Originally Posted by Thelma-Louise
Splints are usually designed to cover the surface of teeth and alter the biting surface to either correct malocclusion, equalize an imbalanced bite or change the vertical dimesnion within the oral cavity or mouth - some are further designed to actually reposition the jaws to either allow more room for the tm joints and condyles to properly function or provide for better arch support for misaligned jaws and teeth.
The primary purpose of a retainer is to prevent teeth from shifting after othodontia treatment as most time the teeth will try to return to their former postions - most are not designed to alter how and where teeth meet and therefore are not designed to correct some deficiency but some however do have the affect of altering the movement of the tongue and jaw and for that reason they can have a similar affect of a splint. Not all retainers cover the surface of teeth - some are simply a removable or fixed wire positioned in front or behind teeth, however newer ones that do cover the surface of the teeth are designed to protect the teeth from the affects of possible clenching and grinding.
The fact that your teeth do not meet at all with the retainer in - yet the grinding sounds of cartilidge is reduced at that time suggests you need an increase in vertical dimension (height) or need to have your teeth repostioned to ensure proper jaw alignment and positioning however only a dentist trained in ortho and FJO with experience in treating tmj issues - like an orthopedic dentist if you will, would be able to determine exactly what is wrong.
I agree with Thelma-L. You definitely need an exam with a good tmjd specialist. Wearing retainers long term, or sporadically will not adress the issues you have. I know Dr. Peter Ferro, in Ny is a good FJO, and tmjd specialist. I don't know what the fees will be, but if you have ins., or if they can bill under MPD, Mayofacial pain disorder, you may get some covered. Good luck!! I am in treatment right now with a FJO, tmj specialsit if you have questions. Take care----J.. ps--I too got tmj from braces being done incorrectly back in 1990..it's been a long road..