Zygomaticus major muscle

The zygomaticus major is a muscle of the human body. It is a muscle of facial expression which draws the angle of the mouth superiorly and posteriorly to allow one to smile.[1] Like all muscles of facial expression, the zygomatic major is innervated by the facial nerve (the seventh cranial nerve), more specifically, the buccal and zygomatic branches of the facial nerve.

Zygomaticus major
Muscles of the head, face, and neck. Zygomaticus major shown in red.
Originanterior of zygomatic
Insertionmodiolus of mouth
Arteryfacial artery
Nervezygomatic and buccal branches of the facial nerve
Actionsdraws angle of mouth upward and laterally
Latinmusculus zygomaticus major
Anatomical terms of muscle


The zygomaticus extends from each zygomatic arch (cheekbone) to the corners of the mouth.


It raises the corners of the mouth when a person smiles. Usually a single unit, Dimples are caused by variations in form.[2][3] It is thought that dimples are caused by bifid zygomaticus major muscle.[4]


See also


  1. Stel, Mariëlle; van Dijk, Eric; Olivier, Einav (2009). "You Want to Know the Truth? Then Don't Mimic!". Psychological Science. 20 (6): 694. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02350.x.
  2. "Dimple Creation – Cute as a button, who pays for a deformity?".
  3. "Zygomaticus Major Muscle Function, Origin & Anatomy".
  4. Pessa, Joel E.; Zadoo, Vikram P.; Garza, Peter A.; Adrian, Erle K.; Dewitt, Adriane I.; Garza, Jaime R. (1998). "Double or bifid zygomaticus major muscle: Anatomy, incidence, and clinical correlation". Clinical Anatomy. 11 (5): 310–313. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2353(1998)11:5<310::AID-CA3>3.0.CO;2-T. PMID 9725574.
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