The temporal muscle, or temporalis muscle, is one of several chewing muscles that is necessary for crushing objects between the molars. Due to its location and use, this muscle may be a primary center for tension headache pain according to neurological research.

The temporal muscle is broad, fan-shaped, and situated along the side of the head, occupying the temporal fossa. It originates from the temporal fossa and temporal fascia, passing the zygomatic arch, or cheekbone, before inserting into the mandible's coronoid process. This muscle is found beneath the temporal fascia and accessible on the temples. Unclenching and clenching the jaw contracts this muscle. This muscle controls both retraction and elevation of the mandible or jaw bone.

The temporal muscle receives blood supply from deep temporal arteries. Innervation or comtrol of this muscle comes from the trigeminal nerve's mandibular branch. The deep temporal nerves in this third branch control all of the mastication muscles.  

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Temporalis

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