Mandible

Mandible: Anatomy & FunctionKey facts about the anatomy of the mandible, which is also known as the lower jaw bone.
~ 3 min

Let us examine the structure of the mandible (mandibula).

Mandible (mandibula)
Mandible (mandibula)

It is an unpaired bone involved in the formation of the temporomandibular joint.

The mandible has the following parts:

  • the body of the mandible (corpus mandibulae)

    Body of mandible (corpus mandibulae)
    Body of mandible (corpus mandibulae)
  • the ramus of the mandible (ramus mandibulae) – 2x.

Ramus of mandible (ramus mandibulae)
Ramus of mandible (ramus mandibulae)

The body of the mandible has two surfaces:

  • the external surface (facies externa)

  • the internal surface (facies interna) The inferior part of the body is the base of the mandible (basis mandibulae).

    Base of mandible (basis mandibulae)
    Base of mandible (basis mandibulae)

    The superior part of the body is called the alveolar arch (arcus alveolaris).

    Alveolar arch (arcus alveolaris)
    Alveolar arch (arcus alveolaris)

    This arch contains the dental alveoli (alveoli dentales), in which the teeth are located.

    Dental alveoli (alveoli dentales)
    Dental alveoli (alveoli dentales)

    On the external surface of the arch, the alveoli form socalled alveolar yokes (juga alveolaria).

    Alveolar yokes (juga alveolaria)
    Alveolar yokes (juga alveolaria)

    The alveoli are separated from each other by interalveolar septa (septa interalveolaria).

    Interalveolar septa (septa interalveolaria)
    Interalveolar septa (septa interalveolaria)

    In the anterior part of the body, there is a mental protuberance (protuberantia mentalis).

    Mental protuberance (protuberantia mentalis)
    Mental protuberance (protuberantia mentalis)

    At the bottom, on each side, it ends in a mental tubercle (tuberculum mentale).

    Mental tubercle (tuberculum mentale)
    Mental tubercle (tuberculum mentale)

    Somewhat above and to the rear of the tubercle lies the mental foramen (foramen mentale), containing the submental vessels and nerve.

    Mental foramen (foramen mentale)
    Mental foramen (foramen mentale)

    Further back, towards the branch of the mandible, the oblique line (linea obliqua) is located.

    Oblique line (linea obliqua)
    Oblique line (linea obliqua)

    It extends upward into the temporal crest (crista temporalis).

    On the internal surface of the body, along the median line, there is a mental spine (spina mentalis).

    Mental spine (spina mentalis)
    Mental spine (spina mentalis)

    Below it on each side lies the digastric fossa (fossa digastrica).

    Digastric fossa (fossa digastrica)
    Digastric fossa (fossa digastrica)

    Above it, on each side, lies the sublingual fossa (fovea sublingualis), which contains the sublingual gland.

    Sublingual fossa (fovea sublingualis)
    Sublingual fossa (fovea sublingualis)

    Underneath this fossa runs posteriorly the mylohyoid line (linea mylohyoidea).

    Mylohyoid line (linea mylohyoidea)
    Mylohyoid line (linea mylohyoidea)

    And under it, the submandibular fossa (fovea submandibularis) is located, containing the submandibular gland.

    Submandibular fossa (fovea submandibularis)
    Submandibular fossa (fovea submandibularis)

    The ramus of the mandible has two surfaces:

  • an external surface (facies externa)

  • an internal surface (facies interna) The transition from the body of the mandible to the ramus of the mandible is called the angle of the mandible (angulus mandibulae).

    Angle of mandible (angulus mandibulae)
    Angle of mandible (angulus mandibulae)

    On the external surface of the angle lies the masseteric tuberosity (tuberositas masseterica).

    Masseteric tuberosity (tuberositas masseterica)
    Masseteric tuberosity (tuberositas masseterica)

    And on the internal surface lies the pterygoid tuberosity (tuberositas pterygoidea).

    Pterygoid tuberosity (tuberositas pterygoidea)
    Pterygoid tuberosity (tuberositas pterygoidea)

    There are muscles attached to these tuberosities.

    Above the pterygoid tuberosity lies the mandibular foramen (foramen mandibulae).

    Mandibular foramen (foramen mandibulae)
    Mandibular foramen (foramen mandibulae)

    It extends into the mandibular canal (canalis mandibulae), which ends on the external surface of the body with the already mentioned mental spine. The inferior alveolar artery and the inferior alveolar nerve pass through this canal.

    Mandibular canal (canalis mandibulae)
    Mandibular canal (canalis mandibulae)

    The mandibular foramen is covered by the lingula (lingula mandibulae).

    Lingula (lingula mandibulae)
    Lingula (lingula mandibulae)

    The mylohyoid groove (sulcus mylohoideus), in which the vessels and nerve are located, runs below and slightly in front.

    Mylohyoid groove (sulcus mylohoideus)
    Mylohyoid groove (sulcus mylohoideus)

    The ramus of the mandible has two processes:

  • the coronoid process (processus coronoideus)

    Coronoid process (processus coronoideus)
    Coronoid process (processus coronoideus)
  • the condylar process (processus condylaris), which is connected to the mandibular fossa of the temporal bone to form the temporomandibular joint.

Condylar process (processus condylaris)
Condylar process (processus condylaris)

The processes are separated by the mandibular notch (incisura mandibulae).

Mandibular notch (incisura mandibulae)
Mandibular notch (incisura mandibulae)

The articular process ends as the head of the mandible (caput mandibulae), which is located on the neck of the mandible (collum mandibulae).

Head of mandible (caput mandibulae)
Head of mandible (caput mandibulae)
Neck of mandible (collum mandibulae)
Neck of mandible (collum mandibulae)

There is a pterygoid fovea (fovea pterygoidea) on the anterior surface of the neck.

Pterygoid fovea (fovea pterygoidea)
Pterygoid fovea (fovea pterygoidea)
Dictionary

Mandible (lower jaw)

mandible
mandibula
body of mandible
corpus mandibulae
ramus of mandible
ramus mandibulae
external surface
facies externa
internal surface
facies interna
base of mandible
basis mandibulae
alveolar arch
arcus alveolaris
dental alveoli
alveoli dentales
alveolar yokes
juga alveolaria
interalveolar septa
septa interalveolaria
mental protuberance
protuberantia mentalis
mental tubercle
tuberculum mentale
mental foramen
foramen mentale
oblique line
linea obliqua
temporal crest
crista temporalis
mental spine
spina mentalis
digastric fossa
fossa digastrica
sublingual fossa
fovea sublingualis
mylohyoid line
linea mylohyoidea
submandibular fossa
fovea submandibularis
angle of mandible
angulus mandibulae
masseteric tuberosity
tuberositas masseterica
pterygoid tuberosity
tuberositas pterygoidea
mandibular foramen
foramen mandibulae
mandibular canal
canalis mandibulae
lingula
lingula mandibulae
mylohyoid groove
sulcus mylohyoideus
coronoid process
processus coronoideus
condylar process
processus condylaris
mandibular notch
incisura mandibulae
head of mandible
caput mandibulae
neck of mandible
collum mandibulae
pterygoid fovea
fovea pterygoidea
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