Geniohyoid muscle

The geniohyoid muscle is a narrow muscle situated superior to the medial border of the mylohyoid muscle. It is named for its passage from the chin ("genio-" is a standard prefix for "chin")[1] to the hyoid bone.

Geniohyoid muscle
Anterior view. Geniohyoid muscle labeled at upper center left
Extrinsic muscles of the tongue. Left side.
OriginInferior mental spine of mandible
InsertionHyoid bone
ArteryBranches of the lingual artery.
NerveC1 via the hypoglossal nerve
ActionsCarry hyoid bone and the tongue upward during deglutition
LatinMusculus geniohyoideus
Anatomical terms of muscle


It arises from the inferior mental spine, on the back of the mandibular symphysis, and runs backward and slightly downward, to be inserted into the anterior surface of the body of the hyoid bone.[2]:346 It lies in contact with its fellow of the opposite side. It thus belongs to the suprahyoid muscles. The muscle is supplied by branches of the lingual artery.


The geniohyoid muscle is innervated by fibres from the first cervical nerve travelling alongside the hypoglossal nerve.[2][3][4] These fibers are called ansa cervicalis.


It may be blended with the one on opposite side or double; slips to greater cornu of hyoid bone and genioglossus occur.


The geniohyoid muscle brings the hyoid bone forward and upwards.[2] This dilates the upper airway, assisting respiration.[3] During the first act of deglutition, when the mass of food is being driven from the mouth into the pharynx, the hyoid bone, and with it the tongue, is carried upward and forward by the anterior bellies of the Digastrici, the Mylohyoidei, and Geniohyoidei. It also assists in depressing the mandible


The inclined position of the geniohyoid muscle has been contrasted to the horizontal position in neanderthals.[5]

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 393 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  2. Singh, Inderbir (2009). Essentials of anatomy (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Jaypee Bros. p. 346. ISBN 978-81-8448-461-8.
  3. Takahashi, S. (1 December 2002). "Breathing modes, body positions, and suprahyoid muscle activity". Journal of Orthodontics. 29 (4): 307–313. CiteSeerX doi:10.1093/ortho/29.4.307. PMID 12444272.
  4. Drake, Richard L.; Vogl, Wayne; Tibbitts, Adam W.M. Mitchell; illustrations by Richard; Richardson, Paul (2005). Gray's anatomy for students (Pbk. ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone. p. 988. ISBN 978-0-443-06612-2.
  5. Barney, A.; Martelli, S.; Serrurier, A.; Steele, J. (21 November 2011). "Articulatory capacity of Neanderthals, a very recent and human-like fossil hominin". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 367 (1585): 88–102. doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0259. PMC 3223793. PMID 22106429.
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