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July 2, 1982

Clicking Sounds Owing to Temporomandibular Joint Injury

Author Affiliations

Emory University School of Dentistry Atlanta

JAMA. 1982;248(1):30. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330010014009

To the Editor.—  Byron J. Bailey, MD, stated some misconceptions about the function of the temporomandibular joint recently (1982;247:883). A patient was described who had a painless clicking sound develop in his right temporomandibular joint after biting down hard on a bagel one month previously. The clicking occurred whenever the patient chewed or opened his mouth wide, and it could be heard with or without a stethoscope. Clicking in association with temporomandibular joint function has been clearly shown to be caused by an abnormal relationship between the meniscus, the condyle, and the glenoid fossa.1 Usually the meniscus has been displaced anteriorly so that as the translatory phase of condylar movement occurs during jaw opening, the meniscus is trapped between the condyle and the articular imminence. As further attempts at opening are made, the synovial fluid in the anterior compartment of the inferior joint space and the meniscus are finally