Buccinator Muscle: Function, Origin & Insertion Video

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  • 0:03 Buccinator Muscle
  • 0:48 Muscle Origin and Insertion
  • 1:30 Buccinator Muscle Function
  • 2:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

The buccinator muscle is a muscle located in each cheek of the face. In this lesson, learn about the origin, insertion, and function of the buccinator muscle.

Buccinator Muscle

What did the number zero say to the number eight? Nice belt.

Did that joke make you giggle or at least give you a little smile? Now try to whistle your favorite song.

If that corny joke made you smile, and if you really did try to whistle your favorite song, you used your buccinator muscle, a very important muscle that has many different functions. The buccinator muscle is a muscle that is located in each of the cheeks of the face. This muscle receives electrical impulses from the brain through the cranial nerve VII, which is also called the facial nerve. The buccinator muscle receives its blood flow from the facial artery, a small branch of the carotid artery, which is the large blood vessel that flows up through the neck and into the head and skull.

Muscle Origin and Insertion

As we already mentioned, the buccinator is found in each cheek of the face. More specifically, this muscle originates from two different locations, which are:

  • Alveolar process of the maxilla and the mandible: The mandible is the official name of the lower jaw and the maxilla is the official name of the upper jaw. The alveolar processes are the thickened parts of the mandible and maxilla that form the sockets of the teeth.

  • Pterygo-mandibular raphe: The pterygo-mandibular raphe is a thick layer of connective tissue in the cheek.

From these two points of origin, the buccinator muscle then extends and inserts (attaches) to the orbicularis oris. The orbicularis oris is a muscle located around the mouth in the area of the lips.

Buccinator Muscle Function

The main function of the buccinator muscle is to compress the cheek, which means this muscle helps to hold the cheek close to the teeth. Holding the cheek close to the teeth can result in several specific functions and actions. We already covered how smiling and whistling are two functions enabled by the buccinator muscle. Let's look at some additional functions of this muscle.

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