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Could the sort of features seen with CFD ever have a genetic element?

Active Member


Longish post, apologies. 

I'm asking out of curiosity really.  Looking back through old photos both myself and my sister were always open-mouthed - even as babies. You'd look at us and think 'mouth breathers' - except I don't think that's the case, or if it is, I can't work out why. Neither of us have any allergies or asthma, both breastfed (for a while), lived in different houses in the early days of our lives (ruling out any early environmental factor) and had a relatively tough diet (meat and potatoes!). But it has taken some work for me to be able to keep my lips closed (and I still can't manage it at night - I always rip the tape off in my sleep). When I do keep my lips closed, it doesn't feel like I'm breathing any differently, so I don't think it's your typical 'mouth breathing caused long face', feels like the other way around if anything. But both me and my sister  very quickly showed typical CFD signs - e.g. by 2 or 3 years old our mouths/faces didn't look good. Teeth overcrowded etc (there's definitely a genetic component in our big teeth).  We had extractions and braces (including awful headgear ones) from a young age, and although braces get a bad rap on here, actually we both look better for the orthodontic work we had.  I have straightish teeth now, a relatively wide palate and actually very prominent cheekbones - but my maxilla, though wide, is very recessed, long jaw, weak chin etc. I believe my tongue posture has always been relatively good, on the roof of my mouth, and swallowing my correct,  but my lip posture terrible / non existent. I guess that's what that particular combination gets you. But my question is, why the lip issues to start with?  Did we just genetically grow teeth that our faces couldn't handle? Just seems a bit weird?   Any thoughts / ideas? 

Also, my 5 year old daughter seems to have good oral posture and her dad's small teeth, but she definitely has my cheeks, including maybe even my recession.   I was reading about how things people do over generations can get 'written' into genetic code - I'm not saying this is the case with my daughter but it got me thinking could it be the case that with the large amounts of CFD nowadays, that one day people will just be born with these traits as normal, regardless of posture? 

I'd be interested to hear what people think about why they look the way they do (other than the usual allergies etc) or what mewing doesn't quite explain for them (hence this is in general forum not case discussion, I'm more interested in the general theories around this stuff.). Thanks for reading.

Topic starter Posted : 19/07/2019 9:08 am
Active Member

Interesting post. I have heard about epigenetics, the idea being that gene expression can change independently of genetic code. However, I want to propose another explanation for your observations, which doesn't involve genetic code or gene expression and sounds more likely to me. I believe I, as a baby, mirrored my mom's default open-mouth posture. My mom in turn 'inherited' (mirrored) my grandmother's open-mouth posture. I don't know where my grandmother got it from.

Maybe your sister and you both mirrored someone close in your family who has a tendency towards improper oral posture. You say you have always had great tongue posture and swallowing but improper lip posture (lip seal?) ? Firstly, how would you even know if you've always had the back of your tongue plastered onto the palate during your developmental years? That's something that never shows up in pictures. Secondly, proper tongue posture seems to be very conducive to lip seal, from my personal experience and several reports online. Even though I have a very narrow palate and long face, proper tongue posture (which btw, was extremely tricky for me and blocks my airway, so is very unnatural) always tends to make my lips seal really nicely. So my personal theory is maybe the back of your tongue hasn't been on your palate which is why your lip seal was lacking.

As for your 5-year daughter, maybe she has 'good-enough' oral posture but there is room for improvement? Aka maybe she can maintain a natural lip seal for most of the time but has some issues with tongue posture that are keeping her from achieving genetic potential.

Posted : 19/07/2019 5:17 pm
Active Member

Interesting. The only person we might have ‘mirrored’ it from would be my mum. She is a little open lipped in some pictures looking back, though not as bad as me  (her teeth are actually a little smaller too). It’s like we’re just a more extreme version of her (though her teeth were perfectly straight without ever having had braces etc ) 

I don’t know that my tongue posture has always been good - I just know that when I heard about mewing my tongue was already naturally going to the roof; just not quite the back third quite as much as now. So it was good but definitely not perfect. Even when doing it correctly now, my lip seal is still not perfect. I’m just speculating that something must have been done right for me to have reasonable cheek bones etc. Midway through primary school (aged 7 or 8) the first brace I ever had was a weird big plastic thing that sat in my upper palate but also occupied some of my lower palate (I’ve haven’t seen anything like it since, it was huge, I could hardly talk with it in!). This would have forced my tongue upwards I imagine and might be responsible for the fact my tongue goes broadly to the right place. Whether it did before this brace I have no idea, maybe not and that would explain things. Interesting. Thanks!

Topic starter Posted : 20/07/2019 3:52 am