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Temporalis Muscle
Muscular System

Temporalis Muscle

Musculus temporalis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Temporal fossa and fascia.

Insertion: Coronoid process and ramus of mandible.

Action: Elevates and retracts mandible.

Innervation: Anterior and posterior deep temporal nerves (CN V3).

Arterial Supply: Anterior and posterior deep temporal arteries and middle temporal artery.

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The temporalis muscle originates from the temporal fossa and its associated temporal fascia.


The fibers of the temporalis muscle converge as they descend deep to the zygomatic arch and attach to the coronoid process and ramus of the mandible.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The temporal fossa sits deep to the temporalis muscle. Within this fossa are the deep temporal arteries, veins, and nerves.

The fibers of the anterior portion of the temporalis muscle run in an approximately vertical direction, which permits elevation of the mandible. In contrast, the posterior component has fibers which run almost horizontally. This permits retraction of the mandible.


The temporalis muscle is involved in multiple actions:

- elevates the mandible at the temporomandibular joint;

- retracts the mandible at the temporomandibular joint (Standring, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Trismus


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

Temporalis Muscle

ScienceDirect image

Pain from the temporalis muscle is usually felt as facial pain or headache in the temple and forehead, from the masseter muscle in the jaw and posterior teeth, from the medial pterygoid muscle deep in the cheek and in front of the ear, and from the lateral pterygoid muscle in the zygomatic area.

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