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Posted on 30th Jul 2020 / Published in: Head

General information

The temporalis muscle is a thin, fan-shaped muscle located in the temporal fossa. This muscle makes up the masticatory muscle group, along with the medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid and masseter muscles.

Literal meaning

The time muscle.

Interesting information

This muscle coordinates mastication due to its main actions producing mandible movements. It is also the strongest muscle of all the muscles acting upon the temporomandibular joint and is the only mandible retractor.


Temporal fossa below the inferior temporal line and the temporal fascia.


All surfaces, except the lateral, of the coronoid process and the anterior margin of the mandibular ramus.


Elevates the mandible; posterior horizontal fibres retract the mandible, assists with side-to-side movements.

Nerve supply

Mandibular branch of trigeminal nerve (Cranial nerve V).

Blood supply

The middle temporal branch of the transverse facial artery, deep temporal arteries that arise from the second part of the maxillary artery.


Relevant research

A temporalis muscle tendon unit transfer may be used as a single-stage procedure for dynamic reanimation of the paralysed face.

Owusu Boahene K. D. (2016). Temporalis Muscle Tendon Unit Transfer for Smile Restoration After Facial Paralysis. Facial plastic surgery clinics of North America, 24(1), 37–45.

Temporalis exercises

Temporalis exercises

Jaw TMJ retraction

Using your fingers, push the bottom of your jaw backwards towards the throat.

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