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Buccinator muscle

from Latin: bucca - cheek
Synonyms: cheek muscle, trumpeterís muscle, buccinatorius muscle (obsolete)
German: Musculus buccinator

1 Definition

The buccinator muscle is a thin squared muscle that belongs to the deep layer of the mimic muscles of the mouth. By its contraction, it changes the shape of the cheeks.

2 Devolution

2.1 Origin

The origin of the buccinator muscle lies at the exterior surfaces of the alveolar processes of the maxilla and mandibula, approximately in the region of the three molar as well as at the buccinator crest. For the dorsal side, additional fibers originate in the front side of the pterygomandibular raphe, which separates this muscle from the constrictor pharyngis superior muscle.

2.2 Insertion

The fibers converge towards the corner of the mouth, and intertwine here in the modiolus with the fibers of the orbicularis oris muscle and among each other. Partly, they also insert into the skin of the upper and lower lips.

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3 Topography

The buccinator muscle is covered by the buccopharyngeal fascia and stands in close anatomical relation to the fat body of the cheek (buccal fat pad), which separates this muscle from the ramus mandibulaeand the masseter muscle. To the anterior, it is followed by the oral mucosa. Opposite to the 2nd maxillar molar, the excretory duct of the parotis, the parotid duct, penetrates the muscle.

4 Innervation

The buccinator muscle is innervated by the buccal branches of the VIIth cranial nerve (facial nerve).

5 Function

The buccinator muscle forms the contours of the cheek and contracts the cheek. During the chewing process, it pushes the food between the tooth rows. Moreover, it keeps the cheek tension during whistling or playing a wind instrument. In newborns, it plays an essential role for the suction movement at the female breast.

6 Embryology

The buccinator muscle - as the other mimic muscles - develops from the mesenchyme of the 2nd hyoid arch.

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