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either the mandible (lower jaw) or the maxilla (upper jaw), two opposing bony structures of the mouth of a vertebrate; they bear the teeth and are used for seizing prey, for biting, or for masticating food. See anatomic Table of Bones in the Appendices.
cleft jaw a cleft between the median nasal and maxillary processes through the alveolus; see also cleft palate. Called also gnathoschisis.
phossy jaw phosphonecrosis.
phos·sy jaw(fosē jaw)
Phosphorus necrosis of the jaw, caused by overexposure of white phosphorus, which was used in the manufacture of matches until the early 20th century; agent is still used for signaling, filtering, and incendiary purposes.