Through Clenched Teeth: Explaining the Reality of TMJ

By Kendra Holliday | June 22, 2011

Confession: I used to think women who said they had TMJ were just prudes trying to avoid giving blowjobs. Isn’t that awful on my part? My super kinky friend Minx Grrl who has TMJ kindly disabused me of this silly notion. Read on for more insight!

What is TMJ? What does TMJ stand for?

TMJ is Temporomandibular joint disorder. Wikipedia puts it best with “(TMJD or TMD), or TMJ syndrome, is an umbrella term covering acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the mandible to the skull. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain and impairment.” So in layman terms, a joint in our jaw can be inflamed and irritated causing pain, painful clicking of the jaw, hard time chewing food, earache, headache hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing of the ears) and more bad stuff. The temporomandibular joint is also susceptible to arthritis…yes, arthritis in the jaw is possible.

How do you get TMJ?

It can come one for a variety of reasons such as: grinding teeth, trauma, lack of over bite and degenerative diseases. I believe I got it from trauma since it wasn’t until I dislocated my jaw when the new and unwanted jaw problems began.

Is it common?

I know people with TMJ but it’s probably one person for every 50 I meet. I have found it is quite common among my porn making female friends though. Maybe from all the bj work gets to them after a while. I do know a girl that gave a blow job and was slapped in the face at the same time and her jaw has never been the same.

How long have you had it?

I think I was about 13 when I started feeling the pains in my jaw after I managed to dislocate it. I didn’t know what the popping or recurring pain in my jaw was until I was 18 when someone heard my jaw pop (it pops startlingly loud) and asked me if I had TMJ. I looked it up and was amazed to see that it fit quite a few of my symptoms so I finally had a name for my condition. So I have been dealing with TMJ for almost 13 years now.

What are the symptoms?

My symptoms are popping jaw, uncomfortable to open my mouth for large bites of food, cock, ball gags and so on. Occasionally I get the lovely ringing in the ears and sore jaw. My least favorite is if I do suck cock for five minutes or more, my jaw will begin to lock shut and refuse to open. I wont be able to fit a single finger into my mouth the next day which makes eating extremely difficult and it is ridiculously painful. Other people can have different symptoms like the headaches, earaches, tinnitus, lack of overbite, aching pain in the face, migraine, jaw pain, clicking of the jaw and difficulty chewing.

Does it affect you all the time, or do the symptoms come and go?

It is a bit of both actually. I don’t deal with pain on a normal basis unless I do something to irritate it. I can’t chew gum or it causes my jaw to lock up on me. So as long as I don’t take huge bites of food, huge cock in my mouth, ball gags or things of that nature, my jaw will generally be happy.

How does it affect your sex life?

It doesn’t even put a damper on my sex life. I have managed to find guys who aren’t that into blow jobs. I mean, they like them but it isn’t a staple in the bedroom by any means. My partner and I have an amazing sex life. He would much rather fuck me than get a bj. I can still lick and kiss cock, but a bj from start to finish is highly unlikely since it ends with me in agony from that moment up to three days.

How does it impact your kinky lifestyle?

Like I said with the sex life question, it doesn’t damper my kink life at all, mostly because I wont let it. As long as I stay away from large ball gags, I am fine. I can manage with bit gags as a substitute, but really what it comes down to is that there is no way I am going to let this TMJ hinder my sex or kink life. I avoid what causes me unwanted pain and just enjoy the rest of what won’t cause me that unwanted pain.

Can it be cured?

Well, it can be managed with surgeries of sorts which may cure it, but one can’t know that until the surgery is executed. There are a few types of surgeries but there are less drastic measures. The jaw can be repositioned with splints, exercising the jaw muscles, regular exercise to reduce the stress level which can keep the TMJ irritated.

What can be done to make it more manageable?

That will vary on what the severity of the condition is per person. To keep mine manageable, I stay away from things that cause my jaw to over extend, things that keep mouth open for extended periods of time or things that cause my jaw to work fast for long times (like chewing gum). It’s kind of a trial and error with finding what works for people with TMJ. Life is much better when the causes of that pain are avoided for me though.

Do men get TMJ? I only hear of women getting it.

Ha, yes, men get TMJ also. It is not a sexist disorder. I was just talking to a guy yesterday and turns out he and his girlfriend both have TMJ. I can speculate on why it doesn’t seem as prominent in men, but my guess is that straight men wouldn’t necessarily have to deal with opening wide for bjs or long periods of time like women do so its less likely they’d be in pain from it. Also, it’s not always severe. It can be an irritating click and nothing more to some people so why bother to bitch about it if it doesn’t actually cause pain.

Is it possible to give a blowjob with TMJ? Any advice?

Of course it is possible! I have found that if I give a handjob, I can incorporate my mouth to add the bj fun but not cause me constant pain. Short sucking times reduces how long my jaw is forced all the way open so I won’t be in nearly as much pain as I would be for a constant blowjob. So if I use both hands to give a hand job and do an occasional suck on the head or deep throat as a sexy extra treat, I can manage to give a handjob with a bj cherry on top.

I will only be able to do it a few times before I take a rest with my mouth and just keep it to hands, but once my jaw feels better I will go in for a couple more sucking times. I tell people, if it’s something that is important to you or your partner, you can make it work. Or just delegate that task to other people if it’s not your thing.


eric1743 2011-06-22 10:11:32

My wife is anything but a prude, but she has rather bad TMJ. Being a slut and a clarinet/saxophone player, it really does impact her daily life. That being said we have an amazing sex life even without blowjobs. They’ve never been something I’ve craved or needed to get off. But if I’m ever in that mood we have a girlfriend who prides herself on her oral talents about 45 minutes away. Poly is fun 🙂


Buddha 2011-06-22 20:22:33

Oh wow. I’m sorry you experience pain like that. Sounds awful.


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