you know, the ones the glue on the teeth that got it into position with the bitter law and the teeth finish and a beautiful alignment.
They’re very clever in that. But my research show quite different in that process they move the whole of middle part of the face backward and it is that which does the damage and of course, that is why they have to obstruct teeth because otherwise, there isn’t room.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:09:41] So the Orthotropic, how does the Orthotropic approach differs from that?
Prof John Mew: [00:09:45] Well, the Orthotropic approach in a young child of under eight, all you need to do is correct that posture. So for older people who have grown up with that posture incorrect. Then the bones and indeed the teeth will be incorrect, too and therefore you have to use something to correct them and it also took issues to minimal movement of teeth. Teeth are not meant to be moved.
Orthodontists move them and in fact, that causes a lot of damage. The roots of teeth are always damaged when you lose fix appliances. The problem seems to be that it’s a bad thing and indeed it’s not necessary if you can guide because simply by training the posture perhaps assisted a little bit with appliances.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:10:41] So I don’t think people often, and I include many dentists in this don’t often connect the lower half of the face with posture. How do how what’s the connexion there? Tell us about the connexion.
Prof John Mew: [00:10:54] Connexion. That is simple. If you leave your mouth open, as most people, even you do and make your face will go down, your cheeks will be flat, and your nose will stick out because it’s attached to your forehead and your chin will then drop down and swing back. You will look considerably less attractive.
All the people who keep their mouths shut have what we call forward growth. Those that need their mouth open have vertical friends like me. I have a long face. My cheeks are very flat. And, you know, I. Yeah, I may have a strong personality, but I certainly don’t have a good-looking face.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:11:44] You’re being harsh, John, but I think I understand what you’re saying and the thing about pulling things back, I think we kind of touched on posture, but it’s also connected to airway, which is another one that really is a lot of people and a lot of the professionals. So don’t make that connexion.
Prof John Mew: [00:12:04] Yeah.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:12:05] Tell us about the airway.
Prof John Mew: [00:12:07] I was gonna say that the airway connexion is secondary. I talked earlier on about correct posture and that leaving the mouth open will fall in the face. But also it’s your tongue is also on the palate, then your teeth will collapse, your bones will collapse and do a lot of traction.
I could had a picture or several pictures showing you exactly that people who left their mouths open and their faces are being destroyed. But the obstruction of the airway is secondary because if the face doesn’t go forward. There’s naturally less room they have to go down. And also, if the tongue is not on the panel, it tends to drop back on the airway so there are several factors.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:13:04] Now, how common is the problem? well, exactly what?
Prof John Mew: [00:13:09] Restricted to about 95% of the population.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:13:14] 95%. So that is quite an extraordinary statistic which has blown me away through my whole professional life. Tell me, when you developed this whole Orthotropic approach of growing faces, of allowing nature to take its natural course, how was that received by the profession?
Prof John Mew: [00:13:35] Very badly I wrote a paper in 1981 called The Tropic Premise. Basically, all it says is that for correct growth of the face and jaws, you need to keep your tongue on your palate and your mouth closed. Not totally, but more or less.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:13:57] How often? How long in a day? How should at least be we should you mention rest position is? Tell us about how things ideally should be.
Prof John Mew: [00:14:07] Well, the tongue should be on the palate and the teeth should be either touching or nearly touching. They should be in very light contact. I think my son calls that butterfly contact for about 6 hours a day. If they’re not, they will overgrow after each meal. Your face is shorter when you wake up in the morning it’s longer.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:14:33] And clenching and grinding? Quite a big problem in our society? What effect does that have?
Prof John Mew: [00:14:39] That is a pathology. It arises if you don’t keep your mouth, shut your mouth, then your teeth will erupt to different heights. And so when you close that you could be applied to you. When you close, do all your teeth meet exactly the same time, or do some teeth make more than others?
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:15:01] Yes. No. There’s a problem with evenness. They ideally should be, even when you bring your teeth together.
