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Is incorrect tongue posture always the cause of a narrow palate?

Estimable Member

Through reading various articles on the subject, I've come to understand that narrow palates occur when the tongue is not in the correct position and thus does not provide the expansion required during development. It thus follows that narrow palates would almost always be found alongside other traits associated with bad tongue posture/mouth breathing. 

However, every now and then I'll see someone with what appears to be a narrow palate, but their face is otherwise beautiful and superbly developed. Not a hint of the "mouth breather" look at all. 

An example I just found is in the stunning actress Mariette Hartley. I've just been admiring her in an old episode of Columbo. As you can see from the photo, she has a very full, balanced face with not a hint of recession. Nice wide cheekbones, full midface, great eye support etc. But relatively few teeth showing in the smile, and the arch does not look wide at all. What gives? Could a narrow palate be genetic as well? 

Topic starter Posted : 20/01/2019 6:24 pm
Member Moderator

One can have harmonious and proportional appearance without having optimal development. In Hartley's case, robust bones and symmetry carry her a long way. From side view it becomes apparent that her jaw placement is not as proper as it could be:

Kuvahaun tulos haulle Mariette Hartley side

Posted : 20/01/2019 7:35 pm
Active Member

My brother is a mouth breather since he was born, he Always had a blocked nose and there are not a single pictures of him with his mouth closed. He was never breastfeeded and he always eaten soft food.

He has a wide/normal palate, with all teeth erupted and perfectly straight.

He never needed brace or any orthodontic treatment.



Posted : 20/01/2019 7:37 pm
Trusted Member

Yeah, I've been a mouthbreather for almost my entire life and have a very wide palate 

Posted : 20/01/2019 7:39 pm
Trusted Member

Her face is not that balanced. The right side is less wide than her left and the teeth on this side are significantly more tipped in than on her left side. The photo you chose gives the impression that her palate is narrow. There are other photos that show many more teeth in a smile than this. But really it is not her palate that is narrow it is that her teeth are tipped in, both sides. In your photo she is consciously hiding that unsightliness. My first guess is that she favours her left side for chewing and that she did this because her lower jaw or the positioning of the teeth in it was too narrow. It is unlikely that we’ll see them in a photo. This might occur if she lost a tooth in her lower jaw and the gap closed or was ill advisedly closed for her.

Posted : 20/01/2019 7:56 pm