Accessibility View Close toolbar

Lesson 6 - Facial Muscles

Hi there,
Let's put some muscles on that face we just learned the bones of during last class.
Please print or download the Class Notes provided below. I also suggest you print the Preview Questions. Then, watch the Lecture Videos and answer the questions. When you are done, email me the answers to Please do so before class to receive credit for your work.

Class Notes:
Facial Muscles (full pager)
Facial Muscles (2 per page)
Facial Muscles (3 per page)

Lecture Videos:

Preview Questions:
(printable version)
6.1 Muscles contract and bring points of attachment closer to one another. We easily understand that when they move bones around and make us be able to manipulate our environment. Chewing is actually such a function in the face as those muscles pull the mandible into the maxilla to bring the teeth together. Other facial muscles attach to skin and help us make facial expressions. List different ways of how humans use facial expressions?
6.2. Certain facial expressions are universal; they are found even in tribes that have never seen outsiders. Fundamental emotions are expressed with facial muscles. It’s even been shown that when we inject Botox (a nerve poison) into the anger expressing muscle, we don’t just loose the frown between our eyes, but we also change of how we process anger internally; that’s deep! I don’t think we consider that when we’re trying to simply improve on our beauty! What are the seven universal facial expressions?
6.3. A muscle has a few attachment points (at least two). One end anchors it to a stable area that doesn’t move when it contracts; it’s called an origin. The other end moves a bone, or in the case of facial muscles, the skin. What is that end called?
6.4. Considering the face, all the muscles (except for the chewing ones) pull either on the eyes, mouth, or nose. In terms of the eyes, we need to be able to close them, make them wide, raise them (and the eyelid) up, and pull them together medially, as in furrowing. We have four different muscles doing the different motions (or technically called actions). The muscle names, which you have to remember for the test, give us an idea of either where the muscle is, how it looks, or what it does. After learning the names of the bones in the skull, can you think of the name they could give a muscle that covers the forehead?
6.5. Lifting or raising the eyebrows is needed to express surprise and fear. We often also open the eyes as much as possible with a muscle that pulls the eyelid up and back. What is that muscle called?
6.6. The word corrugate means ‘to wrinkle’. We have a muscle that does that in the forehead to help us express anger, or keep the sun out of our eyes. Which muscle am I talking about?
6.7. Surrounding an eye is a round muscle; we also have one of them around the mouth. It helps us close the eyes, and also pulls the corner’s laterally (or to the side), helping us smile when we’re really happy. What muscle is this?
6.8. Let’s next discuss the two muscles helping us move the nose around. We have to be able to lift the corners up and compress it’s bridge. They concern themselves mainly with the anger and disgust emotions. One of them has the longest name indicating what it does and where it is: upper elevator of the lip / wing of the nose. Can you write down that muscles name slowly and analyze the words as much as possible.
6.9. The other ’nose muscle’ name is much easier (God have mercy!). What is it?
6.10. That brings us to the muscles of the mouth. There are many. Just think of all the motions a mouth has to do. The lips need to move up and down. The mouth as a whole needs to open and close, it’s corners pulled up/down, as well as to the side. ’Levator’ means elevate, ‘depressor’ pull down, and ’labii’ means lip. What muscle lifts the upper lip to express anger, disgust, or even contempt?
6.11. Which two muscles depress the lips? One does the entire one in order to ’pout’, and the other one pulls down the corners to express sadness.
6.12. On the other hand, to express happiness, we lift the corners of the mouth up. What muscle does that?
6.13. The buccinator muscle gives us dimples. It is well developed when we are first born and mainly nurse. It also compresses the cheeks. On top of it is a small sliver of muscle that help pull the corners of the mouth to the side. It helps express fear. What is that muscle called?
6.14. A muscle surrounding the mouth helps us close it. It also protrudes the lips, so that we can give each other a kiss. What is that muscle called?
6.15. The mentalis muscle in front of the chin and wrinkles it. And lastly, there is a muscle covering the front of our necks keeping it nice and smooth. That muscle also helps pull the lower jaw down to open our mouth. What is it called?
6.16. Enough of facial expressions; chewing is the other vital job muscles in this area have! Four of them help us. Two we can see from the outside and the others are hidden behind the side of the mandible. Can you name the ones on the outside?
Please email me the answers before class begins to in order to get credit for it.

During the LAB, you will be drawing the muscles life size onto the large paper we've started during the last session. Here is the Term List that spells out which terms I like for you to know and study.

As with the skull and all the lessons during this middle section of the class, please watch the videos ahead of class and label the muscles discussed to your best ability on this picture handout (click here!).

Here is an audio of the in-class discussion:

Here are the LAB videos of me showing the terms on the models we use in class as well as for the test.

This used to be my old homework, which I liked, but it is not mandatory.

LAB Homework: Facial Muscle Lab

Contact Us

Send us an email


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Chiropractic Wellness Center


By apt only


10:00 am-6:00 pm


10:00 am-4:00 pm


10:00 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-2:00 pm


10:00 AM - 2:00 PM 2xmo