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Muscles of mastication

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Name the muscles of mastication and describe their different parts.
  2. Describe the attachments, innervation and function of the muscles involved in chewing.

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The muscles of mastication are a group of four muscles: the temporalis, masseter, medial pterygoid and lateral pterygoid. These muscles produce movements of the mandible, or lower jaw, at the temporomandibular joints, thus enabling functions such as chewing and grinding. 

Curious about the muscles of mastication? Check out the video below to learn more about this subject.

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Solidify your knowledge about the muscles of mastication by taking the following quiz.

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Key points about the muscles of mastication
Definition and function Muscles of mastication describe a group of muscles that attach to the mandible and thereby produce movements of the lower jaw.
Muscles Temporalis, masseter, medial pterygoid and lateral pterygoid
Innervation Mandibular nerve (CN V3)

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