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The article on the mandible and interior of skull provides readers with a detailed and complete understanding of the structures and disorders within the interior of skull and the mandible including:


Understanding mandible and interior of skull (jawbone) is very important in the field of medical sciences. These structures play vital roles in protecting and supporting various critical organs, such as the brain and teeth. Let’s explore these essential parts of the body.

Before, moving let’s learn about the importance of these special parts in the human body.

Importance of Understanding the Interior Region of the Skull and Mandible

Learning about the interior of skull and mandible is important for→medical professionals, researchers, and forensic experts. It allows accurate diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, aids in surgical procedures, helps maintain dental and oral health, facilitates forensic investigations, and provides valuable points into human evolution and anatomy.

In the upcoming part, we will talk about the interior region of the human skull. And it includes→ the base, paranasal sinuses, nasal septum and nasal conchae, meninges, blood vessels, cranial nerves and the brain.

The Interior Part of the Skull

The skull is a complex and vital region housing various structures that play crucial roles in our overall health and well-being. 

The parts of the interior region of the skull include:

The Base of the Skull

Base of the skull
Base of the skull

It forms the foundation and support of the brain. It is divided in three sections:

1. Anterior Cranial Fossa

The front section of the cranial base. It accommodates the frontal lobes of the brain and supports structures such as the ethmoid bone and cribriform plate. The ethmoid bone is a delicate, sponge-like bone located between the eye sockets. And the cribriform plate is a thin bone separating the nasal cavity from the brain, which is important for the sense of smell.

2. Middle Cranial Fossa

The middle section of the cranial base. It houses the temporal lobes of the brain. It contains structures like the sphenoid bone and temporal bone, which are similar to the sphenoid bone. Additionally, it provides passage for important structures like cranial nerves and blood vessels.

3. Posterior Cranial Fossa

The back section of the cranial base. It houses the cerebellum and brainstem. Brainstem is an important region and it connects the brain to the spinal cord. It contains the foramen magnum. A large opening through which the spinal cord connects to the brain.

Paranasal Sinuses

These are air-filled cavities located within the facial bones surrounding the nasal area. They include the→ frontal sinuses, ethmoid sinuses, sphenoid sinuses, and maxillary sinuses (the sinuses present in all the bones mentioned). These sinuses help reduce the weight of the skull, add resonance to the voice, and provide a buffer for facial impacts.

Paranasal sinuses
Paranasal sinuses with Types

Nasal Septum and Nasal Conchae

The nasal septum is a wall made of cartilage and bone. It divides the nasal cavity into two equal parts. It separates the left and right nostrils. Nasal conchae are scroll-like structures on the lateral walls of the nasal cavity. They help filter, warm, and humidify the air we breathe, improving its quality before it reaches the lungs.


The central organ of the nervous system. It is enclosed and protected by the skull. It controls various bodily functions, including thoughts, emotions, movement, and sensory perception. The brain includes →the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. Each part is responsible for different functions.

Parts of Human Brain
Parts of Human Brain

Cranial Nerves

Twelve cranial nerves are present. And all comes directly from the brain. These nerves mainly control the sensory and motor functions of our head and neck. They let us do things like→ see, hear, smell, taste, and move the muscles in our faces.

Blood Vessels

Inside the skull, blood vessels deliver oxygen and nutrients to the brain. The carotid arteries (head and neck) and vertebral arteries (vertebral column) are the major blood vessels. These are responsible for bringing blood to the brain. And the cerebral veins and sinuses are responsible for draining blood away from the brain.


The meninges are three protective layers of tissue that surround and support the brain and spinal cord. These layers are the dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia mater. They provide cushioning, support, and protection to the delicate neural tissue from injury or trauma.

In the upcoming part, we will learn about the→ mandible, anatomy, articulation and movements, and dental structures.

Mandible (Lower Jawbone)

Mandible (Lower Jawbone)
Mandible (Lower Jawbone) with structures

The mandible is a vital component of the human skull. It plays a vital role in supporting facial structures, facilitating speech and chewing, and housing the lower set of teeth. Let’s move on to the anatomy of the mandible.

