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Mental spine

Mental spine
File:Unterkiefer dorsal.png
The posterior aspect of the mandible showing the mental spine.
A medial view of the mandible showing the attachments of geniohyoid and genioglossus.
Latin spinae mentalis
Gray's p.172
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Anatomical terminology

A mental spine is a small projection of bone on the posterior aspect of the mandible (lower jaw bone) in the midline. The adjective mental in this instance is used in its "chin-related" sense (from Latin mentum) rather than its more common "mind-related" sense (from Latin mens). There are usually four mental spines: two superior and two inferior. Collectively they are also known as the genial tubercle,[1] genial apophysis and the Latin name spinae mentalis. The inferior mental spines are the points of origin of the geniohyoid muscle,[2] one of the suprahyoid muscles and the superior mental spines are the origin of the genioglossus muscle, one of the muscles of the tongue.

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  1. "Genial tubercle." The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. Accessed: 22 Oct. 2007.
  2. "Genial tubercle." Mosby's Dental Dictionary. Elsevier, Inc., 2004. Accessed: 22 Oct. 2007.