Facial muscles

The facial muscles (or muscles of facial expression) are situated within the subcutaneous tissue and are responsible for the movements of skin folds, providing different facial expressions. The facial muscles originate from the bones of the facial skeleton (viscerocranium) and insert into the skin.

The facial muscles are mostly grouped around the natural orifices of the face (eyes, nose, mouth), taking part in the closing or widening of these orifices.

The muscles in the calvaria region include the occipital and frontal bellies of the occipitofrontalis.

The facial muscles around the orbital opening include:

  • corrugator supercilii,
  • orbicularis oculi.

The muscles around the oral opening are the following:

  • buccinator,
  • depressor anguli oris,
  • depressor labii inferioris,
  • levator anguli oris,
  • levator labii superioris,
  • mentalis,
  • orbicularis oris,
  • risorius,
  • zygomaticus minor,
  • zygomaticus major.

The muscles around the nose opening include:

  • compressor narium minor,
  • dilator naris anterior,
  • levator labii superioris alaeque nasi,
  • nasalis,
  • procerus.

All muscles of facial expression are innervated by branches of the facial nerve (CN VII).