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The Nasal Bones

Last Updated: Jun 7, 2022

The nasal bones are a pair of facial bones of the skull. They form the bridge of the nose and provide support to the nasal cavity. Since the rest of the nose is supported by flexible hyaline cartilage, the nasal bones provide strength, shape, and support to the nose.


The facial bone is a paired bone in the face that forms part of the skull. It is a small, roughly rectangular flat bone found in the bridge of the nose. On its superior edge, it forms a small joint, less than a centimeter long, with the frontal bone. Laterally it forms a straight 2-3 cm suture with the maxilla, and medially it forms another straight suture along the body’s midline with the other facial bone. On its inferior edge, it articulates with the nasal cartilages that form the flexible tip of the nose. The nasal bone is thickest at its medial and superior borders and gradually thins as it descends the nose and approaches the maxilla.

The exterior surface of the facial bone is relatively smooth and convex laterally, with a small nutrient foramen in the middle. Its posterior side is concave laterally and features sutures for the frontal bone on its superior end and the ethmoid bone on its medial end.


The nasal bone plays several key roles in the skull. Like all facial bones, it helps support the surrounding soft tissues of the face, including the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. The nasal bone also forms the only bony exterior part of the nose, as the rest of the nose is supported by hyaline cartilage and anchors the frontal, maxilla, and ethmoid bones together. On its interior surface, the concavity of the nasal bone helps to direct air through the nasal cavity and toward the ethmoid bone, where the olfactory epithelium responsible for the sense of smell is located.