Extrinsic muscles of the tongue



Action: Depresses and protrudes the majority of the body of the tongue.

Origin: The mental spine of the mandible.

Insertion: The dorsum of the tongue.




Action: Depresses and retracts the tongue, it also makes the dorsum of the tongue more convex

Origin: The side of the body and the whole length of the greater cornu of the hyoid bone.

Insertion: The side of the tongue.




Action: Draws the sides of the tongue up to create a trough for swallowing.

Origin: The anterior and lateral surfaces of the styloid process and from the sylomandibular ligament.

Insertion: Tip and sides of the tongue.



The extrinsic muscles of the tongue are all innervated by the Hypoglossal nerve (cranial nerve XII).


Extrinsic muscles of the tongue

number 8: hyoglossus, number 9: geniohyoid, number 10: genioglossus (the styloglossus cannot be seen as it is embedded in tissue)

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