'Maxilla' is the singular form corresponding to the plural word 'maxillae'. There are two maxillae in the human head, one maxilla is the upper jaw bone on the right-hand side of the face while the other maxilla is the upper jaw-bone on the left-hand side of the face. These bones are not exactly the same, but are mirror images of each other. In terms of their location, structure and function, they can be described together, as follows - which is also the same as appears on the page describing the maxillae.

The maxillae are facial bones. They are more commonly known as the upper jaw bones.


The maxillae or upper jaw bones are located immediately above the cavity of the mouth, at the front of the face.

Structure and Function(s):

  • The maxillae are the bones into which the upper teeth are embedded.
  • The maxillae form the lower parts of the orbits, which are non-medically known as the "eye sockets".
  • Each maxilla contains a maxillary sinus that drains fluid into the nasal cavity.

See notes about, and labelled diagrams of, all human cranial and facial bones on one page.

More about Bones and the Skeletal System:

This website includes many pages about bones and the skeletal system. The following pages may be of interest. These also link to further pages about related topics such as specific types of fractures, bone diseases and so on.

For further information see also our pages of books about orthopaedics.

Click for more pages about Bones

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