Anatomy of the Mandible

It consists of several important components

1. Body of the Mandible

The body of the mandible forms the horizontal portion, or the lower arch, of the jawbone. It is a curved structure that supports the lower teeth and connects to the other parts of the mandible.

2. Ramus of the Mandible

The ramus is the vertical, upward extension of the mandible from the body. It comprises two main processes: the mandibular condyle and the coronoid process.

3. Mandibular Condyle

Located at the posterior end of the mandible’s ramus, the mandibular condyle is a rounded prominence that articulates with the temporal bone, forming the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

4. Coronoid Process

The coronoid process, situated anteriorly to the mandibular condyle, serves as an attachment point for muscles involved in jaw movement.

5. Alveolar Process

The alveolar process refers to the ridge-like structure within the mandible that houses the sockets (alveoli) for the roots of the lower teeth.

Articulations and Movements

The mandible, or the lower jaw bone, is capable of various articulations and movements. These include:

1. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

It is a complex joint formed by the articulation between the mandibular condyle and the temporal bone. It allows for the opening and closing of the mouth. And also various other movements of the mandible.

2. Movements of the Mandible

The mandible exhibits several essential movements that contribute to everyday functions like speaking and eating:

a. Opening and Closing

This movement involves lowering and raising the mandible, allowing the mouth to open and close.

b. Protrusion and Retrusion

Protrusion refers to the forward movement of the mandible, pushing it beyond the resting position. Retrusion, on the other hand, involves pulling the mandible back.

c. Lateral Excursion

Lateral excursion refers to the sideways movement of the mandible to the right or left. It enables chewing on either side of the mouth.

d. Medial Excursion

Medial excursion is the movement of the mandible back to the midline after performing lateral excursion.

Dental Structures

It consists of key dental structures, including:

1. Teeth

The mandible accommodates the lower set of teeth. And those are→ 

incisors (eight teeth found at the front of the mouth), canines (the four pointed teeth adjacent to the incisors), premolars (situated between the canines and molars), and molars (largest and strongest teeth located at the back of the mouth). These teeth are firmly bound within the alveolar processes of the mandible, contributing to proper biting, chewing, and speech.

2. Dental Arches

The upper and lower dental arches collectively form the complete set of teeth. The mandible’s dental arch corresponds to the lower teeth, while the maxilla (upper jaw) houses the upper dental arch.

3. Occlusion

It refers to the alignment and contact between the upper and lower teeth. And the jaw is closed at that time. Proper occlusion ensures efficient chewing and maintains overall dental health.

In the next section, we will study skull-related disorders including→ skull fractures, Craniosynostosis, and intracranial haemorrhage.

Skull-related Disorders

The skull is a vital structure that protects the brain and provides structural support for the head. However, several disorders can affect the skull, leading to potential complications. Those disorders are:

Skull Fractures

Skull fractures refer to breaks or cracks in the bones that make up the skull. They occur due to trauma, such as–>fall, car accident, or sports injury. Skull fractures can range from minor hairline cracks to severe breaks, and their severity determines the potential complications.


Skull fractures are primarily caused by direct impact or force applied to the head. Common causes include falls, motor vehicle accidents, physical assault, or sports-related injuries.


  • Headache
  • Swelling or tenderness at the site of injury
  • Bruising or discolouration around the eyes or behind the ears
  • Bleeding from the nose or ears
  • Loss of consciousness (in severe cases)


A healthcare professional can diagnose a skull fracture by conducting a physical examination. By considering the medical history, and requesting imaging tests such as→ X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans.


The treatment of skull fractures depends on the severity. Mild fractures may heal on their own with rest and pain management, while severe fractures may require surgery to realign the bones and ensure proper healing. In some cases, observation and monitoring may be sufficient.


It is a condition characterized by the premature fusion of the skull bones. It occurs in an infant. Normally, the skull bones remain separate to allow for brain growth. When these bones fuse too early, it can lead to an abnormal head shape and potential complications.


The exact cause is still unknown. Although it can sometimes be associated with certain genetic conditions. In some cases, the condition may be irregular, occurring without a known cause.


