Stylomandibular ligament

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 5 Oct 2020

The stylomandibular ligament is one of the two extrinsic ligaments of the mandible, the other being the sphenomandibular ligament.

It is a cord-like condensation of the deep cervical fascia that extends from the apex of the styloid process of the temporal bone to the angle of the mandible.  Its main function is to limit excessive anterior translation of the temporomandibular joint, thereby limiting mouth opening. It also acts as an origin of some of styloglossus fibers.


The ligament separates the masseter and parotid gland laterally and medial pterygoid muscle medially.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: TMJ (Gray's anatomy)
    Drag here to reorder.