A mental foramen is one of the two small round holes on the front ('anterior') surface of the mandible bone, which is more commonly known as the lower jaw bone, through which the mental nerve and and associated vessels pass from one side of the bone to the other.
Note that a mental foramen is not a bone, but may be described as a 'feature on a bone', of which there are various types such as condyles, fissures, foramina, fossae, notches and others.
The term mental foramen is singular, meaning that it is only used to refer to one mental foramen. The corresponding plural form is mental foramina, hence it is correct to say that there are two mental foramina in the mandible bone. The approximate location of the mental foramina in a typical mandible bone is shown below.
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.
- Structures and Functions of Bones (an overview about the Skeletal System)
- Types of Bones, such as long bones, short bones, flat bones, etc.
- Bone Markings and Features on Bones of the Human Body
- Types of Joints, such as immoveable, slightly moveable and freely moveable joints
- Diagram of the Human Skeleton
- Overview of types of Conditions and Disorders of the Skeletal System
For further information see also our pages of books about orthopaedics.