LOWER JAW (MANDIBLE)
The lower jaw has its own separate bone which is called
'the mandible', which is U-shaped and stretches from one
ear, down to the chin area and then back up again to the
other ear. It is joined to the upper part of the head
around the ear region by two jaw joints (called 'tempero
mandibular joints'). If your rest your fingers on the
skin just in front of your ears, and then open and close
your mouth, you can feel the jaw joints moving. The
mandible has names for its different parts, as follows:
The body of the mandible
is the middle section of the U-shape which supports the lower teeth.
is the rounded end of bone that fits into
the movable joint between the mandible and the cranium
(the part of the skull which encloses the brain). There
is one on each side of the mandible.
The coronoid process
is the name for a triangular
projection from the mandible which joins one of the chewing
muscles to the cranium. There is one on each side of the mandible.
The ascending ramus
is the flatter, straighter part on
the sides of the lower jaw which joins the body of the mandible
to the coronoid processes and the condyles.