The Buccinator muscle: the dimple making muscle
The Buccinator (buck-sin-ate-er) is shown below in red. We've mercilessly sawed away part of the jaw bone and snipped several muscles so you can see where it's origin is. (We didn't really do that, I just drew a picture that looks like we did.) The buccinator's origin is in a small bone that's really at the back of the mouth called the "Pterygoid Wing" . "Pter" is Latin for bird. So it translates as "Bird wing" and this bone really does look like a bird wing. Check it out in an anatomy book.
If you look in the mirror and say "ahh", you'll see what looks like a very flat upside down "v" in the back of your throat. Your tonsils attach to this too - this "v". They're indirectly attached to the same mooring as the buccinator: the pterygoid wing. I'm only telling you this to make this anatomy stuff a little more interesting. (And maybe to impress you with how smart I am...c'mon, feed an old guy's vanity :-)
OK, where were we? Oh yes, the buccinator. The origin
is in the pterygoid wing and it's insertion is in the sides of the orbicularis
oris (that's the circular muscle around the whole perimeter of the mouth) .
When this muscle - the buccinator - contracts (as it does
when you grimace or smile or grin with cheesy gusto), it pulls
everything back towards your ears causing the tissue in your cheeks and
jowls to bunch up exactly the same way a sash around the middle of your
living room curtains bunches them up. Does that flash a visual
into your brain? If not, look at these two pictures:
...the same way the sash around this curtain bunches it up:
Kasbohm & Company's
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