We often take our health for granted until something doesn’t work properly or we are in pain. Swallowing and opening and closing your mouth are everyday activities — facilitated by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) — that you probably don’t even think about. Your TMJ is the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint becomes inflamed, it causes pain in your jaw as well as your face, neck and head, and makes eating and speaking difficult. This disorder is known as TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. It can affect your ability to do simple things such as talk, chew, and yawn.