Muscles of the Face

There are many muscles that all work together to form the complex expressions of the mouth.

The facial muscles serve 2 major functions for the body: mastication and facial expressions. The muscles of mastication include the temporalis, medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid, and the masseter (buccinator muscle is an important accessory of chewing). Another important function is facial expression. The majority of the facial muscles contribute to exhibiting expressions. These muscles include the orbicularis oculi, nasalis, levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, depressor labii inferioris, procerus, auriculars, zygomaticus major, zygomaticus minor, buccinator, occipitofrontalis, corrugator supercilii, risorius, depressor anguli oris, orbicularis oris, and mentalis. The orbicularis oculi is responsible for blinking the eye or closing of the eyelid. The nasalis and labii superioris alaeque nasi function by elevating the sides of the nose or “snarling.” The depressor labii inferioris depresses the nose. The procerus and corrugator supercilii muscles attach to the frontalis muscle in between the eyebrows and functions in crinkling the eyebrows together. The auriculars function in moving the ears anteriorly and posteriorly from the face. The zygomaticus major and minor run over the zygomatic bone and function in helping to smile by pulling the muscles upward. The risorius muscles are found at the edges of the mouth and also function in smiling. The buccinator allows an individual to chew without biting the cheeks and to blow air outward. The occipitofrontalis, with 2 communicating bellies, acts to raise the eyebrows on the face. The depressor anguli fibres functions in depressing the sides of the mouth in frowning. The orbicularis oris functions in pursing the upper and lower lips. The mentalis muscles is a primary muscle of the lower lip and functions in lowering the inferior lip.

The superficial facial muscles affect the health of the skin and mucous membranes. Facial muscles can influence distant anatomical areas. To give an example, the occipitofrontalis muscle has an anatomical continuity with the eyelid elevator and the Tenon capsule, anteriorly, and a posterior continuity with the sub-occipital muscles. From a clinical point of view, an abnormal tension of this myofascial continuum could negatively affect the position of the neck, the relationship between the gaze and the posture of the head.

The facial muscles intervene in the speech and strongly affect the social relationship through facial expression.

Acupuncture can release the tension in these muscles and helps prevent the deepening of smile lines so that you can keep smiling 😊