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The anterior nasal aperture or apertura piriformis in Latin (‘piriformis’ meaning pear-shaped) is a boney inlet that forms the anterior nasal opening of the human skull. It has a large inferior base and a narrow superior apex. The bony part of the nasal septum that separates the nasal cavity into right and left can be seen through this aperture.
The maxilla are the largest of the facial bones and they surround the anterior nasal aperture laterally from below, while the inferior border of the nasal bones bound it from above. The lateral aspect of the piriform’s inferior edge merges with the lateral wall formed by the frontal process of the maxilla. The nasal part of the frontal bone surrounds the aperture from above, and the lateral edge of the nasal bone does so superomedially. The bony nasal septum brings support to the dorsum of the nose and articulates with the undersurface of the oblong nasal bones that vary in thickness and width. The sharp bony margins of the anterior nasal aperture can be felt by inserting the little finger into the nostril.
The most common injury to the facial skeleton is nasal bone fracture. Simple breaks usually happen in the frontal process of the maxilla. But when the injury involves the dorsum of the nose, the terminal branch of the anterior ethmoidal nerve and its associated vessels are at risk.
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