Facial bones skeletal framework for the soft tissues of the face

Facial bones skeletal framework for the soft tissues of the face
Facial bones skeletal framework for the soft tissues of the face

There are six paired and two unpaired bones in the face making a total of 14 (fourteen) bones.

Their names are as follows.

  • Nasal bones paired
  • Maxillary bones paired
  • Lacrimal bones paired
  • Zygomatic bones paired
  • Palatine bones paired
  • Inferior Nasal Conchae paired
  • Vomer single
  • Mandible single

Nasal bones: They are two in number and they join in the midline to form the bridge of the nose.

Each nasal bone articulates with the frontal bone, ethmoid bone, with the opposite nasal bone and the maxilla.

nasal and maxillary bones

Maxillary bones: There are two maxillary bones.

They join each other in the midline to form the whole of the upper jaw.

Each maxilla contributes to the boundaries of three cavities-the roof of the mouth, the floor and sidewall of the nose, and the floor of the orbit.

It articulates with the frontal and ethmoid bones of the cranium.

It also articulates with the opposite maxilla, nasal, zygomatic, palatine, lacrimal, vomer, and inferior nasal conchal bones.

The body of the maxilla contains a cavity called the maxillary sinus.

The lower surface of the maxilla contains the cavities for the teeth.

There are eight cavities in each maxilla making up a total of sixteen cavities for the teeth of the upper jaw.

From the lower surface of the maxilla, a plate of bone projects inwards and joins with the similar plate of the opposite maxilla to contribute to the floor of the nose and roof of the mouth (hard palate).

The palatine bones join the maxillary bones at the back to complete the hard palate.

Lacrimal bones: they are two in number.

They are very small.

Each bone is situated in the inner wall of the orbit near the front.

The lacrimal bone articulates with the frontal, ethmoidal, maxilla, and inferior nasal concha.

Zygomatic bones: there are two of them.

The zygomatic bone contributes to the prominence of the cheek below the outer angle of the eye.

Each zygomatic bone articulates with the frontal, sphenoidal, temporal, and maxilla.

Palatine bones: They are two in number situated at the back of the nose behind the maxilla.

It contributes to the walls of three cavities-floor and sidewall of the nasal cavity, the roof of the mouth, and the floor of the orbit.

Each palatine articulates with the opposite palatine bone, the sphenoid, the ethmoid, maxilla, vomer, and the inferior nasal concha.

left palatine bone from behind
left palatine bone from from nasal side

Inferior Nasal Conchae: Two in number.

This is a curved bone situated in the sidewall of the nasal cavity.

Each concha articulates with four bones: the ethmoid, maxilla, lacrimal, and palatine.

inferior nasal concha

Vomer: This is a single bone and contributes to the nasal septum.

It articulates with the sphenoid, ethmoid, maxillae, and palatine bones.

Behind it has a free margin and separates the two nostrils.

vomer bone

Mandible: This bone forms the lower jaw.

It is a single bone.

It has a curved body that has cavities for the teeth of the lower jaw and two bony processes called rami (singular=ramus) which are nearly perpendicular to the body.

You can feel the body of the mandible over the chin and lower end of the cheeks.

The angle of the mandible can be felt a little below the ear.

mandible bone

The mandible articulates with both the temporal bones.

The ramus has a bony projection called condyle which fits into an articular surface on the temporal bone forming the temporomandibular joint.

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