Retromolar space

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Retromolar gap.jpg

The retromolar space or retromolar gap is a space at the rear of the mandible, between the back of the last molar and the anterior edge of the ascending ramus where it crosses the alveolar margin. This gap does not usually exist in modern humans.[1]

Retromolar gap is found in some Neanderthals because they had midfacial prognathism.[citation needed] This caused the lower tooth row to move forward, which led to the retromolar gap.[citation needed]

The pear-shaped pad is a triangular area of keratinized tissue that forms from the scarring after removal of the most distal molar. The retromolar pad is a non-keratinized area of tissue and is a posterior continuation/extension of the pear-shaped pad. It is also known as piriformis papilla. It is a small inclination going up and posteriorly and is bordered by muscles in the back of the jaw. The denture base should only extend one-half to two-thirds up the retromolar pad.


  1. ^ Suzuki, H. (1970). "Skull of the Amud Man". In Suzuki, H.; Takai, F. The Amud Man and his Cave Site. Tokyo: Academic Press of Japan. p. 166. The linea obliqua of the mandibular ramus [of Amud 1] goes down far behind M3, and runs into the low prominentia lateralis below the distal part of M3. For this reason, when the Amud mandible is viewed from the side, a free portion or a gap 14 mm wide is recognizable between M3 and the linea obliqua. In modern man, this gap does not usually exist.