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Why teeth should touch at rest  

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Lawnmewer
Active Member

Teeth contact has always been a controversial issue in this community. On the one hand you have John Mew saying it assists forward growth, but on the other hand you have most people on here saying that is incorrect. With this post I am not trying to say that I have the objectively correct answer to this problem, I'm going to argue why I personally think the teeth should be touching at rest. 

I strongly believe that we can improve our posture by learning from examples that do not suffer from most/all of the issues that we talk about on this forum. For example:  our ancestors, tribespeople, young children and, to a certain extent, animals.

Animals

The most obvious evidence supporting teeth contact is animals. If you have a cat you can try this, but make very sure you're not hurting it or making it uncomfortable. If you gently press your cats lower jaw against it's upper jaw with your fingers, you will notice that there won't be any movement in the jaws. This means it already has it's jaws making contact. If they were slightly apart, you would feel the jaws closing.

But obviously cat's are very different from humans, and have very different anatomy. So let's look at chimpanzees; human's closest relative. When they reveal their teeth, you can see that their teeth, or at least their molars, are touching:

My point is, most animals and all primates seem to have their jaws fully closed at rest, and I don't see why humans would be any different. That is unless of course someone has CFD, then it might cause problems simply because we didn't evolve to function with it.

Humans

If we look at our even closer relatives, other humans, we see something similar. Or at least, I'm convinced we do, because it's difficult to definitively prove through footage.
Here are some gifs I made that I think are indicative of closed jaws in tribespeople with good facial development:

It's very subtle, but in the first two gifs you can see that when the man separates his lips because he is about to start speaking, his teeth seem to be touching. It's even clearer when he is finished speaking, and his teeth clap together. The sudden stop when he moves his mandible up leads me to believe that it's making contact with maxilla. The third gif I think shows the same thing, as we can see her biting, and this gives us a reference of what the jaw looks like closed. If it looks the same at rest, it means when her teeth are touching at rest. We can also see this same small sudden stop of the lower jaw as in the first two gifs, again likely meaning her jaws are touching.

Another thing worth noting is that boxers are taught to slightly clench their teeth to help prevent jaw dislocation and knockouts. I thought that was worth mentioning, but it isn't intended to be a very important argument.

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Posted : 10/05/2020 5:54 pm
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PaperBag
Estimable Member

The difference between the people/animals in your examples and this community is that the former are reinforcing a properly developed bone structure, whereas most of those in favor of keeping teeth apart do so because they're trying to reset their occlusion. Keeping teeth closed most likely maintains the current bite, as it's not free to move.

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Posted : 10/05/2020 6:33 pm
Adam, Vyr9, Autokrator and 1 people liked
Thomas22
Trusted Member

My mal occlusion is so bad, I couldn't keep the together if I wanted to.

They only touch in passing, and on one side.

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Posted : 10/05/2020 9:21 pm
sinned
Estimable Member

I think it's too hard to tell with these photos and gifs if the teeth are touching or not.

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Posted : 10/05/2020 9:22 pm
EddieMoney
Reputable Member

Why touch teeth with a malocclusion?

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Posted : 10/05/2020 9:50 pm
Azrael
Estimable Member

@eddiemoney

Do you think it's okay for teeth to touch if the occlusion was perfect?

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Posted : 10/05/2020 11:33 pm
EddieMoney
Reputable Member

What's the chance of a perfect occlusion? Slim in many Western countries. Even your teeth are "aligned" who is to say that your skull position can result in even forces generated by this action? If you have a canted smile where your skull is rotated asymmetrically then your mandible won't drive forces in a sufficient manner, but rather keep the forces unbalanced.

Teeth apart allows the tongue to use force against the palate in a more even fashion. If body posture is mastered, the bones can possibly reposition and then maybe you can keep teeth together. But I don't see that as a possibility for most people.

The Mews are right though because teeth together does shorten the face. Problem is that if this force is too heavy on the molars it can clockwise rotate the maxilla. It pushes the midface out but it also weakens the facial height, causing a too boxy and broad appearance. 

Maybe the balance is somewhere between teeth contact through heavy chewing alternating with resting tongue posture. The chewing would serve to help the teeth fit together if done properly with even loads but the tongue at rest will aid with expansion to shape the arch.

Maybe teeth at rest may have to involve teeth adopting a new position relative to others. Maybe your mandible has to protract or retract as necessary to provide better forces at rest.

What I think everyone can agree on is if however you were touching your teeth messed your face up, you probably should adopt a different pattern. 

