Masseter muscle

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Masseter muscle
Illu head neck muscle.jpg
Muscles of the head and neck.
Dissection, showing salivary glands of right side. (Masseter visible at center.)
Latin musculus masseter
Gray's subject #109 385
Origin zygomatic arch and maxilla
Insertion    coronoid process and ramus of mandible
Artery: masseteric artery
Nerve: masseteric nerve (V3)
Action: elevation (as in closing of the mouth) and retraction of mandible
Antagonist: Platysma muscle

In human anatomy, the masseter is one of the muscles of mastication.

It is particularly powerful in herbivores to assist when they are chewing plants.

Origin and insertion of the two heads

The masseter is a thick, somewhat quadrilateral muscle, consisting of two portions, superficial and deep.

The fibers of the two portions are continuous at their insertion. The masseter muscle is sometimes the target of plastic jaw reduction surgery.


The superficial portion, the larger, arises by a thick, tendinous aponeurosis from the zygomatic process of the maxilla, and from the anterior two-thirds of the lower border of the zygomatic arch.

Its fibers pass downward and backward, to be inserted into the angle and lower half of the lateral surface of the ramus of the mandible.


The deep portion is much smaller, and more muscular in texture.

It arises from the posterior third of the lower border and from the whole of the medial surface of the zygomatic arch

Its fibers pass downward and forward, to be inserted into the upper half of the ramus and the lateral surface of the coronoid process of the mandible.

The deep portion of the muscle is partly concealed, in front, by the superficial portion; behind, it is covered by the parotid gland.


Along with the other three muscles of mastication, the masseter is innervated by the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve.

Additional images

External links

de:Musculus masseter it:Massetere he:שריר המלעס hu:Rágóizom nl:Musculus masseter fi:Ulompi puremalihas sr:Масетерични мишић