Prof John Mew: [00:15:09] Yes, but there is an automatic mechanism in the body, which I call the tooth eruption mechanism, which means that every tooth has its own ability to erupt or in too. This is necessary for the human animal and indeed for all mammals. All the teeth must touch perfectly or the animal wouldn’t survive.
In humans. We survive, we can eat soft food and it doesn’t matter. But the side effect is that because the teeth meet unevenly, patients are always looking for the correct place for the teeth to come together. Therefore, the box a match is equal of it.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:15:55] So a type of auto-correction trying to correct the imperfection.
Prof John Mew: [00:16:00] It’s easy to correct just keep the teeth in light, contact the 6 hours that really cure anybody. But of course, changing your posture is difficult, especially for adults who love to have poor posture. I’m sorry to be rude, but like gloves and as I say, 95% of the world do have poor posture.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:26] Tell me you mentioned eight-year-olds. You know, you just correct the posture and it will correct itself. Is there and at what age can we make these corrections with the help of professionals?
Prof John Mew: [00:16:38] It depends of course, on severity. But essentially, I think you could correct any child if you started out five or six. Certainly, the best time is soon after birth most mothers have no idea that if that baby leaves their mouth open, it will destroy their face.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:17:03] Hmm. Well, it’s very. Well, as you say, it’s a very common problem. I mean, part of that is the fact that people’s nasal passages are blocked or restricted.
Prof John Mew: [00:17:16] That they are blocked as a result of the lack of growth they don’t close lateral. But there is some nasal blockage. If you live in the house, you’re shut up with lots of allergens. These could cause allergies that causes a runny block nose now for you breathe through your mouth. But there’s a sequence there which basically comes from living indoors. If someone asks me the best way to bring up their children, I would say is sell your house and buy a cave at the top of a mountain.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:17:55] Hmm. I think that’s going to narrow down the number of people that are going to be able to correct those. You know, there’s not that many caves out there. I don’t know, maybe in Sussex. There is. But yes, in Sydney, we were lacking caves.
Prof John Mew: [00:18:10] Yes. It’s not many people take that option.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:18:14] No, but you would say that adults this is you know, how do you feel about adults making this kind of corrections?
Prof John Mew: [00:18:23] Well.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:18:24] Orthopedically, orthotopically
Prof John Mew: [00:18:27] Have you heard of the phenomena of mewing?
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:18:30] Yes. Yes, I have. And if you could tell us, tell us about mewing.
Prof John Mew: [00:18:34] Well, I said I wrote this paper in 1981 saying that if you keep current posture, your face will either not go wrong in the first place or even if it has gone wrong, will improve. The orthodontists laughed at it but I think 50 years later my son describe that on Facebook have it out there. I don’t know what the word is but an incredibly large number of people now mew. I’m told that it is around 30 million. I have no idea if that’s true or not.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:19:14] But tell me what is mewing?
Prof John Mew: [00:19:17] It is simply putting the tongue on the palate, keeping the mouth shut. It is also swallowing correctly, but that is associated with an incorrect tongue posture.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:19:30] Hmm, and you mentioned the profession. I mean, when I know you’ve been teaching this since the– well, I don’t know, in 1999?
Prof John Mew: [00:19:41] A long time.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:19:42] Long time and I mean, there has been a change in orthodontics, hasn’t there ever have orthodontists come to accept? I know in Australia for bicuspid extraction we were the inventors of it I think was very common. But that’s not so much anymore?
Prof John Mew: [00:19:59] You’re absolutely right. It was basically propagated by Raymond Vega who extracted full pre-metals routinely. Yeah, I’ve been lecturing in Australia for I think nearly 60 years and when I first went there I was ridiculed. But you’re right, there are a very large number of people now say, yes, learn to extract free manners. But of course, the treatment hasn’t necessarily changed.
