Lateral Pterygoid


The lateral pterygoid muscle acts to depress and protrude the mandible.


Superior: Infratemporal surface and the infratemporal crest of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone.

Inferior: Lateral side of the lateral pterygoid plate


Superior: The articular disc and fibrous capsule of the temporomandibular joint.

Inferior: The pterygoid fossa on the condylar head of the mandible.


The V3 (mandibular) branch of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V) innervates the temporalis muscle.

 Posterior view of the medial and lateral pterygoid muscles

Image by Jennifer Harries. Adapted from an image in the BMS225 handbook.