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Posted : 11/05/2020 2:38 am
EddieMoney
Reputable Member

I wanted to add: if your head posture is terrible, I would fix that before even worrying about teeth contact. If your neck is shortened or too elongated your jaws will not derive ideal forces. You can rotate your skull in a way where you tense muscles in an imbalanced way. Fix posture first then worry about how your bite should fit. But definitely don't keep the same position you've kept for life if you something is off. I get people want to avoid mouth breathing. Your face muscles can hold your jaw closed. 

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Posted : 11/05/2020 2:42 am
Gentleman
Active Member

Exactly my thoughts.

This reddit user did an experiment and made a conclusion that teeth should be together (Link).

Also,I believe the actor Joaquin Phoenix have crowded teeth due to poor tongue posture, yet very good facial structure. because his teeth are in contact.

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Posted : 11/05/2020 8:28 am
Gentleman
Active Member

Also, some people mouth breath during sleep only. Why they still have good facial structure? The answer is Teeth contact.

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Posted : 11/05/2020 8:36 am
sinned
Estimable Member

@gentleman

Genetics, some people will still be good looking even with CFD. Imo it's quite simple, your chewing muscles are at rest when they are not touching, I tried teeth in contact and I always inevitably clenched. In addition, when I was mewing I would have to clench in order to keep my teeth together, otherwise they would naturally come apart. Furthermore, most people have a malocclusion, some people can't even properly touch all their teeth.

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Posted : 11/05/2020 3:11 pm
EddieMoney
Reputable Member
Posted by: @gentleman

Exactly my thoughts.

This reddit user did an experiment and made a conclusion that teeth should be together (Link).

Also,I believe the actor Joaquin Phoenix have crowded teeth due to poor tongue posture, yet very good facial structure. because his teeth are in contact.

I had my teeth together all my life and was far from the best looking person in the room, let alone having normal facial development. Too many factors at play here. 

Also, girls can look beautiful with overbites (often caused my strong molar contact). Men otoh not so much .

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Posted : 11/05/2020 5:52 pm
Progress
Member Moderator
Posted by: @eddiemoney
Posted by: @gentleman

Exactly my thoughts.

This reddit user did an experiment and made a conclusion that teeth should be together (Link).

Also,I believe the actor Joaquin Phoenix have crowded teeth due to poor tongue posture, yet very good facial structure. because his teeth are in contact.

I had my teeth together all my life and was far from the best looking person in the room, let alone having normal facial development. Too many factors at play here. 

Also, girls can look beautiful with overbites (often caused my strong molar contact). Men otoh not so much .

There could be a crucial difference between engaging the masticatory muscles in order to keep the teeth together and setting up the intra-oral vacuum so that the mandible is pulled against the upper jaw.

 

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Posted : 11/05/2020 6:07 pm
auxiliary liked
auxiliary
Estimable Member
Posted by: @eddiemoney

What's the chance of a perfect occlusion? Slim in many Western countries. Even your teeth are "aligned" who is to say that your skull position can result in even forces generated by this action? If you have a canted smile where your skull is rotated asymmetrically then your mandible won't drive forces in a sufficient manner, but rather keep the forces unbalanced.

Teeth apart allows the tongue to use force against the palate in a more even fashion. If body posture is mastered, the bones can possibly reposition and then maybe you can keep teeth together. But I don't see that as a possibility for most people.

The Mews are right though because teeth together does shorten the face. Problem is that if this force is too heavy on the molars it can clockwise rotate the maxilla. It pushes the midface out but it also weakens the facial height, causing a too boxy and broad appearance. 

Maybe the balance is somewhere between teeth contact through heavy chewing alternating with resting tongue posture. The chewing would serve to help the teeth fit together if done properly with even loads but the tongue at rest will aid with expansion to shape the arch.

Maybe teeth at rest may have to involve teeth adopting a new position relative to others. Maybe your mandible has to protract or retract as necessary to provide better forces at rest.

What I think everyone can agree on is if however you were touching your teeth messed your face up, you probably should adopt a different pattern. 

I think with proper tongue posture, it is the tongue and it's extrinsic muscles that keep the mandible from falling and not muscles of mastication.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11/05/2020 7:45 pm
Fred
 Fred
Estimable Member

Light contact could make a difference. The braces that I have reduced contact and know they're lightly resting on eachother. I speculate that this is what caused the mysterious room in the upper back of my mouth to be created. 

Having fit masseters helps with keeping your teeth in light contact because it's passively bringing your mandible up without much thought or any at all. 

What does grinding and pressing hard against your teeth do? It reduces the height of your lower jaw and shortens your teeth. 

Light contact is proper and optimal. You're not causing any asymmetry to develop and it harmonizes the movement between the maxilla with the mandible by locking onto one another.

What do you think about that?