What happens is they don’t extract the brain molars, but they push all the teeth back. With the result, there is some room for the wisdom teeth at the age of 18 or 25 that the patient has long forgotten about, about orthodontists or indeed their orthodontic treatment. Therefore, they don’t get the blame. But in actual fact, it is because that treatment, the fix implants, is pulling all the teeth and indeed the jaws back. There is no room for the wisdom teeth.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:21:07] So is the author hoping to approach? You know, there will be room for wisdom teeth. That is a measure of success.
Prof John Mew: [00:21:14] Yes, it depends on your age and if you’re on my age, how much hope that in a five-year-old? Yes, without any treatment. But I treat many people in their late teens who’ve been told they’ve had the got to have their wisdom teeth extracted, or indeed they’ve got to have surgery to chop their jaws up.
But the other in another position, I treat it with Orthotropic I could show you examples of that too. I might say I had very, very few failures with children who’ve been told they need surgery. Maybe that is because it gives them a very good incentive to wait on appliances I use, which I’m not convenient or comfortable.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:22:03] The appliances worn just at night or full-time. How would they worn?
Prof John Mew: [00:22:08] Well, initially you need to enlarge and reposition indeed the upper jaw because that is attached to the skull and now you’ve got to have some physical movement. You only need that if the child is over six also and has a narrow jaw.
But narrow jaws are almost routine the width of the upper jaw between your first molars so that the big ones should be from about forty-four millimetres. The average in the UK is thirty-three and a half, so that is over ten millimetres too narrow. That’s why there isn’t room for the teeth.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:22:55] And I think the fact that literally the shape and size of the mouth determines the shape and size of the airway. That’s a big difference for is what is ideal.
Prof John Mew: [00:23:07] What you — totally agree with your method generally they’re related.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:23:12] What was it about that statement that you wouldn’t agree?
Prof John Mew: [00:23:15] I’d say, I view the airways brought by the tongue, but obviously, the jaws are to fall back, the tongue is more likely to abstract. If with all the kids, we take the goals forward.
Again, if you wish, I could pose you some photographs that the jaws I would like also to repeat. I wouldn’t wiggle jaws 10, 15, sometimes 20, or even 25 millimetres. My orthodontic colleagues. Tell me it is impossible to move them more than two, perhaps three millimetres. That is a simply vast difference.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:23:57] That is a huge difference. That is a huge difference. One of the arguments and I know this is true for every form of orthodontics, is how stable is the result. So many people have had all whatever, four bicuspid extractions, eight bicuspid extractions, wisdom tooth. You know, they’ve got 20 teeth in their mouth and they’ve had orthodontics and they’ve relapsed. And, yet and your cases they would say, well, they’ll relapse. John Yeah. What do you say about that? Retention is the issue for everyone.
Prof John Mew: [00:24:31] I’m saying that poor posture causes malnutrition and facial deformity. Yeah, if you correct the posture and by this, I mean a subconscious posture, then it will not carry again. If you align the teeth and the pace the patient has the correct posture, they will have no risk of relapse subsequently. But of course, it is very tough to change some conscious posture.
Many people, particularly in Australia, give what they call oral myology. That is, they train the children to correct that posture. They mostly do this with exercises. Now sometimes exercises will change subconscious posture and indeed this is what they try to do. But exercises alone are a very uncertain way of correcting subconscious posture. The child will shut their mouth whenever their mother looks at them, but the rest of the time they’re open.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:25:43] I know I’ve become very self-conscious about that, but I have for many years. I’ve tried it before. But my, functional therapy is very popular in Australia. I think the, you know, the whole Miomunchy group tries to correct that. I’ve often described the tongue as the best orthodontic appliance known to men, women, and child. You’re basically confirming that. Is that how you would describe it?
Prof John Mew: [00:26:09] I think that is a very good description. I think tongue-in posture is the cause of malacia root.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:26:16] Listen, what do I mean? Are you optimistic about the way the profession is developing is that, you know, you see positive movement?
