Muscles of mastication

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)
Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 1701
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Secondary muscle of mastication
  • Primary muscle of mastication
  • Muscle of mastication
  • Masticator muscles

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Cases and figures

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