AskDefine | Define mandible

Dictionary Definition

mandible n : the lower jawbone in vertebrates; it is hinged to open the mouth [syn: lower jaw, mandibula, mandibular bone, submaxilla, lower jawbone, jawbone, jowl]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative forms


From etyl la mandibula.


  • /ˈmændɪb(ə)l/ or
  • /"m

Extensive Definition

The mandible (from Latin mandibula, "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.


The mandible articulates with the two temporal bones at the temporomandibular joints


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).
Excessive growth of the mandible is linked to balance problems.

Additional images

Image:Human jawbone front.jpg|Front Image:Illu facial bones.jpg|Facial bones Image:Mandibula lateral.png|Lateral Image:800px-Unterkiefer dorsal.png|Dorsal


External links

mandible in Arabic: فك سفلي
mandible in Catalan: Maxil·lar inferior
mandible in German: Unterkiefer
mandible in Dhivehi: ކަތުރު ކަށިގަނޑު
mandible in Spanish: Maxilar inferior
mandible in Esperanto: Mandiblo
mandible in French: Mandibule (os)
mandible in Western Frisian: Undertsjeak
mandible in Scottish Gaelic: Peirceall
mandible in Galician: Mandíbula
mandible in Croatian: Mandibula
mandible in Italian: Mandibola
mandible in Hebrew: לסת תחתונה
mandible in Georgian: მანდიბულები
mandible in Kurdish: Kajû
mandible in Latin: Mandibula
mandible in Latvian: Apakšžoklis
mandible in Lithuanian: Apatinis žandikaulis
mandible in Hungarian: Állkapocscsont
mandible in Dutch: Mandibula (anatomie)
mandible in Japanese: 下顎骨
mandible in Polish: Żuchwa
mandible in Portuguese: Mandíbula
mandible in Slovak: Sánka
mandible in Slovenian: Spodnja čeljustnica
mandible in Serbian: Доња вилица
mandible in Tagalog: Pangibabang panga
mandible in Tamil: தாடையெலும்பு
mandible in Ukrainian: Нижньощелепна кістка
mandible in Chinese: 下颌骨
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