Zygomaticus minor muscle

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 22 Sep 2021

The zygomaticus minor muscle is a member of the buccolabial muscle group of the facial muscles. Together with the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi and levator labii superioris muscles it is one of the main elevators of the lip, exposing the maxillary teeth 1. Along with its other action of deepening and elevating the nasolabial furrow, it produces the facial expressions of smugness, smiling and expressing contempt or disdain.

  • origin: immediately behind the zygomaticomaxillary suture on the lateral surface of the zygomatic bone
  • insertion: downwards and medially it inserts into the muscular substance of the upper lip. Superiorly, it is separated from levator labii superioris by a narrow pyramidal interval but inferiorly blends together.
  • elevates/curls the upper lip, exposing the maxillary teeth
  • deepens and elevates the nasolabial furrow

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