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The Buccinator Muscle

The buccinator is an oral muscle of facial expression located deep to the other muscles of the face. It is found between the maxilla and the mandible, which are two of the most important facial bones. This muscle is also known as the cheek muscle.


The buccinator muscle attaches itself to both the maxilla and the mandible. Its fibers run in an inferomedial direction and blend with the orbicularis oris muscle and the skin of the lips.


The main action of the buccinator is to pull the cheek inwards against the teeth, preventing accumulation of food in that area. This action helps the user hold food in the mouth when chewing and it also helps to clear the mouth of saliva or other fluids. It is also involved in facial expression and helps to create facial expressions such as pouting and smiling by pushing the cheeks outward or upward.


The buccinator receives its nerve supply from the buccal branches of the facial nerve.

Blood Supply

The buccinator's blood supply comes from the buccal artery, which is a branch of the maxillary artery.

Clinical Significance

The buccinator muscle can be affected by a variety of medical conditions. One of the most common conditions is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). This disorder causes pain in the jaw, as well as pain in the buccinator muscle. Other common conditions that can affect the buccinator muscle include Bell’s Palsy, stroke, facial nerve paralysis, and cancer.

The buccinator muscle can also be affected by dental procedures. Dental fillings, implants, and even crowns can press on the buccinator muscle and cause pain and discomfort. This is why it is important for patients to tell their dentists if they are experiencing any pain in the buccinator muscle before or after dental procedures.

Finally, the buccinator muscle can be affected by Botox injections. Botox injections are used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In some cases, these injections can cause facial paralysis due to an overabundance of Botox in the buccinator muscle. It is important to talk to a doctor before receiving Botox injections to ensure that the right amount of Botox is used.


The buccinator muscle is an important facial muscle located between the maxilla and the mandible. It is involved in many important actions including pulling the cheek inwards, facial expressions, and helping a person to chew food. It also can be affected by a variety of medical conditions, dental procedures, and Botox injections. It is important to talk to a doctor or dentist if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in the buccinator muscle.

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