The skull around the nose to the cheeks and supporting the upper teeth and some of the floorof the orbit is maxilla bone. It has a palatine surface (forward 2/3rds of roof of mouth), an alveolar portion (deep to gums and anchors the teeth), an infratemporal part which is the back surface of the most forward part of the zygomatic arch, and the orbital surface. The latter abuts the lacrimal and ethmoid bones on the medial wall of the eye socket.

The lacrimal groove is associated with the ocular part of this bone. Thus the maxilla, a bone formed of branchial (gill) arches coalescing toward midline, is subject to disorders of incompletion such as cleft palate or lacrimal duct malformation.