The skull consists of two groups of bones: the cranium and the face. The cranium is the cap of the skull, and it supports the brain, related nerves and vessels. The facial skeleton supports the skin and soft cavities of the face. Both groups contain a total of 22 bones.
The cranial bones of the skull form a roof and base. The cranial roof covers the top portion of the cranium, and the base of the cranium cups the brain and opens to support the spine. The facial portion of the skull contains 14 bones. Its structure holds the oral and nasal cavities, the sinuses and eye sockets. The jaw bone, or mandible, contains a joints that connect the facial skeleton to the base of the cranium. Fibrous joints called sutures fuse together the bones of the skull, which remain pliable to adjust to brain growth until adulthood.