Face

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The facial skeleton consists of the viscerocranium and mandible, and includes the orbits and nasal cavity (See Cranial cavity#Bones). The mandible articulates with the base of the skull at the temporo-mandibular joints (TMJ), the only freely movable joints in the skull. The zygomatic arch is a bar of bone, separated from the side of the neurocranium by the temporal fossa.

Notches or foramina in the facial skeleton allow passage of sensory nerves and vessels to and from the face. In the frontal bone, a supraorbital notch (foramen) transmits branches of the frontal nerve (from V1) and vessels. In the maxilla, an infraorbital foramen transmits the infraorbital nerve (from V2) and vessels. In the mandible, the mental (chin) foramen transmits the mental nerve (from V3) and vessels.


Muscles of the head, face, and neck.

The muscles of facial expression are embedded in the superficial fascia of the face, and are better developed in some individuals than in others. Most are arranged as sphincters (usually arranged circularly) and dilators (usually arranged radially) around the orifices of the face (e.g., eyes, mouth, nose). Others can be used by some people to move the ears, though these are thought to be vestigal. One end of each muscle usually attaches to bone, while the other attaches to cartilage (e.g., nose), merges with other muscles, or inserts into the skin. All receive motor innervation from branches of the facial nerve. The important muscles of facial expression are the orbicularis oculi, buccinator, orbicularis oris, platysma, and frontalis.

The muscles of mastication are bilateral muscles, responsible for moving the lower jaw. As a group, they receive their motor nerve supply from the mandibular nerve (V3). Two of these muscles can be found in the face and temple, the masseter and temporalis muscles.


The parotid gland is, like, also important.