Facial bones

Maxillary bones

The maxillary bones form the upper section of the jaw. The maxillary bones also contain the sockets for the upper set of teeth. These bones also form the base and sides of the nasal cavity, as well as forming the hard palate and the bottom of the orbits. The maxillary bones are connected to all the other stationary facial bones.

Mandibular bones

The mandible forms the lower portion of the jaw and is the biggest and most powerful bone in the face. The mandible is the only bone in the face which is able to move; this is achieved by the temporomanidbular joints. Muscles surrounding the mandible enable the jaw to move during a number of different actions. The mandible holds the sockets for the lower set of teeth.

Temporomandibular joint

There are two temporomandibular joints, which attach the mandible to the skull. The joint is made up of two components: the upper temporal bone and the mandible (lower jaw bone). The temporomandibular joints allow the jaw to move during actions such as talking, eating and yawning; ligaments surrounding the joint determine the range of movement around the jaw. The joint has an articular disc which allows a range of movement; when this disc becomes damaged movement may become restricted.

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