Muscle Anatomy of the Masseter


  • Superficial portion: from the maxillary process of the zygomatic bone, and the anterior two-thirds of the inferior border of the zygomatic arch
  • Deep portion: from the deep and medial surface of the zygomatic arch


  • Superficial portion: the angle and ramus of the mandible
  • Deep portion: upper half of the ramus and the lateral surface of the coronoid process of the mandible.

Actions: Elevation and protraction of the mandible. Clenching of the teeth

Innervation: Branches of the mandible portion of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V)

Blood Supply: Branch from the facial artery

Masseter Muscle

For pain and symptom information see:

Masseter Muscle: Jaw, Eye, Ear, Pain, Sensitive Teeth

Masseter Muscle Actions

Primary Actions of the Masseter

   1. Closing the mouth by elevation of the mandible

   2. Clenching the teeth

Secondary Actions of the Masseter:

   1. Assists with retraction of the mandible


Recommended Beginner Anatomy Books

The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body.

The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy.


Donna Martin

Massage Therapist Owner: Twelve years of experience working with clients with chronic pain, post injury pain, and post surgery pain. Muscle dysfunction is often overlooked but can hold the key to many pain conditions.

Leave a Reply