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Genioglossus Muscle
Muscular System

Genioglossus Muscle

Musculus genioglossus

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Quick Facts

Origin: Superior mental spine of mandible.

Insertion: Body of hyoid bone and intrinsic muscles of tongue.

Action: Protrudes and depresses tongue.

Innervation: Hypoglossal nerve (CN XII).

Arterial Supply: Sublingual and submental arteries.

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The genioglossus muscle originates from the superior mental spine on the posterior surface of the mandible, superior to the attachment of the geniohyoid muscle.


The genioglossus muscle extends in a posterosuperior direction and attaches to the superior surface of the hyoid body and along the length of the ventral tongue from root to apex. The right and left genioglossus muscles are separated by the lingual septum posteriorly but blend with each other anteriorly.


The genioglossus muscle is involved in multiple actions:

- during unilateral contraction, it laterally moves the tongue to the opposite side;

- during bilateral contraction, it protrudes the tongue and depresses the central portion of the tongue (Standring, 2016).


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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