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Buccinator

The buccinator (also buccinator muscle, latin: musculus buccinator) is a facial muscle that participates in forming the anterior part of the cheek and the lateral wall of the oral vestibule.

The buccinator is a thin quadrilateral muscle occupying the interval between the maxilla and mandible. It is covered by the buccopharyngeal fascia.

Origin

The fibers of the buccinator arise from the alveolar processes of the maxilla and mandible at the region of the 1st and 2nd molar teeth, and from the pterygomandibular raphe.

Insertion

The buccinator inserts into the angle of the mouth radiating into the fibers of the orbicularis oris muscle.

Action

Upon contraction the buccinator pulls the angle of the mouth laterally, presses the cheeks to the teeth, thus decreasing the oral vestibule.

Contractions of the buccinator muscle produce facial expressions presenting satisfaction, as well as laughing and crying.

Innervation

The buccinator is innervated by the buccal branch of the facial nerve (CN VII).

Blood supply

The buccinator is supplied by branches of the facial artery and also the buccal branch of the maxillary artery.