I was having my teeth cleaned a while back and during one of the many times I was asked to crank open my mouth in order for them to recreate this Far Side cartoon the dentist asked me if I had any discomfort in my jaw. She pointed out that my jaw sort of pops when I open my mouth, like the hinge doesn’t operate smoothly, and I instantly — like, instantly, as though a wind-up string in my back had been released — made some sort of cringe-worthy blowjob joke, and she made a notation in my chart. Patient has issues with TMI. Also possibly TMJ.

I didn’t think much of it at the time (too busy calculating the best place to fling myself into traffic after that BJ comment) but in the last several days my jaw has gotten … stuck, I guess. Like occasionally I can’t open my mouth past a certain point. It doesn’t hurt, and it seems like a transitory thing, but it definitely impacts one of my greatest joys in life: wedging an endless glistening parade of veiny cocks into my food.

I don’t tend to picture myself as someone who bravely perseveres in the face of adversity. I’m more of a Lie In Bed Weakly Surfing Cat Photos Until Life’s Crushing Weight Lessens Just a Smidge person. But let me tell you, I have discovered great internal resolve when it comes to continuing to shovel in calories despite what amounts to a padlock on the front entryway. While a lesser woman might wait a few minutes for her jaw to return to its normal state of operation, I’ve found myself doggedly turning spoons sideways, slicing things into smaller pieces, and eating hunched over plates in case the portion I’m attempting gets partially rejected by my reduced food-hole. I also recently summoned the strength to chatter-teeth my way through pretty much an entire bag of overly dry beef jerky, despite muscle-seizing evidence that I should have gone for the yogurt instead. Steve Holt!

All in all, my endurance through these temporary bouts of increased eating difficulty levels remind me that I am capable of far more than I give myself credit for. Let the obituary read that she never, ever gave up on Bit-O-Honeys.


17 Responses to “Restricted movement”

  1. alexa on December 21st, 2015 10:13 am

    This happened to me last year. I have some TMJ that doesn’t really bother me much, but last year I slept wrong and my jaw was suddenly stuck and it didn’t feel good and also I couldn’t open my mouth or chew easily. Over the course of a few months it gradually got better…

    Anyway I felt compelled to comment because I mentioned it to my dentist when everything was almost back to normal and she freaked out and lectured me hard core. Apparently what you’re experience is very close to having your jaw dislocate and you should talk to you dentist about it RIGHT NOW. I was told very sternly (by my usually very jovial dentist) that I could have spent a lot of time in the ER with my dislocated jaw so next for the love of god call her.

    So you might want to give your dentist a call and see if they’re concerned (maybe mine is a bit of a worrywart…who knows).


  2. JanetS on December 21st, 2015 10:41 am

    I’ve had a similar experience with my jaw and every so often it still makes popping noises.

    I wear a night guard and apparently I was supposed to bring it to the dentist once a year to have the fit adjusted. Who knew?

    p.s. Please stop eating beef jerky. The thought of it makes MY jaw ache.

  3. Katharine on December 21st, 2015 10:42 am

    Gonna fly now!

  4. ML on December 21st, 2015 11:29 am

    True story: I was discussing my TMJ with the dentist. She said to avoid certain foods – like eating a lot of taffy (laughing, thinking that would be ridiculous). I had earlier that day ordered a 5lb bag of taffy from Amazon. Clearly, not letting it hold me back!

  5. Amy on December 21st, 2015 12:55 pm

    Yup, this sounds so familiar. I’ve had the same problem on and off for years. I have a nightguard to wear (dentist takes impressions and makes a hard plastic retainer) and it helps a lot. He also suggested doing an exercise where you make a fist and push up against the underside of your chin while simultaneously pushing down with your lower jaw. It’s supposed to strengthen the muscles so the joint doesn’t keep popping in and out. I don’t floss half the time so I pretty much never do the exercises. But don’t be like me!

  6. Amy on December 21st, 2015 12:57 pm

    P.S. — do you grind/clench your teeth while you sleep? That’s the cause of my version of this problem…

  7. LD's Mom on December 21st, 2015 2:24 pm

    You are HILARIOUS! This post had me cracking up from start to finish.

  8. sheilah on December 21st, 2015 2:56 pm

    heh…wondering what kind of hits you will get from google after that “…veiny …” remark. You are so funny.

  9. Gemma on December 21st, 2015 3:32 pm

    I had this too! I suffered through it for so long, but when I realised I physically couldn’t fit chocolate truffles into my mouth any more something had to be done! I ended up having an operation under general anaesthetic where the surgeon injected salt water into my jaw to flush it out, and now it’s much better.

  10. Anais on December 25th, 2015 11:58 am

    Love you for the Steve Holt comment!!! That show rules!!!

  11. Anonymous on December 27th, 2015 8:57 am

    This happened to me a few years ago, to the point where I had to put my toothbrush in sideways. I was confused, and rang my doctor and said “I… it doesn’t hurt, but … I think maybe I’ve dislocated my jaw…?” I was told that that would hurt a lot, and maybe to talk to my dentist. In the end I bought a mouthguard to stop myself clenching my teeth in my sleep. Then it made me gag, so I never used it, and just concentrated hard on relaxing my jaw at night. It seemed to work…

  12. Christine/Maud on December 27th, 2015 9:32 am

    Sorry, that Anonymous was me, I just forgot to fill in the fields because I was so anxious to tell my thrilling tale.

  13. Shawna on December 31st, 2015 8:10 am

    I fit the South Park Canadian stereotype: I’m renown amongst friends for the fact that I can fit my (admittedly small) fist entirely into my mouth. I have one friend that occasionally refers to my “flip-top head”. If I suddenly couldn’t open it enough for a bite of food I’d be seriously freaked out.

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    I hope there’s some short essay contest you can submit this to. Perfect from start to finish.

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  17. Courtney L on February 16th, 2016 9:29 am

    I can totally relate to this, I have recently developed a sweet sensitivity in my teeth. You’d think I’d just lay off the chocolate, but here I am trying to eat it with just my front teeth. This side, then quick, move it to the other side. Made it so clear how much I NEED CHOCOLATE!

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