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Posted : 11/05/2020 8:14 pm
Robbie343
Trusted Member

@fred

i can see how it can reduce the height of the teeth but how does it make the actual jaw itself shorter? I recall bruxism causing a big ramus in another thread. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11/05/2020 10:05 pm
Thomas22
Trusted Member
Posted by: @lawnmewer

Teeth contact has always been a controversial issue in this community. On the one hand you have John Mew saying it assists forward growth, but on the other hand you have most people on here saying that is incorrect. With this post I am not trying to say that I have the objectively correct answer to this problem, I'm going to argue why I personally think the teeth should be touching at rest. 

I strongly believe that we can improve our posture by learning from examples that do not suffer from most/all of the issues that we talk about on this forum. For example:  our ancestors, tribespeople, young children and, to a certain extent, animals.

Animals

The most obvious evidence supporting teeth contact is animals. If you have a cat you can try this, but make very sure you're not hurting it or making it uncomfortable. If you gently press your cats lower jaw against it's upper jaw with your fingers, you will notice that there won't be any movement in the jaws. This means it already has it's jaws making contact. If they were slightly apart, you would feel the jaws closing.

But obviously cat's are very different from humans, and have very different anatomy. So let's look at chimpanzees; human's closest relative. When they reveal their teeth, you can see that their teeth, or at least their molars, are touching:

My point is, most animals and all primates seem to have their jaws fully closed at rest, and I don't see why humans would be any different. That is unless of course someone has CFD, then it might cause problems simply because we didn't evolve to function with it.

Humans

If we look at our even closer relatives, other humans, we see something similar. Or at least, I'm convinced we do, because it's difficult to definitively prove through footage.
Here are some gifs I made that I think are indicative of closed jaws in tribespeople with good facial development:

It's very subtle, but in the first two gifs you can see that when the man separates his lips because he is about to start speaking, his teeth seem to be touching. It's even clearer when he is finished speaking, and his teeth clap together. The sudden stop when he moves his mandible up leads me to believe that it's making contact with maxilla. The third gif I think shows the same thing, as we can see her biting, and this gives us a reference of what the jaw looks like closed. If it looks the same at rest, it means when her teeth are touching at rest. We can also see this same small sudden stop of the lower jaw as in the first two gifs, again likely meaning her jaws are touching.

Another thing worth noting is that boxers are taught to slightly clench their teeth to help prevent jaw dislocation and knockouts. I thought that was worth mentioning, but it isn't intended to be a very important argument.

I conducted an inadvertent experiment today.

I have a bad open bite, and my teeth will only touch when I'm wearing both my upper and lower DNA Appliance. This morning I wore the upper, and this evening I put in the lower as well.

 I felt no pressure at the bridge of my nose all day, but two hours after putting my lower in, I felt pressure. Bones under stress grow. Forward growth at the bridge of the nose is a consistent results of the DNA Appliance and the Homeoblock.

 I would conclude, that mewing is essential for a broad palate, but to really promote growth, you probably need to keep your jaw closed as well. Because the force transmitted will be so much higher. But you can't keep your jaw closed, unless you have good occlusion, which requires mewing.

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Posted : 12/05/2020 12:51 am
Fiver liked
auxiliary
Estimable Member
Posted by: @fred

Light contact could make a difference. The braces that I have reduced contact and know they're lightly resting on eachother. I speculate that this is what caused the mysterious room in the upper back of my mouth to be created. 

Having fit masseters helps with keeping your teeth in light contact because it's passively bringing your mandible up without much thought or any at all. 

What does grinding and pressing hard against your teeth do? It reduces the height of your lower jaw and shortens your teeth. 

Light contact is proper and optimal. You're not causing any asymmetry to develop and it harmonizes the movement between the maxilla with the mandible by locking onto one another.

What do you think about that?

I don't think masseters are good to tense, they cause clockwise rotation of maxilla. Also they're not postural muscles, like the temporalis are.

By the way a good argument for teeth together is that a lot of people I know with good facial structure all have very straight teeth and obvious dental attrition, however they eat a soft food diet and their chewing is minimum...

I think which muscles are used is important, some bruxism patients look bad, some good. Many of them show different types of growths...

Usually the ones with wide gonial width look worse and have a very short face.

Also this is off-topic, but anyone else amazed how much the masseters can grow in bruxism patients? Is constant tension in muscle the legit way to build tons of muscle? Max volume, lol.

By the way here's a patient with high amount of temporalis usage, notice the cheekbones though...

I've personally had a ton of cheekbone growth from temporalis usage, but I wouldn't say it's aesthetic, kind of makes whole face looks bloated. Also a lot of korean surgeons cut the cheekbones to achieve a more defined face.

