Levator anguli oris muscle

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 22 Sep 2021

The levator anguli oris muscle, also known as caninus or triangularis labii superioris muscles, is a buccolabial muscle, a subdivision of the facial muscles.

The levator anguli oris muscle originates from the canine fossa of the maxilla, approximately 1 cm inferior to the infraorbital foramen and passes inferiorly, deep to the overlying levator labii superioris muscle. The infraorbital nerve runs between these two muscles.

The descending deep muscle fibers insert into the common mimetic muscles' insertion site of the modiolus at the commissure of the mouth. From here, muscle fibers become more superficial and conflate caudally into those of the depressor anguli oris muscle.

  • medially pulls the angle of the mouth upwards
  • it contributes to widening of the mouth
  • supports the zygomaticus major muscle in producing a smile 3

In an MRI study of 15 research subjects, the levator anguli oris muscle could not be identified with confidence in any of the participants 4.

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