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Mylohyoid muscle

Origins, insertions, innervation and functions of the mylohyoid muscle.

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Hey there! It’s Matt from Kenhub, and the focus of this tutorial will be the mylohyoid muscle. The suprahyoid muscles are four muscles running from the mandible to the hyoid bone. Together with adjacent tissue, they form the floor of the mouth. The mylohyoid, one of the four suprahyoid muscles, is a paired muscle and, as mentioned, will be the focus of this tutorial.

The mylohyoid muscle runs from the mylohyoid line of mandible to a median tendon known as the mylohyoid raphe, where both parts of the muscle meet. The mylohyoid raphe continues its course and inserts on the body of the hyoid bone. The muscle is supplied by the mylohyoid nerve from the mandibular nerve, branch of the trigeminal nerve, also known as the fifth cranial nerve.

All suprahyoid muscles contribute to the floor of the mouth but the actual muscle plate which bridges between the two rami of mandible is formed by the mylohyoid muscles which is called the oral diaphragm. The mylohyoid which is a flat, triangular-shaped muscle – as you can see here – is situated superior to the digastric muscle. It separates the sublingual region from the submandibular region. The only link between those two spaces is the connective tissue on the posterior part of the mylohyoid muscles.

Due to their contribution during mastication, the suprahyoid muscles are also referred to as accessory muscles of mastication. They also form the floor of the mouth and play an important role in chewing, swallowing and speech. In combination with the infrahyoid muscles, they are responsible for the positioning of the hyoid bone. The mylohyoid muscle acts to draw the hyoid bone forward and upwards. Even though the main function of the mylohyoid is to form the oral diaphragm and elevate the floor of the mouth, it can also assist in jaw opening and chewing movements.

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