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Postnatal Growth of the Human Nose

Postnatal Growth of the Human Nose


The normal development of the body is majorly dependent on the synchronization and the coordination of activities relating to the growth centre of the skeleton and its related structures (Graham & Smith, 2007). The nasal septum of neonates and young children is the major cartilaginous tissue. The nasal skeleton of the newborn is more elaborate than the adults’ one. It can be considered as the extension of the cartilaginous anlage of the anterior cranial base. Except for the presence of the bony vomer, the septum of infants is entirely cartilaginous..It merges with the cartilage of the crista galli; on the posterior side, it reaches as far as to the sphenoid bone. Only in the early childhood it is firmly attached to the anterior nasal spine.

At birth, the cartilaginous nasal skeleton is in a T-bar form like a structure which extends from the skull base to the nasal tip. The process of the ossification growth, regression and remodeling mainly characterizes the consecutive development of this cartilage. During these developmental stages the cephalic parts of the dorsolateral cartilage of the nose begin to disappear, leaving relatively smaller upper lateral cartilages at the adult stage of development (Thibodeau & Patton, 2012). There is a variable degree of the extension of the upper laterals under the nasal bones, a reflection of the differences in the regression degree. Nevertheless, the mode and pace of the regression are not fully understood. However, some of the incidental observations have been made during surgery indicated the new fact. At the age of 3 years the nasal bones are still fully supported by the upper laterals cartilage underlying.

Development of the Cartilaginous Nasal Septum

The cartilaginous nasal septum indicates growth and ossification at the same time. The small centers of the ossification are present during the birth at the suprior part of the septal cartilage. They are merged on a vertical plate extending from the posterior to anterior direction. When it reaches the bilateral alae of the bony vomer, a bone (McInerny, 2009) encloses the posterior- inferior part of the septal cartilage. The cartilage within the vomeral tunnel is replaced by a bone; although, in some other instances it survives to adulthood. During this development, the septovomeral junction appears highly variable. In some other instances, the superior part of the vomer precedes the normally occurring deviations of the basal rim within the cartilaginous septum. It happens beause the insertion of the inferior part is a reflection of a fusion of the palatal halves. Furthermore, the alavomeris located on the convex side of the angle is so defective that it projects the septal cartilage on a sideways angle. The final development step is the reduction of the cartilaginous septum to the anterior half of the nose.

The Post Natal Growths of the Maxilla and Suture

The post natal growths of the maxilla have different mechanisms and areas of the growth. The cartilaginous growth involves the division process of the chodroblast cells with their progressive conversion to a bone. This will increase the base of the skull at the anterior- posterior dimension. It would also increase the area of the nasal septum bringing the nose forward from its original position to under the front of the cranium. Furthermore, it will also lead to the increase in height and length of the mandible. The approximate age in which this growth takes place is close to ten years of life (Davenport, 1999). The satural growth of the bony satures of the head has the capability of increasing the head size in all the dimensions. The growths of these statures are in such alignment that they have the potential of moving the face forward and downward directions in relation to the cranial development. The sutural growth brings the bones to the close proximity and has to be active for the chief enlargeement of the cranium at the age of 6 or 7. This example of the sutural growth in a symphysis located area at the inter-maxillary suture.

The periosteal and the endosteal growths occur at the apposition of the bone on the periosteal surfaces, leading to the enlargement of the head in all the dimensions. Periosteal involves the process of extensive remodeling of the bone, involving the resorption of a bone to obtain the appropriate thickness and its strength. The resorption of the endosteal and the addition of bone are necessary to maintain appropriate thickness of the cortical layer of the bone. This method of growth is appropriate and more active in the skull and the jaws. They are more active after the first few years of life when the cartilaginous and the sutural growth mechanisms have slowed down. This process continues throughout the life of an individual (Thibodeau & Patton, 2002).

The surface remodeling of the nose occurs thorough a vertical growth. The vertical growth process involves the formation of the alveolar by the process of the apposition of the bone at the inferior, exterior and the interior regions. The palate is resorped at the superior aspect of the nasal and the opposition at the inferior oral side bringing the palate downwards. Maxillary sinus develops and has a volume of the small peas. However, the eruption of the deciduous teeth modifies its volume, increasing it in size. The eruption of the upper six teeth occurs at the age of 8 years. It has a pyramidal form with the potential of lengthening after the eruption of the canine and molar teeth.


In conclusion, the process of the postnatal development of the human nose is intertwined with other developments of the skeleton and other organs of the face and cranium. The development is gradual with some of the processes lasting until adulthood, while others take place only during the initial years of an individual’s development.



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