Facial muscles work together to control the parts of your face. They are essential to chewing and making facial expressions. If you experience weakness or paralysis in your face muscles, seek medical attention. Although facial palsy can be a sign of a temporary, curable condition, it may also indicate a serious medical problem.
Your face has almost 20 flat skeletal muscles that attach to different places on your skull. The craniofacial muscles are essential to chewing and making facial expressions. They originate from bone or fascia and insert into your skin. Craniofacial muscles work together to control movements in your:
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Your facial muscles are responsible for two major tasks:
The facial muscles involved in chewing are:
The muscles of facial expressions are:
Other functions of the muscles of your face include:
Facial muscles are located throughout your face. They can be categorized by general location:
To function, the facial muscles get signals from the brain via the facial nerve. But sometimes, they can’t receive those signals properly.
When the facial muscles cannot receive brain signals properly, that can cause:
Symptoms can occur:
Damage to the facial nerve and problems with the facial muscles can be caused by:
You should seek medical attention right away if you have any facial weakness or facial paralysis.
It might just be a temporary case of Bell’s palsy or a treatable infection. But a healthcare provider should examine you in case you have something more serious, such as a tumor or stroke.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Your facial muscles work together to control the parts of your face. They are essential to chewing, facial expressions and other functions. Weakness or paralysis of your face muscles can be a temporary condition or a serious medical problem. See a healthcare provider right away if you have facial palsy or any trouble smiling, talking or eating.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/04/2021.
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