Prof John Mew: [00:26:25] In certain areas, I see very good movement. You know, the name of the treatment that I developed called orthotropic.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:26:33] Yes.
Prof John Mew: [00:26:34] That is spreading, you know, around the world.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:26:37] Oh, yes.
Prof John Mew: [00:26:38] It’s not spreading within the orthodontic profession. It’s spreading within the lay public. Only go to the medical sites. And most will know all about Orthotropics. Go for professional site and they don’t and then I see big problems ahead for everybody I mean it’s ruined my life simply trying to put it to save take my licence away because they say what was the phrase, yes, I’m being deliberately dishonest when I say I can change faces. So they took my licence to practise away.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:18] But I think from what I read that that ended up in court. And you ended up winning that?
Prof John Mew: [00:27:24] Yes. No. Well, I have had different actions. I did win, ah, court action against the Minister of Health, but my life has been an eternal battle, as you can tell. I’m quite forthright in my views, but that comes from confidence. Then I know I’m right. And what’s more, I can prove it in every respect.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:47] Yes, it’s interesting how resistant new ideas or different approaches in health professionals. Maybe this is true in other professions as well, but certainly, in medicine and dentistry, it takes a long time for change to occur, doesn’t it?
Prof John Mew: [00:28:06] It does. Well, when you consider the sequence, people go to University they’re taught by professors who don’t teach today’s knowledge. They teach yes, it is knowledge. Once people have been taught something at school and been told that that is the only way it should be done, they tend to stick to those views. And I’m sure you and I are the same. We believe what we were taught and by a large, we live that way.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:28:39] Well, I often say I only wish I knew as much as I thought I did when I graduated. Because the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know. But I don’t think many health professionals often think that way. They would rather reject what they don’t know rather than challenge themselves. And I think that’s one of the most interesting.
Well, frustrating things, really. I mean, I know I got into orthodontics, orthopedics as a general dentist because I was so appalled at what the orthodontic profession were doing and that introduced me to your kind of work of developing jaws, of using posture, of thinking about tongues and air. Well, I’m going to use the word airway. I know you, but posture and the tongue position. I do think it’s important, but the profession’s very, very, very conservative, isn’t it? Very reluctant to change. Threatened by change.
Prof John Mew: [00:29:37] Right. And the vast majority of my dental colleagues say that I’m wrong, too. Mainly because orthodontists are very clever people. I know what they’re doing.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:29:48] Yes, well, they certainly are in their own mind. But tell me, I just want to ask you one last question, because I know you’ve got a lot on this morning, but I want to ask you a question, taking a step back, because, you know, you’ve had a few years of life. And what do you think? Because we’re all on a journey in this modern world through life. What do you think the biggest challenge is for individuals on that journey?
Prof John Mew: [00:30:14] Are we talking individual dentists or individuals?
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:30:17] No, no. Individual people taking a step back as dentists. Just people on a health issue.
Prof John Mew: [00:30:24] My father taught me one very useful belief. There is a reason for everything with the result. Whenever I see a problem, I say there has to be a cause. I then go on thinking about it until I’ve come up with the cause. If I don’t, I really continue sometimes for years to try and think of what the reason is, because it has to be one.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:30:54] Yes and that is finding that causes the challenge.
Prof John Mew: [00:30:59] You’re right, crooked teeth are not natural there has to be a reason.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:31:04] Hmm, yes.
Prof John Mew: [00:31:05] And for facial growth, it only occurs in civilised humans. Therefore, there has to be a reason.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:31:15] Hmm. It’s amazing that we’ve come to normalise it and accept it. But when 95% of the population are all in the same boat, it’s easier to do that than to question it really is that.
Prof John Mew: [00:31:27] That is absolutely the reason, which is also the reason that most people don’t think there’s anything wrong.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:31:34] Yes, it could also be the reason why we have an epidemic in preventable chronic diseases as well. And we’ve normalised that as well. John, it’s been such a pleasure talking to you. And I have had so much respect for your work over many, many years. I attended You won’t remember this, but I attended one of your courses in the very early 1980s, and I have always admired and respected your work. So thank you so much for joining me today.
