Which bone is controlled by the muscles of mastication?

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The mandible (jawbone) is controlled by the four muscles of mastication (chewing).

The four muscles and their actions are:

  • temporalis:

    elevates and retracts the mandible (you can feel this by clenching your closed jaw and putting your hands on the sides of your head)

  • medial pterygoid:

    elevates mandible and allows for lateral movement (move your jaw side to side)

  • lateral pterygoid:

    protracts the mandible (push you chin forward to feel this movement)

  • masseter:

    also is involved with elevating and retracting.


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