The mouth is a complicated thing. It has many functions: talking, eating, loving and back-up breathing. It’s the gateway to your internal body. It’s the place where you most often leave a first and last impression. It’s the only place in your whole body where there is a break in the surface - at the mucosa: where the teeth have pushed through the gums. Teeth enamel is the hardest substance of the body. Similar to hair and nails,  

enamel is not alive, but different to hair and nails, it cannot regrow if damaged or cut (so please look after your enamel throughout life!)  

The mouth houses the tongue, the most movable structure of the body, with the second strongest muscles of the body (the hip flexors are generally the strongest). It’s the only place where there are nerves for feeling, tasting AND moving. Saliva lubricates, transmits flavour to taste buds, aids chewing and food digestion, and helps prevent nasty bugs getting into our system via the gut, or via that break between the gums and teeth.  

The mouth gives us plenty of ways to enjoy pleasure via oral stimulation! Babies use this to discover the world around them, always putting things in their mouths. As we get older this can become more difficult to do or enjoy. Here’s why and how dentists can help you improve your ability to give and receive oral pleasure! 


1​.  Jaw Muscle Tension

 Most of us hold tension in our jaw muscles. We rarely open our mouths very wide during daily life. We cut up food into small bite-sized pieces, or more often these days, mix it into a smoothie and suck it through a straw. Laughing out loud is more an LOL acronym or emoji conveyed via text than actually done in reality. Clenching and grinding of teeth aka bruxism during the day from stress, or at night often related to sleep breathing problems or from eating big meals just before sleeping, is becoming more and more common amongst adults. Over time, jaw muscles get tight, jaw joints can get stiff, reducing the comfortable range of motion of mouth opening.  

What you can do to relieve jaw muscle tension  

Manage your stress. Have breaks from digital devices. Get a good night’s sleep. Do at least 20 minutes of moderate daily exercise. Avoid eating large dinners within 2-3 hours of going to bed, have bigger lunches instead. Practice opening your mouth as wide as you can - you should be able to comfortably fit 2-3 fingers in your mouth vertically as a guide - and hold it open and count to 10. You can increase the time with regular practice.  

What a dentist can do to relieve jaw muscle tension  

Dentists can assess and diagnose the specific reason why the tension has developed. They can make sure you don’t have a dental sleep breathing problem, or if you do, help you take steps to assist improving this condition that can reduce jaw bruxism and tension. Some have extra training in orofacial myology, or have an dental therapist  

assistant who does, and can give you jaw exercises to build muscle length and strength, relieving tension and pain.  ​How relieving jaw tension will improve oral sex No more tired, sore jaw muscles developing quickly and cutting your fun short! It takes practice to build up stamina, but the rewards are worth the effort :-) 

2​. Tongue Tie 

Tongue ties are an unusually tight band of connective tissue joining the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Affected people generally have trouble putting the tip of their tongue on the roof of their mouth. Or may not be able to poke their tongue out much beyond their lips. In some cases, the tongue will have a little dimple in the tip when they do poke it forward. Tongue ties are present from birth. It can impair correct adult swallowing patterns developing and result in a tendency to mouth breathing, particularly at night. Sufferers may swallow air frequently, resulting in loud stomach and digestive gurgling sounds.  

What you can do to help a tongue tie  

Have a look in the mirror. Try and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, then poke it out as far as you can. If it doesn’t reach the roof, or it’s a real strain, or you can’t get It much past your lips, you may have a tongue tie. You’ll need to see a dentist with training in tongue tie treatment for further help.  

What a dentist can do to help a tongue tie  

Dentists are increasingly assessing tongue function when you have a general checkup. Tongue ties can affect sleep breathing and are related to jaw bruxism that can cause excessive wear and breakage of teeth. Some have lasers to cut the tie and can give you specific exercises to help the wound heal with little scarring and  to train the tongue to move more freely.  ​How releasing a tongue tie will improve oral sex Cutting tongue ties can greatly improve tongue mobility and function, resolving any symptoms and increasing play fun! 

3. ​Blocked Nose  

When your mouth is occupied with food or loving, it’s natural to breath through your nose while continuing with the activity. However many people have blocked noses making it difficult to hold anything in their mouth for longer than 30 seconds. The reasons for a blocked nose can be numerous and ultimately it’s the job of the ENT surgeon to resolve it. Breathing through the mouth is supposed to be a back up option only and doesn’t develop the same pressures to stimulate correct and effective chest breathing for maximum lung oxygen exchange as nose breathing does.  

What you can do to help nose breathing  

Practice breathing through your nose with your mouth closed. Sinus, hay fever, colds and flus can temporarily clog the nasal passages with mucus. Reducing dairy and soy intake has been shown to reduce mucus production. Using a menthol inhalation, salt water irrigation or other OTC (over-the-counter) products, symptomatic relief may be achieved. If not, or for other causes, such as the shape of the nasal cavities, a professional opinion will be needed.  ​How a dentist can help with nose breathing A dentist with training in dental sleep medicine can provisionally diagnose things such as a deviated septum, sinus blockages and increased turbinate size from an OPG or CBCT radiograph Xray. These are structural issues that may require surgical treatment by an ENT doctor. A dentist will also assess other functional causes of mouth breathing tendency, such as tongue tie or swollen tongue.  

