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Muscles of Facial Expression

Lie in the subcutaneous tissue of the face.
All innervated by the terminal motor branches of the facial nerve (CN VII)
Take origin from the underlying facial skeleton, but insert into the skin or facial cartilages

Muscles of Facial Expression

Can be divided by region:



Composed of an epicranial aponeurosis and the occipitofrontalis muscle

Frontal belly of occipitofrontalis 

O: Frontal bone
I: Epicranial aponeurosis
Moves scalp, eyebrows; wrinkles skin of forehead

Occipital belly of occipitofrontalis 

O: Superior nuchal line
I: Epicranial aponeurosis
Retracts scalp



O: Maxillae and alar cartilage of nose
I: Dorsum of nose
Compresses bridge and depresses tip of nose; elevates corners of nostrils Procerus

O: Nasal bone and lateral nasal cartilage
I: Aponeurosis at bridge of nose and skin of forehead Moves and wrinkles nose



Compresses cheek; holds food between teeth during chewing
O: Alveolar processes of mandible and maxillae
I: Orbicularis oris

Depressor anguli oris

Draws corners of mouth inferiorly and laterally
(“frown” muscle)
O: Body of mandible
I: Skin at inferior corner
(angle) of mouth


Depressor labii inferioris 

Draws lower lip inferiorly O: Body of mandible lateral to midline
I: Skin at inferior lip

Levator anguli oris

Draws corners of mouth superiorly and laterally (“smile” muscle) O: Lateral maxilla
I: Skin at superior corner of mouth


Levator labii superioris 

Opens lips; raises and furrows the upper lip
(“Elvis” lip…...

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