Functional Anatomy of the Skull
Pp. 19-30 (12)
Andy H. Choi and Besim Ben-Nissan
The masticatory system is the functional unit of the body primarily
responsible for chewing, speaking and swallowing. The system is made up of bones,
joints, ligaments, teeth and muscles. The system of mastication is a highly refined and
complex unit. Gaining an in-depth knowledge into its biomechanics and functional
anatomy is necessary to the study of occlusion. The mandible is a horseshoe-shaped
bone supporting the lower teeth and makes up the lower portion of the facial skeleton.
It is suspended below the maxilla by ligaments, other soft tissues, and muscles, which
provide the mobility required to function with the maxilla. The energy that moves the
mandible and allows function of the masticatory system is provided by muscles. There
are four pairs of muscles (left and right side of the mandible) that make up a group
known as the muscles of mastication.
Cranium, Dentition, Lateral pterygoid, Ligaments, Maxilla, Mandible,
Muscles of mastication, Masseter, Mandibular movement, Medial pterygoid,
Tooth, Temporomandibular joint, TMJ, Temporalis.
Faculty of Science University of Technology Sydney Australia.