The lateral pterygoid is a muscle of mastication (chewing). It is triangular shaped muscle with superior and inferior heads.
- The superior head originates from the greater wing of the sphenoid.
- The inferior head originates from the lateral pterygoid plate of the sphenoid.
- The two heads converge into a tendon which attaches to the neck of the mandible.
- Bilateral action – protraction of the mandible and depression of the chin.
- Unilateral action – ‘side to side’ movement of the jaw.
- Innervation: Mandibular nerve (V3).
- Blood Supply: Pterygoid branch of maxillary artery.