Levator labii superioris muscle

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 22 Sep 2021

The levator labii superioris (LLS) muscle (TA synonym: musculus levator labii superioris) is one of the elevators of the upper lip, a subset of the facial muscles.

It is not to be confused with the levator labii superioris alaeque nasalis muscle, which has a very similar name, at least partially covers it, and extends and inserts medial to it.

  • origin: inferior orbital rim of maxilla
  • insertion: upper lip (vermillion border)
  • innervation: facial nerve (VII)
  • action: raises upper lip

The levator labii superioris muscle originates from the maxilla that forms the inferior aspect of the orbit. It passes down over the infraorbital foramen, from which the infraorbital nerve exits, and extends inferiorly to attach into the vermillion margin of the upper lip 1-3.

The levator labii superioris muscles were found in a cadaveric study to be symmetric when left and right sides were compared, with similar anatomies in the sexes 3.

  • key elevator of the upper lip
  • primary muscle responsible for maintenance of the philtrum ridges and Cupid bow of the superior vermillion border 6

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