temporalis muscle

The temporalis muscle is one of the muscles of mastication. It is responsible for both closing the mouth and retraction (posterior fibers).


Gross anatomy

Temporalis is a broad, radiating muscle, situated at the side of the head which arises from the whole of the temporal fossa (except that portion of it which is formed by the zygomatic bone) and from the deep surface of the temporal fascia. Its fibers converge as they descend, and end in a tendon, which passes deep to the zygomatic arch and is inserted into the medial surface, apex, and anterior border of the coronoid process of the mandible, and the anterior border of the ramus of the mandible nearly as far forward as the last molar tooth.

Blood supply

Deep temporal branches of the maxillary artery and contributions from the middle temporal artery.


The muscle is supplied by the deep temporal nerves of the anterior division of the mandibular nerve. It may also receive branches from the middle temporal nerve.


  • upper and anterior fibers: close the jaws
  • posterior fibers: retract the mandible
  • side-to-side movements of the mandible
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