Which Muscles Make a Smile?
Ever wonder how many muscles it takes to make a smile? Ultimately, several muscles are necessary to create a smile, and these include:
- Buccinator: Provides support when chewing food, as it holds the cheek close to the teeth. The buccinator muscle is located in the cheek.
- Depressor Anguli Oris: Helps draw the lower lip downward. This muscle is located on the lower lip.
- Depressor Labii Inferior: Plays an essential part in drawing down the lower lip muscle.
- Levator Anguli Oris: Supports the nasolabial fold in the cheek. The muscle elevates the upper lip, thereby exposing the teeth when an individual smiles.
- Levator Labii Superior: Lifts the upper lip. It is located near the cheek bone in the area where the cheek bone meets the bones of the nose.
- Levator Labii Superior Alawque Nasi: Supports the facial muscles that enable an individual to sneer.
- Orbicularis Oris: Helps close the mouth and supports kissing and pouting movements.
- Risorius: Located on both sides of the mouth. The risorius muscle plays a key role in creating facial expressions, as it begins around the parotid gland (a salivary gland found in the back of the jaw) and moves around the platysma muscle (a muscle located in the neck and chest).
- Zygomaticus Major: Works in combination with the risorius muscle to help lift the corners of the mouth when a person smiles or laughs.
- Zygomaticus Minor: Like the zygomaticus major muscle, the zygomaticus minor muscle performs in conjunction with the risorius muscle and helps lift the lip when a person smiles or laughs.
Facial paralysis can prevent a person from smiling or laughing. There are many causes of facial paralysis, including:
- Acoustic neuroma: The most common type of brain tumor, acoustic neuroma is non-cancerous and forms near facial nerves that are located between the inner ear and brainstem.
- Bell’s palsy: Bell’s palsy is considered the primary cause of facial paralysis in the United States. It frequently is linked to a feeling or sensation that inhibits facial movement.
- Parotid tumor: Parotid tumors occur in the parotid gland, which is located in front of the ear. The facial nerve goes directly through the parotid gland, so in some cases a parotid tumor may engulf the facial nerve and lead to nerve damage during parotid tumor removal.
- Trauma: Facial paralysis has been associated with head trauma.
It is also possible to experience facial paralysis as result of a “botched” facelift. The overall risk of permanent facial nerve paralysis in standard facelift surgery generally falls between 0.53 percent and 2.6 percent. However, it is important for individuals to understand the risks associated with facial paralysis and facelift surgery before they receive treatment only seek out surgery with an expert board certified facial plastic surgeon to minimize this risk.
Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of The Facial Paralysis Institute is a globally recognized and Harvard-trained facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. For many years, Dr. Azizzadeh has helped patients address facial paralysis symptoms and can provide them with personalized treatments.
With Dr. Azizzadeh’s comprehensive consultation process, he can learn about each individual’s facial paralysis issues and discover the best ways to address these problems.
During a consultation, Dr. Azizzadeh will perform an in-depth patient analysis. Then, he will offer treatment recommendations to help a patient overcome facial paralysis symptoms once and for all.
Want to learn more about how Dr. Azizzadeh can help an individual mitigate facial paralysis symptoms? Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh today.