You probably never think about your tongue — except right now, after you read that sentence.
But research shows that tongue placement in the mouth factors greatly into the shape of the face. Just has how poor spinal posture pulls the shoulders down, so too does poor tongue posture pull the bones of your face down.
If you care about the perceived attractiveness of your face, you should think about how you place your tongue.
When you breathe through your nose and rest the tongue against your palate, you’re practicing proper tongue posture. There are many reasons why many of us don’t practice do it regularly. Clogged sinuses or nasal irritation causes us to breathe through our mouths. Medical reasons may permanently force the mouth to stay slightly open.
And yet, the weight of gravity on the tongue, jaw, and cheeks impact bone alignment, and thus how your face looks.
The skull is not comprised of fixed bone. Rather, the skull contains fibrous joints called sutures that allow the bones of the skull to re-position over time. The bones of your upper teeth, nose and parts of your cheeks — also known as the maxilla — are held to the skull with several sutures.
When the tongue is placed against the roof of the mouth, the weight of the tongue pushes the maxilla up. The teeth, nose, and cheek bones are held up against the weight of gravity and they maintain their heightened position rather than be pulled down.
Pushing up on the maxilla raises the cheekbones and forces the face to grow more pronounced, rather than receded or forward. Since higher features such as sharp cheekbones and aligned faces typically convey greater beauty, tongue placement can shape the attractiveness of one’s face.
There’s secondary benefits to proper tongue posture as well. Closing the mouth forces nasal breathing, which has been shown to improve oxygen levels and memory consolidation. Tongue posture is one small adjustment to lead to major positive changes in people’s lives.
However, people need to adopt proper tongue habits before skull sutures fuse. Once fusion occurs, the bones of the skull maintain their placement forever.
Luckily for us students, the sutures in our skulls don’t close until we’re about 40, so there’s time to adapt proper tongue posture and achieve better bone structure as we age.
We barely notice a body part until it’s pointed out to us. Hopefully after reading this article, you’ll notice your tongue and achieve the positive effects of good tongue posture.