The zygmaticus minor is a muscle for facial expressions, elevating the lip and mouth and retracting the lip and mouth to creating a smile.
The zygomaticus minor is one of the 36 muscles used for facial expressions. While there are 53 muscles in the face, only 16 adjust the mouth.
The muscle originates from the malar bone and connects to the orbicularis oculi. It is a slender band of muscle on each side of the face arising from the zygomatic bone. The muscle attaches at the top of the check below each eye and extends diagonally down and to the outside of each end of the upper lip. Regular exercises, such as smiling, help tone the muscle.
The zygomatic and buccal branches of the facial nerve (VII) innervate the zygomaticus minor. The facial artery supplies blood to the muscle.
The zygomaticus minor should not be confused with the zygomaticus major. Both muscles work together to make facial expressions. The muscles are connected to the healthy appearance of the face.