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Buccolabial Group – Facial Muscles

by Craig Canby, PhD

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    00:00 The levator labii superioris alaeque nasi is the slender muscle right along the lateral margin of the nose down to the lateral margin of the nostril and down to the superior labium of the lip and you see the contralateral or the fellow here on the other side. This particular muscle is going to originate from the frontal process of the maxilla. It then will insert on the major alar cartilage of the nose as well as the skin of the upper lip is going to be innervated by the zygomatic branches and the buccal branches of the facial nerve.

    00:52 And when it is activated to contract, it will flare or dilate each nostril and it will also help to elevate the upper lip. This flaring of the nostrils demonstrates anger or exertion during physical activity when you want the nostrils to be dilated to help with airflow or in inspiration. The levator labii superioris is a more substantial muscle than the other levator labii superioris and we can see it highlighted in red. It is originating from the maxilla and then like other muscles of facial expression it has insertion to the skin of the upper lip.

    01:48 As before the zygomatic and the buccal branches contribute to its innervation. Again, these are branches of the facial nerve and then the action of this particular muscle is to open or dilate the mouth, elevate or evert the upper lip, and it also helps to deepen the sulcus between the nose and the lip. The action has been described as showing signs of sadness emotionally. We have a couple of zygomatic muscles. The first one here is the zygomaticus major muscle highlighted here on the left side in red. As the name implies, it does originate from the zygomatic bone and then based on where you see it inserts, it is inserting on the angle of the mouth. And because of the zygomatic buccal location of the muscle itself, the facial nerve branches zygomatic and buccal represent its innervation. The action of the zygomaticus major is to dilate the mouth, elevate the labial commissure, and this has bilateral versus unilateral action. If the action is bilateral, this will help produce a smile. If it is unilateral, it will then result in producing a sneer expression.

    03:32 Its counterpart is zygomaticus minor shown here in red. Here is the zygomaticus major so you get to see the relationship of major to the minor. As the name implies, zygomatic bones versus its origin and insertion is also to the skin of the upper lip. No surprise here.

    04:00 Zygomatic and buccal branches of the facial nerve serve as nerves that supply the muscle and some more actions to the major dilating the mouth, elevating and everting the upper lip and then deepening the sulcus between the nose and the lip. This action can produce the expression of sadness. Our next muscle is the levator anguli oris. This is a fairly small muscle that you see associated with the superior part of the angle of the mouth. It is It is originating from the maxilla bone right below the orbit and it is, as the name implies, anguli it is going into the angle of the mouth. Zygomatic and buccal branches of the facial nerve will innervate this particular muscle and when it shortens it will widen the oral fissure while dilating the mouth. Risorius is shown right in through here. It is originating from the fascia associated with the parotid glands. So this is simply the parotid fascia.

    05:29 Insertion, as you can see here, is in to the angle of the mouth. Innervation because of its location will be the buccal branches of the facial nerve. It will dilate and widen the mouth when it contracts or shortens and it will also depress the labial commissures. Our next stop is with the sphincter of the mouth shown here in red and this is the orbicularis oris. Its origin is from the medial maxilla as well as the mandible. Also has partial origin from the skin that surrounds the mouth and also the mouth angle. Insertion is to the superior and inferior lips via the mucous membrane. Innervation is the buccal branch of facial to the upper portion of the orbicularis oris and then the mandibular branch of the facial will innervate the inferior aspect of the orbicularis oris. And when this muscle contracts, it will serve as a sphincter of the mouth so close the mouth tightly and it will also protrude the lips. And because of this lip protrusion, this is the kissing muscle, because this is the action that you produce when you want to kiss someone. And then the sphincter-like action of this muscle will resist distention when blowing. Here more inferiorly we have the depressor labii inferioris and this is a bilateral muscle so you see both muscles right and left.

    07:30 It's originating from the mandible as well as the platysma muscle and its insertion is to the skin that's associated with the lower lip. Because of its inferior location in relationship to the mandible, the mandibular branch of the facial nerve will be its nerve supply and when this muscle contracts it will dilate the mouth as well as depress the lower lip and this produces an expression of pouting or sadness. Related to the previous muscle is a depressor inferiorly located. This is the depressor anguli oris in red, there will be one on the right side as well. It's originating from the mandible and then inserting into the angle of the mouth at this location. It is innervated by the buccal and mandibular branches.

    08:40 The buccal will come here and innervate the more superior part of the muscle and then the mandibular branches of the facial will innervate the lower portion of this muscle. And when that contracts, it will dilate the mouth and then it will depress the labial commissures.

    09:03 Here, we have a muscle in the medial location of the mandible. It is paired right and left.

    09:11 This is the mentalis. It is originating from the mandible and then its insertion will be to the skin of the chin. Because of its mandibular location, mandibular branch of facial nerve and it will serve to elevate the lower lip as well as protrude the lower lip and this produces a doubting type of expression. And our next muscle of facial expression and our last muscle of facial expression is the platysma. This is a fairly expansive muscle that is originating from the subcutaneous tissue in the supra and infraclavicular region so down in in through here. Its insertion is superiorly located so that would be the base of the mandible, angle of the mouth also to the orbicularis oris muscle and to skin related to the cheek and the lower lip. Because of its more inferior location, the most inferior branches of the facial nerve, the cervical branches, serve as the nerve supply to the platysma and action when it contracts is to depress the mandible and it will also tend to stand at the inferior face and then the skin related to the neck and this action produces some tension and stress in the neck area.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Buccolabial Group – Facial Muscles by Craig Canby, PhD is from the course Head and Neck Anatomy.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Zygomaticus minor
    2. Auricular
    3. Procerus
    4. Nasalis
    5. Orbicularis oculi
    1. Zygomaticus major
    2. Orbicularis oris
    3. Levator labii superioris
    4. Depressor labii inferioris
    5. Mentalis
    1. Orbicularis oris
    2. Risorius
    3. Platysma
    4. Levator anguli oris
    5. Depressor labii inferioris
    1. Platysma
    2. Orbicularis oris
    3. Risorius
    4. Levator anguli oris
    5. Depressor labii inferioris

    Author of lecture Buccolabial Group – Facial Muscles

     Craig Canby, PhD

    Craig Canby, PhD


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