Six-Foot Tiger, Three-Foot Cage
By Felix Liao, DDS
What happens when the jaw bones, the maxilla and the mandible, do not develop to their full size? For one thing,
as Dr. Price taught us, the teeth will not have enough room to come in straight; they will be crooked and there may be an overbite or an underbite.
Dr. Felix Liao takes another tack, by focusing on the tongue. If the mouth is too small, but the tongue is of normal
size—or worse, enlarged due to hypothyroidism—you have a six-foot tiger in a three-foot cage. That caged-up tiger can cause all sorts of problems, such as difficulty swallowing, sleep apnea, shortage of oxygen, hormone disruption including low testosterone, high blood pressure, poor posture and back pain. That tiger is trapped, and its owner feels trapped as well, under constant stress due to discomfort and lack of oxygen.
Some of the visible signs of this caged tiger include whites of the eyes showing between the lower eyelids and the
iris, flat cheekbones and reduced midface, an excessively prominent or deviated nose, a flat or sunken upper lip in profile (called Liao’s sign), wrinkles around the lips, weak chin, and a double chin or bulge in front of the neck.
Most of this fascinating book presents case studies of children and adults with underdeveloped jaws. Liao uses appliances to adjust the maxilla and mandible, followed by braces to straighten the teeth. Very often the patient has tongue tie, which needs to be corrected. The before and after photos should move us to be thankful for dentists like Dr. Liao, who by enlarging the mouth takes pressure off the tiger. Many intractable health problems clear up and the patient looks more attractive.
Liao recommends the WAPF Wise Traditions diet, although the book does not go into detail. A nutrient-dense diet
can support the dental treatment; but more importantly, the nutrient-dense Wise Traditions diet followed by both father and mother well before conception, continued through pregnancy and breastfeeding, and given to the child at weaning and throughout the period of growth, can prevent all these troubles in the first place. Six-Foot Tiger, Three-Foot Cage can serve as a practical guide to dentists and their patients, as well as a kind of warning and inspiration to prospective parents. All these problems can be prevented if the parents will educate themselves and eat properly in order to give the greatest of gifts to their children: optimal development and robust good health. Thumbs up!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2017.🖨️ Print post
After I heard Dr. Liao interviewed on the Wise Traditions podcast, way back in Episode #25, I was excited to read his book. I recently bought and read Six-Foot Tiger, Three-Foot Cage. I agree, thumbs up! We already know how important nutrient-dense nutrition is for the growing child, but what about those of us who grew up without ideal nutrition? Turns out there is hope for reshaping narrow faces. Not for cosmetic purposes (that is just a side effect), but to correct the structural defects that lead to mouth breathing, sleep apnea, and a whole host of other health conditions. Good information that I will definitely be sharing.
Teresa M. Scott, DDS says
Dr. Felix Liao is my mentor! He is such a wonderful teacher, and I’m so incredibly grateful that he gave me new eyes to see, and taught me new tools to help my patients recover their airways. This is a fantastic book, because he explains things in very good word pictures, so that by the end of the book, you can’t UNSEE what he taught in it. My life is forever changed.