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SmarterDA - Dental Assisting Boards Prep Courses
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Q: Which one is NOT a muscle of mastication?

Q: Which one is NOT a muscle of mastication?

4/14/2017 9:02:53 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 114

Dental Assisting Boards Prep Review, SmarterDA)

Q: Which one is NOT a muscle of mastication?

  1. Masseter
  2. Medial pterygoid
  3. Temporalis
  4. Lateral pterygoid
  5. Buccinator

There are 4 muscles of mastication:

  • Masseter
  • Medial pterygoid
  • Temporalis
  • Lateral pterygoid

Those muscles work together to move the mandible up and down, and “chew” food.


This review is part of the AMP® dental assisting exam review course (DANB® boards) at

Unlike most of the other facial muscles which are innervated by the facial nerve (or cranial nerve VII), the muscles of mastication are all innervated by the trigeminal nerve (or cranial nerve V). More specifically, they are innervated by the mandibular branch or V3.

Buccinator is a muscle of the facial expression. It is a thin broad muscle forming the wall of the cheek and serving to compress the cheek against the teeth and to retract the angle of the mouth. It also helps the sucking action and expels air (also called as the trumpet muscle for this reason). It is also useful to know that the buccinator is pierced by the parotid duct.

Answer: (E). Buccinator

How do you memorize it? Look at the images and see Mom Makes Tasty Lasagna. M -> Masseter, M -> Medial pterygoid, T -> Temporalis, L -> Lateral pterygoid. I already posted this in earlier in 2015 on our social media and a student contacted me after her exam that this helped her so much. So I wanted to share this with you too! Imagine this red, hot, lasagna, with cheese that your mom just took out of the oven. MMTL, muscles of mastication.

Let’s review a few more details about the 4 muscles of mastication for the dental assisting board exams, the AMP® .

  • Masseter: two heads, deep and superficial. The superficial head is the bigger one. Action: elevates the mandible.
  • Temporalis: fan-shaped muscle. Action: elevates and retracts the mandible with the posterior portion of the muscle.
  • Medial pterygoid: two heads, deep and superficial. The deep head is the bigger one. Action: elevates the mandible. Runs vertically, compared to the lateral pterygoid that runs horizontally.
  • Lateral pterygoid: two heads, upper and lower. Action: depresses the mandible.

Hope this was another helpful SmarterDA Weekly Vitamin for the dental assisting board exams (NBDHE, NDHCE)! Success is at hand, never give up! By the way, don’t forget to do the FREE trial at SmarterDA.



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Author: Claire RDH, CDA, MS

Claire is the founder of StudentRDH and SmarterDA – exams prep solutions for the dental hygiene and dental assisting students. The exam review online solutions quickly became the #1 choice among students. “Studying is now “addictive!”
Prior to her career in the dental field, Claire Jeong was an education specialist at Boston Children’s Museum. Claire is licensed to practice in the United States and Canada. She can be reached at and


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