Disc Displacement in the Jaw Joint is not an illness

Between the head of the jaw joint and the facies articularis there is a flexible disc, the so-called discus artricularis. As the jaw opens this disc should ideally always slide forward with the head of the jaw bone, thereby keeping the bony parts of the jaw joint apart.
As the jaw closes, the two elastic bands of the bilaminar zone pull the disc back again, so that it stays on the jaw joint during all the different phases of jaw movement. However, the bilaminar zone bands of the human jaw often stretch slightly, so that the disc can no longer be held on the head of the jaw bone but actually lies just in front of it.

The protruding jaw disc is often dramatizingly called anterior disc displacement. As the jaw opens, the head of the jawbone slides back under the disc which can cause a clicking sound. As the jaw closes, the disc generally slips back from the head of the jawbone without making any noise at all. In the past it was generally thought that an anterior disc displacement or, more accurately, a protruding disc, was an illness because this was something that would always lead to arthritis or arthrosis. But today we know that a protruding disc is not an illness. This is something that can be found in about 30% of the adult population using MRT imaging although for most of these people, it will never result in any kind of illness. A protruding disc with or without an accompanying clicking noise is nothing more than a harmless change like the ageing of our skin. A protruding disc does not usually lead to any symptoms but, where it does, they are generally mild and temporary. A displacement of the front or anterior disc is not a reason in itself for any ongoing diagnosis or treatment of any kind. Tip: some doctors recommend very extensive, risky and expensive treatment to reposition a protruding disc. Such treatment makes no sense at all and should definitely not be agreed to! It is just bad luck that the jaw joint is situated so close to the inner ear so people who are affected by this complaint are actually very aware of it because the noise is conducted through the bones. This explains why almost 100% of the entries about clicking joints in medical databases are related to the jaw.

People affected by this complaint are often very worried because the noise is so noticeable. However, we can now say to these people with a clear conscience that any clicking of the jaw can simply be ignored and that it does not normally result in any kind of illness. The noise actually changes over time, becoming either louder or quieter and can even disappear completely. But this clicking noise should never give any serious cause for concern.