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Stephen K Williams DDS | TMJ Treatment in Bicknell

Stephen K Williams DDS and Associates

511 W 11th St
Bicknell, IN 47512


(812) 735-2020

TMJ Treatment

TMJ Treatment

Stop headaches and jaw popping


dr_mature.jpgWhen he decided to re-open his dental practice, Dr. Williams also decided to expand his training and skills. With leading specialists Dr. Jay Gerber and Dr. Mariano Rocabado, he studied new methods for diagnosing and treating problems related to jaw and tooth alignment.  Those new treatment options and full diagnostics are now available to you here in the Vincennes area, in Dr. Williams' Bicknell office.

"TMJ" is short for "TemporoMandibular Joint," which is the jaw joint that allows you to open and close your mouth. Neuromuscular dentistry is the science that Dr. Williams uses to find the ideal position or range of positions for this joint, and the system of treatment that he uses to correct non-optimal jaw positions.

By aligning your jaw, we can end your pain

Dr. Williams strives to treat the whole problem and give you a higher quality of life by aligning your jaw in the most comfortable position possible. Posture throughout the body is affected by the jaw and jaw function.

You can have relief from your jaw and bite problems, right here in Knox County!

Select a link to find out more about TMJ

Call us at 812-735-2020 to make an appointment or click here to request an appointment online.

What is Neuromuscular Dentistry / TMJ / TMD?

Neuromuscular dentistry considers the nerves, muscles and the correct positioning of the jaw. Your teeth, joints, muscles and nerves all work together in the proper alignment and functioning of the jaw. When any part of this equation is overlooked, painful conditions such as TMJ disorders and serious dental problems can develop.

TMJ disorder diagram

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What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder?

Many people suffer from TMJ problems without realizing that the jaw joint is the cause. Some of the signs of TMJ disorder include:

  • Headaches, often misdiagnosed as migraines.

  • Sore jaw muscles and joints, especially right after waking up in the morning.

  • Shoulder, neck or back pain.

  • Numbness in arms and fingers.

  • Clicking and/or popping sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth.

  • Chewing surfaces are flat and/or worn down through the tooth enamel. This exposes the second, soft and yellow layer of the tooth.

  • Incisal edges of teeth are worn and sensitive to cold or tooth brushing.

  • Loose or broken teeth, crowns or bridges for no particularly obvious reason.

  • Facial pain.

  • Grinding or clenching teeth.

  • Ringing ears.

Call us at 812-735-2020 to make an appointment or click here to request an appointment online.

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Some causes of TMJ disorder

  • Trauma.

  • Repetitive unconscious jaw movements called teeth grinding or bruxism.

  • Teeth are not aligned properly (i.e. upper and lower teeth do not fit together and contact in the proper place).

  • Failure to replace missing teeth, and the resultant facial and joint collapse.

  • Excessive gum chewing or nail biting.

  • Jaw trusting – a habit of moving the jaw forward, backward, or side to side.

  • Arthritis or other disease or lesions of the joint.

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Treating TMJ


Assisting patients with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) is one of Dr. Williams' treatment specialties, and in many cases he can relieve pressure, headaches and jaw pain that does not respond to other types of treatment.

At your initial exam with Dr. Williams, he will examine your jaw as well as the state of your teeth and gums to locate any signs of mal-occlusion (lack of alignment of your teeth and jaw bones). Using the K-7 Jaw Tracking Computer, Dr. Williams will determine the ideal position for your jaw when the muscles are relaxed and comfortable. The computer helps him determine the exact position that your jaw should be for proper bite.

Based on these results, Dr. Williams can develop an individual treatment plan for you to get your jaw into proper alignment, which will greatly relieve your TMJ symptoms.

Treatment options for TMJ

If you are diagnosed with TMJ / TMD, Dr. Williams will discuss your treatment options with you, and help you to decide the best way to fully terminate your symptoms.

  • Relieving the pain and muscle spasms.

  • Using a technology called ULF-TENS (which stands for Ultra Low Frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation), Dr. Williams can simply and gently relax the jaw muscles with gentle electronic massage. This increases blood flow and stimulates the body’s natural production of endorphins. Your relaxed muscles allow your jaw joints to fall easily and naturally into their correct position, and your pain is relieved.

  • Stabilizing the bite.

  • In many cases, Dr. Williams can stabilize your bite and stop symptoms such as teeth grinding and clenching by using using an "orthotic" – a temporary plastic device that is carefully fitted to your mouth, and fits over the teeth. Once the bite is stabilized, long-term management of you TMJ Disorder can begin.

  • Long-term solutions.

  • There are many ways to keep the permanent bite in alignment, and Dr. Williams is an expert at determining the simplest and most effective way to do that for you.  Whether he suggest reshaping the enamel of the teeth, installing permanent orthotic devices, installing reconstructive crowns or using bioliners, or other orthodontics to correct your bite, you can be sure that your treatment plan will be one that will give you the relief that you want.

If you are concerned about your jaw, teeth or have unsolved headache problems, come in to see Dr. Williams for a consultation. He can help you determine if TMJ treatment is right for you.

Call us at 812-735-2020 to make an appointment or click here to request an appointment online.

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More about TMJ

In many cases the first time a person realizes they have TMJ is when they get a painful popping in their jaw or their jaws lock up and will not open and close properly. These are both extreme instances and cases of TMJ can and should be diagnosed much earlier. Some of the specific situations Dr. Williams looks for include:

Bruxism (grinding teeth) – Many people clench and grind their teeth at night without knowing it. This can be because the person's teeth don't line up properly or even because their muscles are too tight to allow the joint to move freely.

Occlusion (tooth alignment) – More serious problems with TMJ start simply with a person's teeth not aligning properly, giving them a bite that feels off in a given direction. This can worsen over time, and can often be handled simply by locating the teeth in the mouth that don't fit properly and adjusting these with a new crown or veneer. In some cases braces or ClearCorrect may be a better solution.

Headaches – Unexplained headaches can come from malocclusion. When you bite down forcefully your teeth may not come together properly, and this forces your jaw backwards. The lower jaw moves and this can pinch the nerves and blood vessels. Your jaw is ultimately connected to a nerve which runs to your temples, and this can be a source of headaches or migraines.

There are many treatment options for TMJ / TMD disorders. The best way to find the treatment plan that is right for you is to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Williams.

Call us at (812) 757-4173 to schedule a no-charge consultation or click here to request an appointment online.

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Bicknell Dentist | TMJ Treatment. Stephen K. Williams is a Bicknell Dentist.