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Other Terms: Nasal sinuses, Antrum of Highmore, Sinus maxillaris, Sinus maxillaire
This is the large hollow space formed within the body of the maxilla. The roof of the sinus is the floor of the orbit. Its anterolateral surfaces correspond to the facial region externally. Posteriorly its walls separate it from the infratemporal fossa. The floor of the sinus forms the roof of the alveolar sockets for the roots of the teeth. The space communicates with the nasal cavity medially and is often perforated by the roots of the upper tooth row. This large sinus has a mucous membrane lining that is continuous with that of the nasal cavity. The sinus originates as a small groove on the medial surface of the bone. It enlarges during youth to create the large cavity of the adult skull.
The term maxilla may be a corrupted form of the Latin term mala meaning cheek. Another possibility is that it comes from the Latin verb macerare meaning to chew. Originally the Romans used the word to define both upper and lower jaw bones. Sinus is Latin for a curve, fold, bay, or gulf. In anatomy it can describe anything from a large, hollow cavity to a concave groove-like channel.