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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:
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).
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 As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated.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.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mandible". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|