AskDefine | Define maxillae

Dictionary Definition

maxilla n : the upper jawbone in vertebrates; it is fused to the cranium [syn: upper jaw, upper jawbone] [also: maxillae (pl)]maxillae See maxilla

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. irregular plural of maxilla

Extensive Definition

This article is about the mammal maxilla. For arthropod maxillae, see Mouthparts; for insect maxillae in particular, see Insect mouthparts.
The maxilla (plural: maxillae) is a fusion of two bones along the palatal fissure that form the upper jaw. This is similar to the mandible, which is also a fusion of two halves at the mental symphysis.


The alveolar process of the maxilla holds the upper teeth, and is referred to as the maxillary arch. The maxilla attaches laterally to the zygomatic bones (cheek bones).
The maxilla assists in forming the boundaries of three cavities:
The maxilla also enters into the formation of two fossae: the infratemporal and pterygopalatine, and two fissures, the inferior orbital and pterygomaxillary.


Each half of the fused maxilla consists of:


The maxilla articulates with nine bones:
Sometimes it articulates with the orbital surface, and sometimes with the lateral pterygoid plate of the sphenoid.

Additional images

Image:Orbital_bones.png|The seven bones which articulate to form the orbit. Image:Illu facial bones.jpg|Facial bones.


External links

maxillae in Arabic: فك علوي
maxillae in Bosnian: Gornja vilica
maxillae in German: Maxilla
maxillae in Spanish: Maxilar
maxillae in French: Os maxillaire
maxillae in Italian: Osso mascellare
maxillae in Kurdish: Jorkajû
maxillae in Latin: Maxilla
maxillae in Latvian: Augšžokļa kauls
maxillae in Lithuanian: Viršutinis žandikaulis
maxillae in Dutch: Maxilla (anatomie)
maxillae in Japanese: 上顎骨
maxillae in Polish: Szczęka
maxillae in Portuguese: Maxilar
maxillae in Slovenian: Zgornja čeljustnica
maxillae in Serbian: Горња вилица
maxillae in Finnish: Yläleuka
maxillae in Swedish: Överkäke
maxillae in Turkish: Os maksilla
maxillae in Ukrainian: Верхньощелепна кістка
maxillae in Chinese: 上颌骨
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