  • Abnormal head shape, such as a flat or raised area
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Developmental delays
  • Increased pressure inside the skull (intracranial pressure), which can cause headaches or visual problems


Doctors usually diagnose craniosynostosis by conducting→ a physical examination, assessing the shape of the infant’s head, and, occasionally, ordering imaging studies like a CT scan or MRI.


Typically, doctors perform surgery to separate and reshape the fused skull bones to treat craniosynostosis. This procedure enables the brain to grow correctly. The need for the surgery varies depending upon the severity of the condition.

Intracranial Hemorrhage

It is the bleeding inside the skull. This typically happens due to trauma, blood vessel rupture, or underlying medical conditions. We can classify intracranial haemorrhage into many types. Subdural happens between the dura and the brain. Epidural occurs between the skull and the dura. Subarachnoid take place in the space surrounding the brain. And intracerebral develop within the brain tissue. Each type has its unique causes and characteristics.


Factors such as→head injuries, ruptured aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), high blood pressure, or certain medical conditions, which affect blood clotting.

Ruptured aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations are vascular abnormalities that can cause serious health complications.


They may include:

  • Severe headache
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness or numbness in the limbs
  • Changes in vision or speech


A medical professional examines→ the patient’s nervous system and assesses their symptoms. Or might request imaging tests like a CT scan or MRI to confirm if there is an intracranial hemorrhage.


Treatment options depend on→underlying cause, severity, and location of the bleeding. They may include medications to manage symptoms, surgical intervention to repair damaged blood vessels or relieve pressure on the brain, or supportive care to monitor and stabilize the patient.

Let’s discuss mandible-related diseases like TMJD, Mandibular Fractures, and Malocclusion.

Mandible-related Disorders

The mandible plays an important role in our ability to→speak, chew, and perform various facial movements. However, certain conditions can affect the mandible, leading to disorders that require attention and treatment. These disorders are:

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJD)

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the mandible to the skull, allowing for smooth jaw movements. However, various factors such as jaw misalignment, bruxism (teeth grinding), stress, or trauma can lead to TMJ disorders.

Some types of TMJD are:

1. Myofascial Pain Syndrome

It is characterized by muscle pain and discomfort in the jaw area. It often results from muscle tension, stress, or dysfunctional habits like clenching or grinding teeth.

2. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)

TMD encompasses a range of conditions affecting the TMJ, including joint inflammation, disc displacement, or structural abnormalities. Symptoms may include jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds, limited jaw movement, and headaches.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis can also affect the TMJ. It leads to→pain, stiffness, and joint dysfunction.

Mandibular Fractures

It refers to the breaking or fracturing of the lower jawbone. This type of injury occurs due to trauma, such as→a direct blow to the face, sports-related injuries, or accidents. There are various types of mandibular fractures such as→ condylar fractures, body fractures, and symphysis fractures. Each requires different approaches for diagnosis and treatment.

Mandibular fractures
Mandibular fractures frequency by location

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of mandibular fractures often involves→ a physical examination, imaging tests, and dental occlusion analysis. Treatment options may range from immobilization with wiring or intermaxillary fixation to surgical interventions like open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF).


Malocclusion refers to the misalignment of the teeth and jaws, which can affect a person’s bite, facial aesthetics, and overall oral health. it can manifest in various forms, including overcrowding, overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite, among others. Each type requires a tailored treatment approach.

Correction of Malocclusion

Treatment options for malocclusion may include braces or clear aligners, or in some cases, orthognathic surgery to correct the underlying jaw problems.


Understanding the mandible and interior of skull is essential for healthcare professionals and researchers in various medical disciplines. It enables accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment planning, and preventive measures for conditions affecting these vital structures. Additionally, knowledge of the skull and mandible’s interior anatomy provides insights into human evolution, dental health, and the complex interplay between neurological and dental systems. By comprehensively studying the interior structures of the skull and mandible, medical professionals can ensure optimal patient.

Further Reading

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  1. Images used in this article are Designed by Freepik:
  2. Anatomist90, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. OpenStax College, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  4. Djexplo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
  5. Coronation Dental Specialty Group [1], CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Categories: Anatomy


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