Muscles of facial expression By dr. vijay Makasana
MUSCLES OF FACIAL EXPRESSION
1st yr PG
Facial expression results from one or more
motions or positions of the muscles of the face.
These movements convey the emotional state
of the individual to the observer.
Facial expressions are a form of non verbal
Humans can adopt facial expression as
voluntary action. However, as facial
expressions are relative to emotional state,
more often they are involuntary
The motor supply to these muscles is by the
Facial nerve & the sensory supply is from the
EMBRYLOGICALLY, they develop from the
mesoderm of the second branchial arch ,
therefore, supplied by 7TH CN.
Classification of Facial muscles
Topographically, the muscles are grouped
under the following six heads.
Muscles of the scalp
Muscles of the auricle, situated around the
It covers the dome of the skull from the highest
nuchal lines to the eyebrows. It’s broad
musculofibrous layer consisting of four thin,
muscular quadrilateral parts. Two occipital & two
frontal parts are connected by epicranial
Origin: Each occipital part (Occipitalis) arises by the
tendinous fibres from the lateral two-thirds of the highest
nuchal lines of the occipital bone & adjacent region of the
mastoid part of the temporal bone.
Attachment: Extends forward from the mastoid part of the
temporal bone & gets attached to the aponeurosis.
Nerve innervations: posterior auricular branch of the facial
Action: The Occipitalis draw the scalp backwards. Acting
alternatively with the frontalis part, they can move the
entire scalp forwards & backwards
Origin: arises from the skin of the forehead.
Attachment: Frontalis has no bony attachment of
its own. Frontalis is adherent to the superficial
fascia, particularly of the eyebrows. Fibres from
the frontalis blend with the adjacent muscles –
Procerus, Corrugator supercilli & Orbicularis
occuli. Then it ascends to join the epicranial
aponeurosis in front of the coronal suture.
Nerve innervations: supplied by the temporal
branches of the facial nerve.
Vascular supply: Occipitofrontalis is supplied by
the branches of the superficial temporal,
ophthalmic, posterior auricular & occipital
Action: Acting from above the frontalis raises the eyebrows and
the skin over the root of the nose. Acting from below, the frontalis
draws the scalp forwards, throwing the forehead into transverse
Facial expressions elicited: surprise & horror!
Muscles of the Auricle
The Auricularis anterior is the smallest of the three
extrinsic muscles of the ear. It is a thin fan of fibres.
Origin: Fibres of the Auricularis anterior arise from the
lateral edge of the epicranial aponeurosis.
Insertion: The fibres of the muscle converge to insert into
the spine of the helix.
Nerve innervations: supplied by the temporal branch of the
Action: In man these muscles have very little consequence
from their action. Auricularis anterior draws the ear
forward & upward
Origin: It is the largest of the three
muscles. It converges from the
epicranial aponeurosis via a thin flat
Attachment: Auricularis superior
attaches to the upper part of the cranial
surface of the auricle.
Nerve innervations: supplied by the
temporal branches of the facial nerve
Action: Auricularis superior elevates
the auricles slightly
Origin: Auricularis posterior consist of two or three fleshy
fascicule which arise by short aponeurotic fibres from the mastoid
part of the temporal bone.
Insertion: Insert into the ponticulus on the eminentia conchae.
Vascular supply: The arterial supply of the extrinsic auricular
muscles is derived mainly from the posterior auricular artery.
Nerve innervations: Auricularis posterior is supplied by the
posterior auricular branch of the facial nerve.
Action: Auricularis posterior draws the auricles back.
Orbicularis occuli is a broad, flat,
elliptical muscle that surrounds
the circumference of the orbit &
spreads into the adjacent regions
of the eyelids.
It has orbital, palpebral &
The Orbicularis oculi is a
muscle in the face that closes the
Origin: frontal &
Insertion: tissue of eyelid
Action: The Orbicularis
oculi is the sphincter
muscle of the eyelids. The
palpebral portion acts
involuntarily, closing the
lids gently, as in sleep or
Vascular supply: It is supplied by the branches of
facial, superficial temporal, maxillary &
Nerve innervations: It is supplied by temporal &
zygomatic branches of the facial nerve.
The Corrugator supercilii is a small, narrow,
pyramidal muscle, placed at the medial end of the
eyebrow, beneath the Frontalis and Orbicularis oculi.
Origin: It arises from the medial end of the
Insertion: Corrugator supercilii inserted into the deep
surface of the skin, above the middle of the orbital
Nerve innervations: Corrugator supercilii is
innervated by the temporal branches of the facial
Vascular supply: Corrugator supercilii is supplied
by the adjacent arteries, mainly from the
superficial temporal & ophthalmic arteries.
Action: The Corrugator draws the eyebrow
downward and medial ward, producing the
vertical wrinkles of the forehead.
It is the “frowning” muscle, and may be regarded
as the principal muscle in the expression of
Origin: the lesser wing of the sphenoid bone, just
above the optic foramen.