Prof John Mew: [00:32:02] Well, thanks very much, Ron, I always enjoyed chatting about my work and I only hope I didn’t sound too bombastic.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:10] No, no, you didn’t. And I’m going to keep my mouth shut for the rest of the evening, I promise.
Prof John Mew: [00:32:15] Well, you will find that incredibly difficult because you’ve left it open all your life. And I don’t think you even realised that you did.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:25] Oh, I became very aware of it about ten or 15 years ago and it’s been a work in progress ever since.
Prof John Mew: [00:32:33] Right, well done and it does require incredible persistence and concentration to change your posture, which is why most people don’t.
Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:47] Hmm. Well, dentist did. Dentistry definitely doesn’t help postural problems, that’s for sure.
Prof John Mew: [00:32:54] No.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:56] John, thank you so much.
Prof John Mew: [00:32:58] Great. Good to chat.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:32:59] It’s interesting to consider why Professor John Mew and Mike Mew have been so controversial figures in the world of orthodontics and to why wouldn’t anybody embrace this. Well, it speaks to a much broader issue, and that is many health practitioners, sadly, will dismiss anything that they don’t know as not being relevant. In other words, if I don’t know about it, it can’t be that important.
And if someone else is talking about it, you will often hear so-called experts say, oh, there’s no evidence to support that. Whereas, in fact, what they should be saying is, I haven’t read that I really should look into it, which doesn’t sound quite as impressive as dismissing it and saying there’s no evidence to support it. And for an ordinary consumer of health care, when you hear so-called experts say that you kind of accept it.
I see it as just an admission of ignorance because we do need to keep an open mind and try to see how things fit in. For example, what causes crooked teeth? I had the opportunity to explore other obviously explored this in my book and I’ve explored it over my entire career. And it’s interesting to see Mike and John Mew talk about we’re just simply not chewing our food enough.
And this is a message that was repeated in the book Jaws: The Story of the Hidden Epidemic, written by Professor Paul Erlich from Stanford University and Dr. Sandra Kahn. And Orthodontists. And I interviewed both of those and I couldn’t resist interviewing them. Professor Paul Ehrlich He’s a legend in biological science, and he wrote a book in the 1970s, late sixties, early seventies called The Population Bomb with his wife and Ann Ehrlich.
And it was a great opportunity for me to talk to him about that. But when I saw that someone of his stature and he’s now in his 80, still sharp as a tack, practising, you know, still at Stanford, writing a book called Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic. I mean, I was really impressed that he would choose this topic to discuss. And when I talked to him and Sandra Kahn in two separate interviews, they were speaking about the role of chewing your food, about the mechanics of it. And that’s fine. I agree.
The mechanics of chewing one’s food is very important, but it’s not the whole story, and that’s okay. You know, I’ve always found when I hear varying issues, I’m not looking for the one answer. I’m trying to assimilate all of those answers into a more holistic model. Keeping an open mind. And I find that stimulating. But to a lot of other practitioners, they find it threatening and so will dismiss it as there’s no evidence to support whatever they don’t know about.
So what is the other aspect to what causes crooked teeth? It references the work of Western price and which is about a nutrient-dense diet. The fact that we need a healthy balance of fats, of fat-soluble vitamins, we need water-soluble vitamins, and minerals to incorporate into our bones and our body structure. And if we don’t have a nutrient-dense time, then what we end up with is physical degeneration. And that physical degeneration means narrow jaws and crowded teeth.
It also means chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes. A nutrient-dense diet has a healthy balance of omega-three, omega-six, and omega-nine essential fatty acids in the correct proportion. When you have seed oils or where you have grain-fed animals, you have a propensity for omega-six fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory.
