Bones of the Face
By By Amanda Garland DPT, ATC
Bones of the Face
Basic anatomy of the bones of the face:
There are 14 bones of the face that include:
– Vomer (1)
– Maxilla (2)
– Mandible (1)
– Nasal bones (2)
– Palatine bones (2)
– Lacrimal bones (2)
– Zygomatic bones (2)
– Inferior Nasal Concha (2)
The facial bones do not move much with the exception of the jaw bone, or mandible. The other bones form the face by completing the orbits, the sockets for your eyes, leaving room for the nose and creating the jaw and mouth. The mandible and the vomer are single bones and all others are seen in pairs located on each side of the face.
Descriptions of each of the bones of the face:
- The vomer forms the lower part of the nasal septum which form the nose.
- This is the fixed upper portion of your jaw.
- The mandible is the lower part of the jaw. This then is the strongest, largest, and lowest bone of the face. The mandible is the only movable bone of the skull and it serves to also hold the lower teeth in place.
- These are 2 small bones varying in size and form per individual. They are placed side by side at the middle and upper part of the face.
- The palatine bones are 2 irregular shaped bones that combine with the maxilla and form the hard palate.
- The lacrimal bones are small and fragile bones of the face. They are situated at the front of the orbit. They serve a function in the process of lacrimation, or crying. A depression in the lacrimal bones creates a holding spot for the lacrimal sac where tears collect.
- The zygomatic bones are better known as the cheekbones.
Inferior Nasal Concha
- The inferior nasal concha are one of three paired nasal conchae in the nose. These are considered part of the face, however the middle and superior nasal conchae arise from the cranial portion of the skull and are defined as cranial bones.
Signs and symptoms of injury to bones of the face
Facial fractures are broken bones that can occur anywhere in the face. These include the nose, cheekbones, bones around the eyes and the upper and lower jaw. Most facial fractures are a result of trauma to the face. The trauma can include a motor vehicle crash, sport injury, fall or fight. The symptoms of a facial fracture include:
- broken nose (nasal fracture)
- pain, swelling and bruising
- difficulty breathing
- pain specifically around the eyes
- deformed cheek, head, or nose
- pain with opening/closing the jaw
- difficulty with eyesight
- “black eye”
- Numbness around the eye, lip or chin
When to seek medical care for fracture to bones of the face
If you experience a fracture to a bone of the face, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Some fractures may effect your respiratory system, airway passages, central nervous system and/or vision.
Diagnosing a fracture to the bones of the face
A physical examination and tests will be performed by a medical professional to determine the bones affected and extent of the injury. An X-ray will aid in the definitive diagnosis of a fracture.
Treatment for fracture to bones of the face
It may be necessary for the physician to reduce the fracture depending on the extent and location of the injury. This may include the need for a surgery to place pins, wires or screws to set the bone in proper alignment.
The bones of the face can be very fragile and all serve an underlying purpose. It is important to be aware that an injury can be serious and one shouldn’t wait to get medical care. It is important to take care of our faces!
JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP fracture and injury care. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000.
Please do not hesitate to call JOI for your medical needs. We have surgeons that can help diagnosis your tear and therapy staff waiting to help rehab you back to full health! Please call JOI-2000 or click the banner below to schedule with one of our specialists.