The mentalis muscle (MT) is the only elevator of the lower lip and the chin, and it provides the major vertical support for the lower lip. However, there are few reports on the relationship between the MT and its surrounding muscles. The aim of this study was to clarify the morphology of the MT, especially in relation to the orbicularis oris muscle and the incisivus labii inferioris muscle (ILI), thereby providing data to understand the function of the MT in relation to the surrounding muscles. The MT was examined in 40 specimens of embalmed adult Korean cadavers. The medial fibers of both MTs descended anteromedially and crossed together, forming a dome-shaped chin prominence in all specimens. The lateral fibers of the MT descended inferomedially in 38 specimens (95%) and inferolaterally in 2 specimens (5%). The upper fibers of the MT were short and ran horizontally, whereas the lower fibers were long and descended inferomedially or vertically. The upper fibers of the MT were intermingled with the inferior margin of the orbicularis oris muscle in all specimens. The originating muscle fibers of the ILI were intermingled with the upper lateral MT in all specimens. Some of the ILI fibers extended inferomedially to the middle or lower portion of the MT in 22 specimens (55%). The results of this study constitute new anatomical knowledge regarding the MT and will be useful to surgeons performing various surgical procedures of the chin area.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes