Lateral pterygoid

The lateral pterygoid (Latin: musculus pterygoideus lateralis) is a thick and short triangular-shaped muscle located in the infratemporal fossa of the skull. It is classified as one of the primary muscles of mastication. The lateral pterygoid muscle is composed of two heads - superior and inferior.

Lateral pterygoid, Masticatory muscles, Muscles of mastication, Head muscles
Lateral pterygoid by Anatomy Next
Lateral pterygoid
Origin

Superior head - infratemporal surface and crest of the greater wing of the sphenoid

Inferior head - lateral surface of the lateral pterygoid plate (sphenoid bone)

InsertionPterygoid fovea of the mandible
Action

Bilateral contractions - push the mandible forward, depress the mandible

Unilateral contraction - pushes the mandible to the opposite side

  Innervation      Lateral pterygoid nerve of the mandibular nerve
Blood supply  Pterygoid branches of the maxillary artery, ascending palatine branch of the facial artery  

 

Origin

The superior head of the lateral pterygoid originates from the infratemporal surface and crest of the greater wing of the sphenoid.  The inferior head of this muscle originates from the lateral surface of the lateral pterygoid plate (of the sphenoid bone).

 

Insertion

The lateral pterygoid inserts on the pterygoid fovea of the mandible. The pterygoid fovea is located on the condylar process of the mentioned bone.

Origin and insertion of lateral pterygoid, Lateral pterygoid
Origin and insertion of lateral pterygoid by Anatomy Next

 

Action

Upon bilateral contractions, the lateral pterygoid muscles push the mandible forward (protrude the mandible). By contracting on one side, the activated lateral pterygoid muscle pushes the mandible to the opposite side. The lateral pterygoid muscles depress the mandible.

Action of lateral pterygoid, Function of lateral pterygoid, Lateral pterygoid
Action of lateral pterygoid by Anatomy Next

 

Innervation

The lateral pterygoid muscle is innervated by the lateral pterygoid nerve, a branch of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve (CN V3).

 

Blood supply

The lateral pterygoid is provided with the arterial blood supply by the pterygoid branches of the maxillary artery and ascending palatine branch of the facial artery.