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Superficial Part of Masseter
Muscular System

Superficial Part of Masseter

Pars superficialis masseteris

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Quick Facts

Origin: Inferior aspect of zygomatic arch.

Insertion: Lateral aspect of ramus of mandible.

Action: Elevates mandible; assists in protraction of mandible.

Innervation: Masseteric nerve (CN V3).

Arterial Supply: Masseteric, transverse facial, and facial arteries.

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The superficial part of the masseter muscle is the largest portion of the masseter. It originates from the inferior aspect of the zygomatic arch.


The fibers of the superficial part of the masseter muscle course inferiorly and posteriorly and attach to the lateral aspect of the inferior portion of the ramus of the mandible.


Overall, the masseter muscle is involved in multiple actions:

- elevates the mandible at the temporomandibular joint;

- assists in protraction of the mandible at the temporomandibular joint (Standring, 2016).


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

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Masseter Muscle

ScienceDirect image

Masseter muscle spasm or rigidity (MMR) in response to depolarizing muscle relaxants59 or MH triggering agents has been identified as an early clinical sign of MHC60,61 or as a myotonic reaction62,63 commonly followed by elevated muscle enzymes, hyperkalemia, dysrhythmias, and metabolic acidosis.

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