Facial Bones Overview
The mandible, maxilla, palatine
bone, zygomatic bone, lacrimal bone, and vomer bone are always considered
facial bones. The combination of the bones form the structure of an
individual's face. However, the hynoid is cometimes considered a facial bone
since it contributes to the appearance of a person's face.
The mandible is also known as the
jawbone. The shape of the mandible determines the appearance of a person's jaw,
while the meeting of the left and right mandible contribute to the shape of a
person's chin. The mandible holds a person's lower teeth. The jaw bone makes
The maxilla is also known as the
upper jaw. The maxilla is protected by the zygomatic bone. The maxilla holds
the upper teeth, and connects to many of the palatine bone, zygomatic bone,
lacrimal bone, and vomer.
The palatine bone is one of the
bones found in the mouth. The palatine bone supports the mouth, allows the
maxilla to hold the teeth in place, and the gums serve to protect the palatine
bone and the maxilla. The tissue which covers the palatine bone is similar to
the tissue that makes up gums.
The zygomatic bone is also known
as the cheekbone. The zygomatic bone serves to protect other bones of the face
from being damaged. As a result the zygomatic bone is very strong. Although the
zygomatic bone is the major bone that forms the cheek, other bones are
The lacrimal bone is one of the
major bones that contributes to the orbital plane. It is the smallest and most
fragile bone in the face. The lacrimal bone helps to support the eye. It is at
the front of the orbital medial wall.
Since the vomer sits on the midsagital line, it is one of the few unpaired bones of the face. Since the midsagittal line serves to divide the human body into left and right hemispheres, most facial bones must be paired in order to maintain symmetry. However, the central location of the vomer allows it to not have to be paired.