Buccal space

The buccal space, also known as the buccinator space, is one of the seven suprahyoid deep compartments of the head and neck.

Gross anatomy 

The buccal spaces are paired fat contained spaces on each side of the face forming cheeks. Each space is enveloped by the superficial (investing) layer of the deep cervical fascia.

It is located between the buccinator and platysma muscles, therefore only a small potential space with limited contents.

Boundaries and relations
  • anterior: orbicular oris muscles and the angle of the mouth
  • posterior: masseter muscle, mandible, medial pterygoid and lateral pterygoid muscles
  • superior: zygomatic process of the maxilla and zygomaticus muscles 
  • inferior: depressor anguli oris muscle and the deep fascia attaching to the mandible
  • medial (deep): buccinator muscle
  • lateral (superficial): platysma muscle and subcutaneous tissues with the skin

Buccal space infection can spread to or from the teeth. There is no real boundary between the buccal space and the submandibular space inferiorly. There is also potential communication with the pterygomandibular region, infratemporal space, and the parapharyngeal space posteriorly.

Related pathology

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 41073
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: in orange on annotated MRI
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  • Figure 2: buccal space - annotated MRI
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