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Masseter muscle

The masseter muscle is one of the muscles of mastication. It is rectangular shaped and consists of three layers of fibers, where the superficial layer is the largest.

Superficial layer

  • origin: the aponeurotic tissue arising from the maxillary process of the zygomatic bone
  • insertion: muscle fibers run inferoposteriorly and insert into the angle and the posterior half of the lateral aspect of the mandibular ramus

Middle layer

  • origin: the medial aspect of the anterior zygomatic arch and the lower border of the posterior zygomatic arch
  • insertion: the middle part of the mandibular ramus

Deep layer

  • origin: the medial aspect of the zygomatic arch
  • insertion: the upper part of the mandibular ramus and the coronoid process

The parotid gland is located at the posterior margin of the muscle and superficial to it. Branches of the facial nerve also run superficially to the muscle. The nerve and artery divide the muscle into three parts.

Blood supply is derived from several vessels:

The masseteric nerve, a branch of the anterior division of the mandibular nerve (CN V3).

The main function of masseter is to elevate the mandible and to clench the teeth. It also acts to protract the angle of the mandible.

Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

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Article information

rID: 48410
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • masseter muscle

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