Insertion: This portion inserts on the skin of the
upper eyelid, as well as the superior tarsal plate
Nerve innervations: the oculomotor nerve
(Cranial Nerve III).
Action: The levator palpebrae superioris muscle
elevates and retracts the upper eyelid
Muscles of nose
a. Compressor naris
b. Dilator naris
c. Depressor septi
Procerus is a small pyramidal slip close to, &
often partially blended with, the medial side of
the frontal part of the Occipitofrontalis.
Origin: It arises by tendinous fibers from the
fascia covering the lower part of the nasal bone
and upper part of the lateral nasal cartilage.
Insertion: It is inserted into the skin over the
lower part of the forehead between the two
Nerve innervations: supplied by temporal &
lower zygomatic branches of the facial nerve.
Vascular supply: Procerus is mainly supplied by
the branches of the facial artery.
Action: It helps to pull that part of the skin
between the eyebrows downwards, which assists
in flaring the nostrils. It can also contribute to an
expression of anger.
Nasalis consist of transverse & alar parts
Origin: The Transverse part (compressor naris)
arises from the maxilla just lateral to the nasal
notch. The alar part (dilator naris) arises from
the maxilla from below & medial to the
Insertion: The fibres of the transverse part pass
upward & medially & expand into the thin
aponeurosis. At the bridge of the nose the paired
compressor naris muscle merge with each other
and aponeuroses of the Procerus. The dilator
naris partly merges with the transverse part & is
attached to the cartilaginous ala nasi.
Vascular supply: Nasalis is supplied from the branches
of the facial artery & the infraorbital branch of the
Nerve innervations: Nasalis is supplied by the buccal
branch of the facial nerve & also contribution from the
Action: Compressor Nasalis compresses the nasal
aperture at the junction of the vestibule of the nose with
the nasal cavity. The dilator nasalis draws the ala
downwards & laterally so as to facilitate the widening
of the anterior nasal aperture. These actions are
associated with deep inspiration, & are thus associated
with exertion & also with some emotional states.
Buccolabial group of muscles (muscles
around the mouth)
The shape of the mouth & the posture of the lips
are controlled by complex three dimensional
assemblies of muscular slips. These include
elevators, retractors & evertors of the upper
lip(levator labii superioris alaequae nasi, levator
labii superioris, Zygomaticus minor & major,
levator anguli oris & Risorius) ; depressors
,retractors & evertors of the lower lip(depressor
labii inferioris, depressor anguli oris & Mentalis);
a compound sphincter(Orbicularis oris, incisivus
superior & inferior); Buccinator.
Origin: It arises from the upper part of the frontal
process of the maxilla & divides into medial &
Insertion: The medial slip is inserted into the
greater alar cartilage of the nose & the skin over
it. The lateral slip is prolonged into the lateral part
of the upper lip
Vascular supply: supplied by the facial artery &
the infra orbital branch of the maxillary artery.
Nerve innervations: zygomatic & the buccal
branches of the facial nerve.
Action: The lateral slip raises & everts the upper
lip. The medial slip dilates the nostril
Origin: The levator labii superioris (or quadratus
labii superioris) is a broad sheet of muscle. It arises
from the maxilla & zygomatic bone above the infra
Insertion: Its fibres converge into the muscular
substance of the upper lip between the lateral slip of
the levator labii superioris alaequae nasi & the
Vascular supply: It’s supplied by the facial artery &
the infraorbital branch of the maxillary artery
Nerve Innervations: It’s
innervated by the zygomatic &
buccal branches of the facial
Action: It elevates & everts the
expressions of sadness or
The Zygomaticus extends from
each zygomatic arch (cheekbone)
to the corners of the mouth.
Origin: the zygomatic bone,
Insertion: the angle of the mouth
Vascular supply: superior labial
branch of the facial artery.
Nerve innervations: the
zygomatic & buccal branch of the
Action: It draws the angle of the
mouth upwards & laterally in
Origin: lateral surface of the zygomatic bone
immediately behind the zygomaticomaxillary
Insertion: It passes downwards & medially into
the muscular substance of the upper lip.
Vascular supply: It’s supplied by the superior
labial branch of the facial artery.
Nerve innervations: Zygomaticus minor is innervated
by the zygomatic & the buccal branch of the facial
Action: Elevates the upper lip, exposing the
maxillary teeth. Acting together, the main elevators
of the lip- levator labii superioris alaequae nasi,
levator labii superioris & Zygomaticus minor – curl
the upper lip in smiling, & in expressions of
smugness, contempt or disdain
Origin: Arises from the canine fossa of the
maxilla, below the infraorbital foramen.
Insertion: It inserts into & below the angle of the
Vascular supply: It is supplied by the superior
labial branch of the facial artery & the infraorbital
branch of the maxillary artery.
Nerve innervations: It is innervated by the
zygomatic & buccal branches of the facial nerve.
Action: It raises the angle of the mouth in smiling
Origin: It is a conical fasciculus lying at the side of
the frenulum of the lower lip.
