- 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
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.