|Mandible. Outer surface. Side view|
|Mandible. Inner surface. Side view|
|Gray's||subject #44 172|
|Precursor||1st branchial arch|
The mandible (from Latin mandibūla, "jawbone") or inferior maxillary bone is, together with the maxilla, the largest and strongest bone of the face. It forms the lower jaw and holds the lower teeth in place.
The mandible consists of:
- a curved, horizontal portion, the body. (See body of mandible).
- two perpendicular portions, the rami, which unite with the ends of the body nearly at right angles. (See ramus mandibulae)
- Alveolar process, the tooth bearing area of the mandible (upper part of the body of the mandible)
- Condyle, superior (upper) and posterior projection from the ramus, which makes the temporomandibular joint with the temporal bone
- Coronoid process, superior and anterior projection from the ramus. This provides attachment to the temporalis muscle
- Mandibular foramen, paired, in the inner (medial) aspect of the mandible, superior to the mandibular angle in the middle of the ramus.
- Mental foramen, paired, lateral to the mental protuberance on the body of mandible.
Inferior alveolar nerve, branch of the mandibular division of Trigeminal (V) nerve, enters the mandibular foramen and runs forward in the mandibular canal, supplying sensation to the teeth. At the mental foramen the nerve divides into two terminal branches: incisive and mental nerves. The incisive nerve runs forward in the mandible and supplies the anterior teeth. The mental nerve exits the mental foramen and supplies sensation to the lower lip.
Mandibular fractures are often accompanied by a 'twin fracture' on the contralateral (opposite) side.
The mandible may be dislocated anteriorly (to the front) and inferiorly (downwards) but very rarely posteriorly (backwards).
- Bone terminology
- Terms for anatomical location
- Changes produced in the mandible by age
- Ossification of the mandible
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.
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