Temporalis muscle

Last revised by William Howden on 12 Apr 2023

The temporalis muscle is one of the muscles of mastication. It is responsible for both elevation and retraction of the mandible.

Temporalis is a broad, fan-like, muscle situated at the side of the head. It arises from the whole of the temporal fossa (except that portion of it formed by the zygomatic bone) and from the deep surface of the temporal fascia. Its fibers converge as they descend and end in a tendon, which passes deep to the zygomatic arch and inserts on the medial surface, apex, and anterior border of the coronoid process of the mandible, and the anterior border of the ramus of the mandible nearly as far forward as the last molar tooth 1-2.

Deep temporal branches of the maxillary artery and contributions from the middle temporal artery 1.

The muscle is supplied by the deep temporal nerves of the anterior division of the mandibular nerve. It may also receive branches from the middle temporal nerve 1.

  • upper and anterior fibers: elevate the mandible, and in doing so closes the mouth

  • posterior fibers: retract the mandible

  • side-to-side movements of the mandible 1

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Figure 2: muscles of mastication
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  • Figure 3: MRI
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