Muscles of the Face


The muscles of the face are made up of striated muscle tissue and are just below the skins surface. The facial muscles are what give humans the ability to make facial expressions. These muscles mainly begin at the bone and then insert into the skin. The muscles of the face are innerverted by the VII cranial nerve which is also known as the facial nerve. The facial nerve is one of the twelve paired nerves of the cranium. This nerve is what help us to move our facial muscles enabling the ability to make facial expressions. All of the muscles of the face have different affects on the face and the expression.
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Major Muscles of the Face:


Frontalis Muscle:
The frontalis muscle of the face runs vertically from the hair line and inserts just above the eyebrows. When you contract your frontalis muscle your eyebrows raise creating wrinkles in the forehead. If you contract your medial frontalis only the medial part of the eyebrow contracts, and if you contract your outer frontalis only the lateral part of the eyebrow will contract.
Procerus:
The procerus originates in the upper nasal region of the face and fans into the center of the forehead. This muscle pulls the skin of the center forehead down. This forms transverse wrinkles in the bridge of the nose forming what is known as the champion pucker.
Nasalis Muscle:
The nasalisis muscle is composed of two parts the compressor and the dilator. The compressor constricts the nostrils and the dilator allows the nostrils to flare. Both muscles originate in the upper jaw and insert into the cartilage of the nose.
Depressor Septii:
The depressor septii is a very small muscle in the upper lip which originates in the upper jaw bone and inserts into the septum of the nose. This muscle is responsible for lowering the septum and nostril wings as well as reshaping the nostrils.
Orbicularis Oculi:
The obicularis oculi surrounds the eye and is responsible for the opening and closing of the eye. This muscle is also responsible in the important process of moisturizing the eye as well as protection.
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Corrugator:
The corrugator muscle is located at the inner orbit of the eye and is responsible for pulling the skin of the inner eyebrow downward and medially to the center of the face. This muscle is what allows the face to make the facial expressions of grief and sadness because of the frown it produces in the eyebrow and forehead.
Depressor Supercilii:
The depressor supercilii is disputed over as to its nature. Anatomists believe this muscle is a part of the muscles surrounding the eye, while many doctors of the facial field (i.e. dermatologists and plastic surgeons) believe it has a part in the contraction of the eyebrows. this muscle originates in the medial orbital rim and inserts into the medial part of the boney orbit.
Auriculares:
Made up of three muscles which surround the outer ear:
Anterior Auricular Muscle: The smallest of the three fan shaped muscle of the outer ear.
Superior Auricular Muscle: The largest of the three muscles and converges into the upper part of the cranial surface.
Posterior Auricular Muscle: Made up two to three fasciculi which originate in a portion of the temporal bone and also inserted into the lower part of the cranial surface.
Orbicularis Oris:
The orbicularis oris surrounds the mouth and makes up much of the tissue in the lips. This muscle is very important in controlling the shape and size of the mouth as well as the control. This muscle is what allows us to create lip positions for speech. The obicularis oris is also known as the "kisser" because it is the muscle used while kissing.
Depressor Anguli Oris:
The depressor anguli oris is made up of converging fibers which form the angle of the mouth, and is what enables us to make a frowning face.
Risorius:
The risorius originates in the masseter and inserts int he corners of the mouth. This muscle allows us to stretch our face laterally and produce a grin or smile but does not use the muscles around the eye.
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Zygomatic Major:
The zygomatic major originates in the cheek bone and inserts into the corners of the mouth. This muscle allows us to produce a genuine smile instead of what is known as a "lying smile". This muscle uses the muscles surrounding the eye (obicularis oris) to produce a genuine smile.
Zygomatic Minor:
The zygomatic minor originates in the lateral part of the cheek bones and inserts into the skin in the upper lip. This muscle allows the lip to move upward and laterally.
Levator Labii Superior:
The levator labii superior is located in the upper lip and cheek. It is made up of a lateral part and a nasal part. The lateral part allows us to raise are upper lip straight up and the nasal part is responsible for raising the lip, stretching the wing, and wrinkling the nose.
Levator Labii Superioris Alaeque Nasi:
The LLSAN originates in the maxilla and inserts into the upper part of the lip. This muscle is what enables us to snarl and many times is known as the "Elvis Muscle" as he was a perfectionist at this facial expression.
Depressor Labii Inferioris:
The depressor labii inferioris originates in mandible part of the chin and then inserts into the lower part of the lip. This muscle is responsible in pulling the lower part of the lip down, baring the teeth, and creating an expression of irony in the face.
Buccinator:
The buccinator originates in the maxilla and mandible and then inserts into many region of the corners of the mouth. This muscle acts in compressing our cheeks and creating dimples. Its main function is to keep food in where it is to be masticated by our teeth.
Mentalis: The mentalis muscle is used when making the facial expression of thinking and of concentrating. It originates in the mandible and inserts into the skin located on the chin.

Cool fact:

It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown.
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