Also, when your food is not grown in healthy soils and you don’t get the 50 or 60 minerals that are required for a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, then we suffer from physical degeneration as well. And that’s why this podcast focuses on regenerative agriculture and in particular healthy soils because healthy soils to live a healthy plants which deliver healthy animals, healthy people, and healthy planet. It’s a win, win, win, win, win all round.
What’s good for the animal is good for the person, is good for the planet. And that’s all part of a nutrient-dense diet which the work of Western in price 1920s and thirties showed was an important which showed was an important aspect to developing healthy jaws. And physical, physically healthy people. So this is why I thought it was interesting to share with you the work of John Mew and Mike Mew. And if my mewing has been, as it’s described in when we’ve met an Internet sensation with literally millions of views.
Who better to show that to you than Mike Mew, who explains the pluses and minuses, talks about you, the bigger you of the jaw function, and the smaller you of the tongue function and alert you to the temporal mandibular joint, the jaw joint, and the possibility of that being a problem and the limitations of age. But look, it’s more of Mike Mew and I love his passion. And I want to share with you this is Dr mike Mew talking about mewing.
Dr. Mike Mew: [00:38:47] Doing mewing, clearly, one of the drivers for people coming to this channel and understanding what I’m doing is people who want to gain improvements. Now, I want to be clear. I want to help you gain health improvements. And I understand that health and beauty are, in this scenario, fairly synonymous. So it is largely the same thing. I think the best elements, I think a moment in mewing are the mealtime exercise, the tongue chewing and the abs walk. It’s very important to understand that like mathematics.
So learning a language, there are many different textbooks, there are many different programmes, there are many different approaches. Everyone learns differently. So this is a very difficult thing to understand. Remember, I know where my tongue is when I’m thinking about it. We don’t really know for certain where anyone else’s tongue is. All the real research on this has been done in laboratories in sorts of test situations are not really normal every day.
You’re not sitting in front of a computer, you’re not sitting at home in front of the television, and you’re not driving a car. These are the things you do most of the time. And people haven’t really analysed tongue position in these situations. So a lot of this is educated guesses. So it is not easy finding science or helping people to change, teaching people under these conditions. Now there are a lot of other my functional therapy or oral myology training programmes out to do that. And don’t forget how important general body posture is.
I think a lot of people will make us gain into it, gained orally within their mouth. Then they need to make a gain with their head and neck posture. Then they need to further gains in the mouth and it sort of can vary backward and forwards. You know, where are you stuck at for your next movement, for your next general improvement? So I just talk briefly about the three top recommended exercises, the moment the mealtime exercise is a good one because it’s a function that is you can fairly easily intercept. So you’re going to eat something.
You sit down at your dinner table, you chop your food up you. Then I say, people should have a talisman. I go in the exercise a little bit more and we will be producing more on the mealtime exercise. It’s something I need, you know, I need more up there. I’ve got some videos I’ve taken that I’m putting together, but if you take a talisman, take an object on the table and then put it behind with your non-dominant hand. Or I often just take my non-dominant hand and slip it down in my belt behind my trousers.
Now that hands out of action, it’s out of action. And because I’m right-handed so I’ve got my left hand, my non-dominant hand is out of action all this time when you’re going to be eating. So that’s reminding you to do a different pattern of behaviour. You’ve got to chew your food till it’s absolute mush. I remember my grandmother I think telling me that you need to chew 32 times because you have 32 teeth.
Well, I have not know about the scientific validity of that statement, but certainly, we need to be chewing more than I often see some kids. It’s one to choose and the foods into your mouth. And I do worry a little bit about lots of people telling me that they’ve got diet issues and I’m asking them, well, did you choose your food properly? Particularly, we’re told that carbohydrates are because carbohydrates are supposed to be mixed with salivary amylase in your mouth.
So that needs enough time to mix and enough chewing to mix and of course, enough saliva to mix, which means a decent bit of chewing. So I think before you head down a low-carb diet, although I am on one, do try chewing your food well. So if we’re using the mealtime exercise, it’s something you can actively do. You once chewed your food into liquid. You really tin tuck remember the film Dead Poets Society.
