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The masseter (Latin: musculus masseter) is a thick and quadrangular-shaped paired masticatory muscle that elevates the lower jaw. The masseter is classified as the primary muscle of mastication.

OriginZygomatic arch
InsertionMasseteric tuberosity of mandible
ActionElevates mandible
Innervation Masseteric nerve of mandibular nerve (CN V3)
Blood supply Masseteric artery of maxillary artery

The thickness of the masseter muscle is approximately 15 millimeters. It negatively correlates with the mandibular plane angle and positively with the height of the mandibular ramus and thickness of the alveolar process. Therefore, the masticatory function influences the morphology of the mandible.1 (Kubota et al. 1998)

Masseter muscle, Masseter, Muscles of mastication, Masticatory muscles, Head muscles
Masseter by
Primary muscles of mastication, Temporal muscle, Masseter, Human skull, Lateral view
Primary muscles of mastication (temporal muscle and masseter) by


The masseter muscle originates from the zygomatic arch that is formed by the zygomatic process of the temporal bone and temporal process of the zygomatic bone.

Masseter, Muscles of mastication, Masticatory muscles, Mandible, Skull, Origin, Insertion, Head muscles
Origin and insertion of masseter by



The masseter inserts on the masseteric tuberosity of the mandible.

Origin and insertion of masseter muscle, Masseter muscle
Origin and insertion of masseter by



Contractions of the masseter muscle elevate the mandible.

Action of masseter, Function of masseter, Masseter, Relaxed masseter, Contracted masseter
Action of masseter by



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


Blood supply

The masseter is supplied with the arterial blood by the masseteric artery of the maxillary artery.