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Posted : 12/05/2020 5:50 am
PolHolmes
Eminent Member

@auxiliarus

Do you think there's a difference between cheekbone hypertrophy such as the woman in the photo, and cheekbone (projection?) which is gained through having a wider dental arch?

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Posted : 12/05/2020 8:46 am
auxiliary
Estimable Member
Posted by: @polholmes

@auxiliarus

Do you think there's a difference between cheekbone hypertrophy such as the woman in the photo, and cheekbone (projection?) which is gained through having a wider dental arch?

1) Widening dental arch through mewing shouldn't increase zygomatic width. At least I can't find a possible way for the palatoglossus to widen the zygomatic width.

2) I don't think zygo width is related to zygo projection though, I think having a forward grown maxilla increases zygo projection visually.

But then again, we don't have x-rays of non-recessed vs recessed, who knows what changes happen, all I know is the biggest change is probably ramus length.

The mew line is supposed to be a good indicator of maxilla recession, yet I have a good mew line, indicating no recession, yet mandible is still slightly recessed.

 

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Posted : 12/05/2020 9:13 am
ayla mao
Active Member
Posted by: @progress

There could be a crucial difference between engaging the masticatory muscles in order to keep the teeth together and setting up the intra-oral vacuum so that the mandible is pulled against the upper jaw.

this

Posted by: @auxiliarus

I think with proper tongue posture, it is the tongue and it's extrinsic muscles that keep the mandible from falling and not muscles of mastication.

and this too

 

With a proper intra oral vacuum your jaws wil close and teeth will keep in contact without any clenching at all because you're not using (at least not actively) masticatory muscles to keep the jaw and teeth in a closed position.

Do take a look at this study as it explains intra oral vacuum very nicely.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3056003/#__ffn_sectitle

And you will want to keep your teeth in contact especially if you have malocclusion. As your tongue expands your upper palate (and with that your upper teeth) the contact will move your lower teeth as well.

So your tongue expands upper arch and the upper arch expands lower arch through teeth contact. The mandible itself can widen at the outside edges because of masseters or condyle remodelling, but this type of jaw "expansion" will not affect your lower arch width.

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Posted : 13/05/2020 10:09 am
moemoe liked
Basim
Eminent Member

I keep my teeth in light contact even with a over and cross bite. And what I noticed from this is that my bite is starting to be more symmetrical as I have perfect occlusion on my right side compared to left with slight larger gaps and my lower teeth being slightly crowed even with a such a narrow palate. But over time I have felt a balance between my masseter and temporalis muscles by keeping my teeth light contact with my molars while pushing my whole tongue on my palate.

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Posted : 25/05/2020 4:02 pm
auxiliary
Estimable Member
Posted by: @eddiemoney

What's the chance of a perfect occlusion? Slim in many Western countries. Even your teeth are "aligned" who is to say that your skull position can result in even forces generated by this action? If you have a canted smile where your skull is rotated asymmetrically then your mandible won't drive forces in a sufficient manner, but rather keep the forces unbalanced.

Teeth apart allows the tongue to use force against the palate in a more even fashion. If body posture is mastered, the bones can possibly reposition and then maybe you can keep teeth together. But I don't see that as a possibility for most people.

The Mews are right though because teeth together does shorten the face. Problem is that if this force is too heavy on the molars it can clockwise rotate the maxilla. It pushes the midface out but it also weakens the facial height, causing a too boxy and broad appearance. 

Maybe the balance is somewhere between teeth contact through heavy chewing alternating with resting tongue posture. The chewing would serve to help the teeth fit together if done properly with even loads but the tongue at rest will aid with expansion to shape the arch.

Maybe teeth at rest may have to involve teeth adopting a new position relative to others. Maybe your mandible has to protract or retract as necessary to provide better forces at rest.

What I think everyone can agree on is if however you were touching your teeth messed your face up, you probably should adopt a different pattern. 

What about my thread discussing the sphenomandibularis muscle? This muscle can create upwards forces on front teeth, wouldn't that make the maxilla remain stable without rotation.

 

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Posted : 25/05/2020 4:27 pm
bulkebro
Active Member

I get your argument for teeth together but I literally cannot rest with my molars especially together unless I very very forcefully pull my lower jaw back into occlusion, the second I go to sleep i wake up with a damn underbite cause my lower jaw slides forward so much in its relaxed state. This does not seem to cause me to seperate my lips at all during sleep but it prevents me from resting my teeth together

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Posted : 26/05/2020 6:42 am
Yusu
 Yusu
Eminent Member

I am mewing 1,5 years with teeth apart, solid results

But I still don't know if I should try it with teeth together, because I have a midline deviration. But my molars fit almost perfectly together so idk

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Posted : 26/05/2020 6:58 am