They’re making these the kid’s quotes, poetry while they’re doing penalty shootouts. Why? Because it made it more difficult if you can knock out penalty goals. And football is why you’re quoting poetry. You’re going to know your poetry. You’re going to have that poetry well embedded in your mind. If you can do a decent swallow with a real good Mackenzie chin talk. With really good body posture, then you are forcing good swallowing patterns.
You’re making it more difficult for yourself. And if you’re doing that repeatedly, really, really try to relax those shoulders fill core muscles. You feel the tongue coming up, feel that back through the tongue as you go to swallow and come back to engaging the post your third of the tongue. It’s a very remember engaging the post, your third of the tongue with a suck hold you’ve got to really understand that. A lot of feel it. But I feel your hired coming up now.
The next good exercise also is tongue chewing. A number of followers have set off on this gargantuan chewing marathon and of course, ended up with jaw-dropping problems. And if you look at the lecture, I’ll put it underneath where I look at jaw lock, I’m look, talking about the inner you section which is mainly from the tongue effect, and the out to you here, which is more from the muscle effect. And I want people really to be working more on the inner you. For most people, that’s where they have a deficiency.
And so for most people, that’s where you’ve got to do the most work. And of course, I think a lot of TMD is, in balance a part of TMD, temporomandibular dysfunction, jaw joint problems. Is this imbalance between the muscle and the tongue effect is not everything? But I worry about people just build focussing on just tough chewing gum stuff. Chewing gum can be very valuable, but be careful and be careful often because of your jaw joints. If you’re going to tongue chew, you make so much more of the tongue effect that is unlikely that you’re going to precipitated jaw joint problems.
And also you’re getting the direct force of the tongue right up onto the palate and expanding, having an effect directly on the maxilla. So that’s where you want it. You want the effect directly on the maxilla. So tongue chewing is a very effective way of doing that. And I’ve got several videos about tongue chewing, so go and have a look at those videos on tongue chewing. Then I would say try and incorporate the abs work.
What the abs work what’s good because well we’re going to spend a certain amount of time eating. You’re going to spend a certain amount of time tongue-chewing when you’re not doing something else and you can spend a certain amount of time walking again. These are all functional things to do. Function is something you can do.
You can actively set yourself a task and do it. What’s a very good entry into changing your posture postures what you actually want to achieve? But changing posture is changing you. Functions what you do? Posture is who you are, it’s you. And it’s very hard to change who you are. This is the core of the problem, but if you really abs walking is about putting the whole thing together with body posture and getting good neck posture.
So whether you’re going to abs walk, you’re going to have to get a good suction hold with the posture to a third of your tongue and really want out. How that suction hold is getting your head back overdo it when you’re doing the abs walk and really feel your abs working and feel this whole structure of putting everything together. But I think if you work on those three, you’re going to find that you can make it.
You should better make significant headway. You take yourself to a new level. I think it’s also important to point out that you need enough tongue space to do this. And if you don’t have tongue space and you might need some help achieving that and that, this may not work for you, I’m not magic if you can’t have enough tongue space. Well, I think it’s tongue space versus perseverance.
I’m guessing most people can do this with enough perseverance. Clearly, I’ve got better tongue space than most, so I don’t know that. Then it’s going to be a lot harder after about 25 years old. I mean, you know, our ancestors were living on average to, what, 40, 45, maybe 50. Now, some people will always live to 90 years old. You know that. We know that. And, you know, when I was working in the hospitals, I would not infrequently have someone walk in 94.
They’ve had an accident, they’ve had an issue. And I’ve said, you know, your previous medical history never seen a doctor in his life or her life. So we know that you know, he was quite capable of living to 90, even in ancient times. And these, you know, these would have been influential characters. However, if most people would, average life expectancy was in the forties. If you’re 25, well, you’re more than halfway through your life. Things slow down at this point.
