The position of the tongue influences the shape of the face

Facial muscles

What are the facial muscles

The facial muscles are the muscles on the face that surround the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. Unlike other muscles in the body, they do not pull across joints from bone to bone, each with a tendon as an attachment point.

Instead, the facial muscles attach to the skin and the soft tissues of the face. This allows the facial muscles to move the skin and soft tissues against the bony surface of the skull. This creates furrows, wrinkles and pits that change the expression on the face. The facial muscles are also called facial muscles because they have a strong influence on facial expressions and have a decisive influence on facial expression.

All weight muscles are supplied by the facial nerve (nervus facialis).

The facial muscles are divided into five groups:

The muscles of the roof of the skull

The muscles of the roof of the skull - collectively referred to as the epicranius muscle - pull from the front, back and side to form a tendon plate that is firmly attached to the scalp and can be easily moved against the periosteum.

It belongs to the occipital muscle (musculus occipitofrontalis), which as part of the musculus epicranius with its rear part (musculus occipitalis) extends from the tendon plate to the eyebrows. He smooths the forehead and pulls the scalp backwards. With its front part (frontalis muscle) it frowns (thin skin creates many fine transverse wrinkles, thick skin a few broad wrinkles), raises the eyebrows and opens the eye - the facial expression conveys attention and amazement.

The facial muscles around the eye

Both eye sockets are surrounded by a circular muscle (Musculus orbicularis oculi): These facial muscles radiate into the tear duct, the tear sac and the eyelids. They enable the blinking and closing of the eyelids while sleeping, as well as the tight squinting of the eyelids. In the latter, the skin around the eye is pulled towards the center, which leads to wrinkles on the outer edge of the eye, the so-called crow's feet.

The eyebrows pull these facial muscles in and down. They also widen the tear sac and ensure the movement of the tear fluid.

Fibers of the orbicularis oculi muscle pull the eyebrows towards the middle and downwards - the facial expression triggered by the facial muscles becomes threatening, lurking.

The frown on the forehead (Musculus corrugator supercilii), which indents the skin over the middle of the eyebrow, pushes the skin into vertical folds and frowns - the face gives the impression of concentration and reflection.

The countersink of the baldness of the forehead (Musculus procerus), which arises on the bridge of the nose, creates transverse wrinkles at the root of the nose and smoothes the forehead wrinkles.

The facial muscles around the mouth

The circular muscle of the mouth (orbicularis oris muscle) forms the muscular basis of the lips and is firmly attached to the skin. He gives the lips their shape. Fibers that come from the ring of the muscle radiate into the red of the lips and can pull the lips inwards and make them narrow. Other fibers radiate into the nasal septum and can pull it down.

The puller of the corner of the mouth (Musculus depressor anguli oris) pulls the corner of the mouth and the upper lip downwards, whereby the upper area of ​​the nasolabial fold is flattened.

The sinker or square muscle of the lower lip (Musculus depressior labii inferioris) pulls the lower lip downwards.

The laughing muscle (Musculus risorius) pulls the corner of the mouth to the side and upwards and forms the pits in the cheeks.

The lift of the upper lip and the nostril (Musculus levator labii superioris alaeque nasi) comes from the bridge of the nose and the inner corner of the eye and lifts the nostrils, the nasal fold and thus the upper lip. It causes oblique wrinkles that run from the inner corner of the eye to the center of the bridge of the nose.

The lift of the upper lip (Musculus levator labii superioris) lifts the nasal fold and thus also the upper lip.

The lifter of the corner of the mouth (Musculus levator anguli oris) raises the corner of the mouth.

The small and large zygomatic muscles (Musculus zygomaticus minor et major) run in the area of ​​the right and left cheek. These facial muscles pull the nasal lip furrow and thus also the corners of the mouth to the side and upwards. They are the actual laughing muscles under the facial muscles.

The cheek or trumpeter muscle (musculus buccinator) also runs in each cheek. Its lower fibers radiate into the upper lip and its upper fibers into the lower lip, so that these fibers cross over at the corner of the mouth. These two cheek muscles form the basis of the cheek. Together with the sphincter muscles of the mouth, these weight muscles shrink the atrium of the oral cavity. So you can blow out the air with pressure. By inhaling air into the forecourt, the two facial muscles expand and a "Trumpet Angel Face" is created.

The chin muscle (Musculus mentalis) pulls the skin into the chin dimple, lifts the chin skin and pushes the lower lip up and forwards - one pulls a "pout".

The facial muscles around the nostril

The sinker of the nasal septum (Musculus depressor septi) pulls the nasal septum downwards.

The nasal muscle (Musculus nasalis) compresses the nasal opening and bends the cartilaginous part of the nose against the bony part.

The facial muscles in the area of ​​the ears

This includes facial muscles that move the auricle as a whole on the head:

The anterior ear muscle (auricularis anterior muscle) pulls the auricle forward, the upper auricular muscle (superior auricularis muscle) pulls it up, and the rear auricle (orbicularis posterior muscle) pulls it back.

Muscles that originate and attach to the auricle are evolutionary remnants of a sphincter muscle of the outer ear. In many animals these muscles, which are also part of the facial muscles, deform the auricle, in humans they are receded and insignificant.