Bones of the Skull
By Shannon Young, DPT
What are the Bones of the Skull?
The bones of the skull are made up from eight cranial bones and 14 facial bones, for a total of 22 bones of the skull. The human skull forms the foundation of our head and protects our brain.
The cranium is the part of the skull that forms the majority of our head encasing the brain. The cranium is composed of the eight bones of the skull known as the cranial bones. The cranial bones include the frontal bone, a parietal bone on each side, a temporal bone on each side, the occipital bone, the ethmoid bone, and the sphenoid bone. These bones come together at joints called sutures, which help to eliminate movement of the bones of the skull.
Bones of the Skull- Facial Bones
The 14 facial bones of the skull form the structure of our nose, cheeks, mouth and jaw. The bones that make up the nose are fairly small bones. There are two nasal bones one on each side, two nasal conchae one on each side, and the vomer. The vomer is part of the nasal septum and connects with the sphenoid and ethmoid bones of the cranium. There are also two lacrimal bones; these are also important structures to protect the lacrimal glands, which produce tears.
The bones that form the cheeks are the two zygomatic bones, sometimes referred to as zygomatic arches. The zygomatic bones connect with the maxilla, temporal, frontal, and sphenoid bones on each side of the face. The bones that form the mouth and jaw are the two palatine bones, two maxilla bones, and the mandible. The two palatine bones form the roof of the mouth and help to form the mouth cavity. The two maxilla bones one on the left and one on the right form the top jaw and provides an anchor to our upper teeth. The mandible is the bottom jaw and anchors our bottom teeth; the mandible comes together with the temporal bones to make a hinge joint known as the temporomandibular joints or TMJ, one on the right side and one on the left side of the skull.