Now, I don’t say you can’t change them, but things are slowing down. Be set up for it. Taking longer. Don’t think this is all just easy magic. On the 25 I’ve seen some people get relatively quick responses. It surprised me then psychology. In many ways, what I’m doing here is psychology. If you can work out how to make an inanimate object a memory hook, you’re going in the right direction.
This is kind of what we want to be doing, making inanimate objects into memory hooks, because this is about, as I said, changing yourself. You’re changing. You change your posture. You are changing you and that is a very core, fundamental thing about yourself. And, you know, finding those reminders, it’s about reminders. One of the things my sister’s a physiotherapist, and she’s a very successful physiotherapist.
And one of the things she tells people to do is to every time you talk to door handle, you remind the exercise you need to do. So you think door handle, you think exercise. You think door handle, you think exercise. And you can probably keep that thought going for about 5 minutes after you touch a door handle. So consequently, you talked a lot of door handles in the day. You need to go through a lot of doors.
Then it’s propelling us into your mind more frequently. So as I said, in many ways what we’re trying to do is psychology and then time. Yes, I have seen some people green remarkable success in very short periods of time. But most of us are not going to get that. Most of us are gonna struggle and it’s going to take a long, long time. I will never forget that when I wasn’t as well known and people were coming in to see me. People would come in and I would tell them how long this is likely to take. And they were saying, What? But you I’ve got the money.
I want the treatment. I want you to fix me straight away. Why do I need to wait? The next person would come in and they’d be a bodybuilder. And I’ll tell you what, it’s just going to take time and they will go. Well, it’s taken me ten years to get my body looking like this. It’s going to take me ten years to improve my face. Makes absolute sense. Makes sense to me. But I guess everyone wants results now. You know, that’s the modern delusion now, the future here.
So clearly, I’ve now launched this campaign. Why haven’t I was going to? And then I managed to tag out with Claire, who she was on same mission and she’s launched the campaign. She’s been very clever. I’m sure I would have messed up and gone in the wrong direction. So we have the campaign to prevent crooked teeth. And of course, it’s not just there’s there’s two arms to this. I mean, one of the thing is the prevent crooked teeth, but we need to come up with a therapy.
So I need to be able to shorten this timeline down to make it easier so people don’t have to make such Herculean efforts to change so we can understand what little bits to press, what therapies we can produce. But this is only happen when we get the spotlight of modern, modern medical research focussed on the subject. The moment that millions every year is spent on orthodontic research that is going, I believe, is wasted.
And if we could just take a 10th of that and direct it right in the directions that I feel would be most cost-effective, I think we could really move forward, really gain headway. So that’s one of the big reasons for the campaign to see if we can get, you know, better research, better understanding. I mean, understand what’s going on and plan out how we can research this.
So please do sign up for this petition that also will be in that box down underneath. And I’m going to try coming back, giving some more effective now that we’ve done with this campaign and we are basically wanting to promote open science. I’m going to be very open about all things going on, and I want to do much more directly help people with videos like this and going into more details.
And we will be asking for people to help with our campaign but actual help us. So in the not-too-distant future, we’re going to be looking for activists. People can actually help us move this whole thing forwards because it’s going to be a long, hard slog. Change doesn’t come easily and any orthodontists or dentists listening in. Listen, we mean the best. We’re not here to cause any more controversy or damage than is necessary. Change is difficult and we need change. And that’s what we want to discuss. All we’re trying to do is further the scientific process.
Dr. Ron Ehrlich: [00:53:21] So there it is. A week of mewing. We’ve met. Dr. Mike Mew, you’ve been introduced to Professor John Mew. You’ve seen mewing. You’ve been alerted to the challenges. I hope this finds you well, until next time. This is Dr. Ron Ehrlich.
This podcast provides general inforsmation and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. This content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or is a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences and conclusions.