Insertion: The fibres descend from the incisive fossa
of the mandible & attach to the skin of the chin.
Vascular supply: the inferior labial branch of the
facial artery & the mental branch of the maxillary
Nerve Innervations: It is innervated by the mental
branch of the facial nerve.
Origin: It has a long linear origin from the mental
tubercle of the mandible
Insertion: insertion with the Orbicularis oris and
Risorius; some of its fibers are directly continuous
with those of the Caninus
Vascular supply: It is supplied by the inferior
labial branch of the facial artery & the mental
branch of the maxillary artery.
Nerve Innervations: It is innervated by the buccal
& mandibular branches of the facial nerve.
Action: It draws the angle of the mouth
downwards & laterally in opening the mouth & in
expression of sadness
Upper fibres ,from maxilla opposite molar teeth
Lower fibres, from mandible opposite to molar teeth
Middle fibres, from pterygomandibular raphe
Upper fibres, straight to upper lip
Lower fibres, straight to lower lip
Middle fibres, decussate before passing to the lips
Vascular supply: It is supplied by the branches of
the facial artery & the buccal branches of the
Nerve innervations: Buccinator is supplied by the
buccal branch of the facial nerve.
Action:flattens the cheek against the gums and
teeth during mastication, & prevents
accumulation of food in the vestibules. Whistling
The Orbicularis oris is not a simple sphincter
muscle like the Orbicularis oculi; it consists of
numerous strata of muscular fibers
surrounding the orifice of the mouth but
having different direction.
intrinsic part - O : superior incisivus,from
maxilla; inferior incisivus, from mandible , I :
angle of mouth
Extrinsic part – O : thickest middle stratum,
derived from buccinator; thick superficial
stratum, derived from elevators and depressors
of lips and their angles, I : lips and the angle of
Newborn babies are occasionally born without
one or both sides of this particular muscle
resulting in a slight droop to the affected side of
Vascular supply: It is mainly supplied by the
superior & inferior labial branches of the facial
artery, the mental & infra orbital branches of the
maxillary artery & the transverse facial branch of
the superficial temporal artery.
Nerve supply: It is supplied by the buccal &
mandibular branches of the facial nerve.
Action: closes & purses the mouth; numerous
extrinsic muscles make it most versatile for
various types of grimaces.
Origin: upper part of
pectoral and deltoid fasciae,
fibres run upwards and
Insertion: anterior fibres, to
the base of the mandible;
posterior fibres to the skin of
the lower face and lip, and
may be continuous with the
Vascular supply: The Platysma is supplied by the cervical
branch of the facial artery.
Nerve innervations: It is supplied by the cervical branch of the
Action: When the entire Platysma is in action it produces a
slight wrinkling of the surface of the skin of the neck in an
oblique direction. Its anterior portion, the thickest part of the
muscle, depresses the lower jaw; it also serves to draw down
the lower lip and angle of the mouth in the expression of
horror or surprise.
Whole face of same side gets paralysed.
Face becomes asymmetrical and drawn up to normal side.
Motionless – affected side
Wrinkles disappear from forehead
Eye can not be closed
Drooping of mouth
Drooling of saliva
Food accumulates b/w teeth and cheek.
Not able to blow.
Usually part of hemiplegia,
Only lower part of opposite
side of face is paralysed.
The upper part with
frontalis and orbicularis
oculi escapes due to its
bilateral representation in
the cerebral cortex.
Mobius syndrome results from the underdevelopment of the VI
and VII cranial nerves
extremely rare congenital neurological disorder which is
characterized by facial paralysis and the inability to move the
eyes from side to side.
Often, the upper lip is retracted due to muscle shrinkage
Most people with Mobius syndrome are born with complete
facial paralysis and cannot close their eyes or form facial
People with Mobius syndrome have normal intelligence,
although their lack of facial expression is sometimes incorrectly
taken to be due to dullness or unfriendliness
Children with Mobius syndrome may have delayed speech
because of paralysis of muscles that move the lips, soft palate,
and tongue root.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome (also termed Hunt's Syndrome and
herpes zoster oticus) is a herpes zoster virus infection of the
geniculate ganglion of the facial nerve. It is caused by
reactivation of herpes zoster virus that has previously caused
chickenpox in the patient. Ramsay Hunt syndrome results in
paralysis of the facial muscles on the same side of the face as
the infection. So, the virus infects the facial nerve that normally
innervates controls the muscles of the face. Ramsay Hunt
syndrome is typically associated with a red rash and blisters
(inflamed vesicles or tiny water-filled sacks in the skin) in or
around the ear and eardrum and sometimes on the roof of the
mouth or tongue.
If any injury to the nerve which supplies that
muscle, it will lead to paralyses of that muscle.
This causes the dropping of lower eyelid ,
called as “Ectropion’’ and
Spilling of tears , called as “Epiphora”.
Some times there will be radiating wrinkles at
the angle of the eye during strong closure. This
called as “Crow’s Feet”
Smile in tetanus
It is the smile like feature in agony due to pulling of
the muscles of the angle