Oral Anatomy 1 - The Cheeks
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Where do the cheeks extend from?
The cheeks extend intraorally from the labial commiussures anteriorly to the ridge of mucosa overlying the ascending ramus of the mandible posteriorly.
They are bounded superiorly and inferiorly by the upper and lower vestibular sulci
What is the mucosa like in the cheeks?
The mucosa is non-keratinised and, being tightly adherent to the buccinators muscle is stretched when the mouth is opened and wrinkled when closed.
What are the buccinator muscles
The buccinator is a thin quadrilateral muscle, occupying the interval between the maxilla and the mandible at the side of the face.
What are Fordyce's Spots?
They are ectopic sebaceous glands which look like yellowish patches, and which may be evident in the mucosa.
What is the parotid duct?
The parotid duct or Stensen duct is a duct and the route that saliva takes from the major salivary gland, the parotid gland into the mouth.
The parotid duct drains into the cheek opposite the maxillary second molar tooth and its opening may be covered by a small fold of mucosa termed the parotid papilla.
What is the linea alba?
The linea alba is a hyperkeratinised line which may be seen at a position related to the occlusal plane.
Describe the features of the retromolar region?
In the retromolar region, in front of the pillars of fauces, a fold of mucosa containing the pteryogomandibular raphe extends from the upper to the lower alveolus.
The pterygomandibular space, in which the lingual and inferior alveolar nerves run, lies lateral to this fold and medial to a ridge produced by the mandibular ramus.
Why is the grove lying between the ridges produced by the raphe and the ramus of the mandible an important landmark?
It is an important landmark for the insertion of a needle for local anaesthesia of the lingual and inferior alveolar nerves.
How can patients with wired jaws still acquire nutrients?
When the upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) teeth are occluded, a small retromolar space is present behind the last molar tooth. This provides the pathway for the administration of nutrients in a patient whose jaws have been wired together following a fracture.
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