How unblocking your nose will improve oral sex  

Just like playing a woodwind musical instrument, being able to breath through your nose while using your mouth for extended periods of time is key to play success!  

4. Swollen Tongue  

In Chinese medicine, a swollen tongue has long been associated with a person who consumes too much diary, soy, raw foods, alcohol or fried foods. They call it damp accumulation. Often there are teeth marks along the sides of the tongue too, indicative of bruxism (teeth clenching or grinding). There can be a thicker white or yellowish coat on the upper surface of the tongue. This tongue presentation is increasingly associated with sleep breathing problems such as obstructive sleep apnea in western medical science. [Note the correlation between high diary diets and blocked noses above]. A  

swollen tongue leaves little room in the mouth for breathing, chewing food properly or play.  

What you can do to help reduce a swollen tongue  

Reduce consumption of “damp” producing foods: dairy, mylk alternatives, raw foods, chilled foods, alcohol and fried foods and see what happens...  

What a dentist can do for a swollen tongue  

A dentist can assess you for the common signs of a dental sleep medicine issue. They can refer you off for a sleep study and/or ENT surgeon assessment. They can make you a splint if appropriate. Addressing all causes of a swollen tongue will help it to reduce in size over time.  

How reducing a swollen tongue size improve oral sex  

More space to breathe and play! Simple baby!  

5. Crowded Teeth  

Crowded teeth are not a symptom of a small jaw, as commonly believed. Rather a small jaw with crowded teeth are a symptom of a poor diet usually high in sugar, processed foods and allergens that lead to mouth breathing and the jaw to grow down, narrow and long, rather than forward and wide with plenty of space for the teeth to fit in straight. Some will argue they’ve inherited their crowded teeth from their parents. Actually, they’re  more likely to have inherited their parents eating habits that lead to crowded teeth being passed along the generations. Crowded teeth are a sign of a small mouth.  

What you can do about crowded teeth  

Once you’re an adult and the teeth are fully erupted in place, not much without visiting a dentist to be honest. So visit a dentist.  

What a dentist can do about crowded teeth  

A dentist with orthodontics training, or an orthodontist ( a specialist dentist for straightening crowded teeth) can use fixed and removable appliances to expand the jaws and straighten teeth, even for adults.  

How fixing crowded teeth will improve oral sex  

Straight teeth feel better, they get in the way less. Studies are showing it improves nasal breathing (see above), and there’s more room for the tongue and other things involved in quality oral play.  

6. Mouth Sores  

Ulcers, gum inflammation and disease is a big turn off for getting intimate. That’s how STD’s spread people! I’ve worked all over Australia and I’ve got to hand it to the gay guys, in my experience of working in an inner Sydney dental practice, they have the healthiest gums around, and they understand why: nobody wants HIV, herpes or gonorrhoea inhibiting their sex play.  

Ulcers develop from stress or reactions to certain foods, commonly the nightshades or chilli. Unhealthy gums develop from smoking and not flossing.  Gum disease is also related to poorly controlled chronic systemic conditions such as diabetes, gut problems, cardiovascular conditions and more.  

What you can do to prevent mouth sores  

Get healthy. Quit smoking (seriously who wants to get sexy with smokers mouth anyway?). Start flossing daily. Manage your stress. Avoid triggering foods such as hot and spicy, tomatoes, eggplant and other nightshades. Learn to look out for swollen red gums or mouth sores in potential sex partners.  

What a dentist can do about mouth sores  

A dentist can make sure ulcers are not a symptom of something more sinister such as mouth cancer (so if you have mouth sores for longer than 2 weeks you really should get checked by a dentist). Dentists can diagnose and treat gum disease with deep tissue cleaning and tailored home care tools. Sometimes they’ll refer you to a periodontist - a specialist dentist for gums - for surgical management.  

How resolving mouth sores improves oral sex  

There should be a golden rule between sex play partners: swollen red gums or mouth ulcers = no sex.  

Get healthy to get sexy without transmitting STDs.  

7​. Dry Mouth  

Saliva is what makes the tongue go around, the food go around, the love go around. Trying to kiss, or do anything when your mouth feels like sandpaper is far from fun. Ask anyone who has had radiotherapy to their head or neck - nightmare! There are a number of medications that contribute to dry mouth, and dry mouth is more common with advancing age. Dehydration is also a common cause.  

What you can do to help ease a dry mouth  

Stay well hydrated with water. Avoid diuretic drinks such as alcohol and coffee, or soft drinks like cola that encourage you to drink more as they don’t tend to quench thirst. There’s some acupressure points on the index fingers that can increase salivation in many people. Check out the free video here. OTC saliva replacing products from a pharmacy can be beneficial, but often expensive.  

What a dentist can do to help a dry mouth  

A dentist can make sure your salivary gland function is adequate. They can talk with your doctors about changing medications to ones that are less likely to produce a dry mouth. They can share tips and tricks to help replace saliva personalised to your specific circumstances. This is not an easy situation folks.  

How plenty of saliva can improve oral sex  

One word: lubrication. Saliva generally tastes better than the fake stuff ... unless it’s chocolate or strawberry flavoured!  

Good luck and best wishes for improving your oral sex lives and lives in general!  

Dr Ranjan  is a Specialist dentist and founder of Smart care dental  You can organise an online video consultation for more personalised info.  

All health information in this article is of a general nature only and does not replace the specific advice given to you following a professional health practitioner consultation.