Medial pterygoid muscle

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medial pterygoid
The Pterygoidei; the zygomatic arch and a portion of the ramus of the mandible have been removed. (Internus is visible at center bottom.)
The otic ganglion and its branches. (Pterygoideus internus labeled at bottom right.)
Latin musculus pterygoideus medialis, musculus pterygoideus internus
Gray's subject #109 387
Origin: deep head: medial side of lateral pterygoid plate behind the upper teeth
superficial head: pyramidal process of palatine bone and maxillary tuberosity
Insertion: medial angle of the mandible
Artery: pterygoid branches of maxillary artery
Nerve: mandibular nerve via nerve to medial pterygoid
Action: elevates mandible, closes jaw, helps lateral pterygoids in moving the jaw from side to side
MeSH Pterygoid+Muscles
Dorlands/Elsevier m_22/12550302

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


The medial pterygoid (or internal pterygoid muscle), is a thick, quadrilateral muscle of mastication.

The mandibular branch of the fifth cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve, innervates the medial pterygoid muscle.

Origin and insertion

It consists of two heads.

Its fibers pass downward, lateral, and posterior, and are inserted, by a strong tendinous lamina, into the lower and back part of the medial surface of the ramus and angle of the mandible, as high as the mandibular foramen. The insertion joins the masseter muscle to form a common tendinous sling which allows the medial pterygoid and masseter to be powerful elevators of the jaw.

As stated by one Dr. Anderson of UDMSD, the medial pterygoid goes from the canoe to the rough water. (The canoe is the depression created by the medial and lateral plates of pterygoid process, and rough water is the rough attachment surface on the medial aspect of the angle of the mandible.)


Like the lateral pterygoid, and all other muscles of mastication, the medial pterygoid is innervated by the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve (V3).


It closes the jaw and help in mastication along with lateral pterygoid in side to side movement of jaw and protrusion. It elevates the jaw, and in some aspect pulls it forward.

Also it elevates mandible.

Additional images

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

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