Buccinator muscle

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 31 Dec 2021

The buccinator muscle is one of the facial muscles located in the cheek, between the maxilla and mandible, and functions chiefly as a muscle of mastication.

  • origin: outer surface of alveolar processes of both maxilla and mandible, and anterior margin of the pterygomandibular raphe 1
  • insertion: converges on the modiolus of the mouth, where some fibers decussate to interdigitate with the contralateral muscle
  • arterial supply: branches from the facial artery, buccal branch from the maxillary artery 1
  • innervation: buccal branch of the facial nerve
  • action: directs a food bolus onto the teeth, tenses the cheek and helps to close the mouth

The anterior border of the pterygomandibular raphe gives origin to the fibers that decussate at the modiolus of the mouth. Fibers arising from the maxilla and mandible, do not decussate and insert into the upper and lower lips respectively.

The buccinator muscle is pierced by the parotid duct on its lateral aspect, opposite the upper third molar tooth 1.

The buccinator muscle is categorically a muscle of facial expression as it is derived from the 2nd pharyngeal arch, and thus innervated by the facial nerve. Despite this, its primary function is assisting with mastication 2.

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