There are five major muscles for mastication, chewing, on each side of the head. The primary muscle for elevation of the mandible is the masseter. The temporalis lying over the temporal bone acts synergistically with the masseter. Another muscle working with the masseter to elevate the mandible is the medial pterygoid. The medial pterygoid is medial to the ramus of the mandible, and so cannot be seen in Figure 17.2.
Depression of the mandible is greatly assisted by gravity and there is only one major pair of muscles involved. These muscles are the lateral pterygoids. They are hidden by the surface muscles in Figure 17.2.
The final set of muscles involved in mastication are the buccinators. These muscles form the cheeks, and function to push food between the teeth for chewing. The buccinator is barely visible in Figure 17.2, deep to the masseter and zygomaticus.
Closely examine the models of the human head. Be able to correctly identify the muscles which have been covered in this chapter.
Buccinator Depressor labii inferioris Frontalis Galea aponeurotic» Levator labii superioris Masseter Occipitalis Orbicularis oculi Orbicularis oris Platysma Temporalis Triangularis Zygomatics
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