Muscles of mastication

Last revised by Jeremy Jones on 3 Apr 2023

The muscles of mastication can be divided into primary and secondary groups according to whether they connect the mandible directly to the skull or if they attach to other structures in the neck, e.g. hyoid, thyroid cartilage.

  • close

    • temporalis muscle

    • masseter muscle

    • medial pterygoid muscle

  • open

    • lateral pterygoid muscle

  • anterior translation

    • masseter muscle (posterior fibers)

    • medial pterygoid muscle

    • lateral pterygoid muscle

  • posterior translation

    • temporalis muscle (posterior fibers)

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: from below
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  • Figure 2
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  • Figure 3: masseter (under parotid)
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  • Figure 4
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  • Figure 5: pterygoid muscles
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