Illustrations

1. Illustration to give a general idea of what the masseter muscle is

Here's a drawing showing the masseter muscle, a bulge shaded in the side of the jaw. In many drawings of superhero heads, the masseter is very prominent in the jaw

2. Illustration showing how the masseter muscle extends beyond the side of the jaw and up to the side of the wisdom teeth

In the image, of the human skull, you can see the masseter muscle in red, both its outer part, the superficial head, and its inner part, the deep head, in red. The wisdom teeth are marked with arrows and captions, and a small part of the lower wisdom tooth can be seen "peeking" next to the masseter muscle.

3. Illustration of the lower jaw bone

The mandible (the lower jawbone) is in the following image. Marked are the wisdom teeth, the level of the scan of the MRI in the next illustration, and an approximation of how forward the masseter muscle reaches.

The masseter muscle attaches to the side of the lower jawbone, as you can see in the previous illustration, and reaches approximately until the yellow line marked in this illustration, between the wisdom tooth and the second molar (the wisdom teeth are the third molars. The count starts from the teeth closer to the middle), going beyond the upright part of the lower jawbone (which is called the ramus of the mandible). Seeing that the masseter muscle reaches to the side of the wisdom teeth, and that the ramus doesn't reach between the wisdom teeth and the masseter muscle, leaves only the question of whether the space between the masseter muscle and the wisdom teeth is full of tissue and without spaces, which we indeed see in the next illustration. The red line, going roughly horizontally through the ramus of the mandible, and marked "Level of MRI picture slice" is to show the part of the jawbone that appears as a triangle in the horizontal slice of the head in the next illustration, an MRI image.

4. Illustration of the wisdom teeth's nearby relations

Here's an MRI image, showing a horizontal slice of a human head, at the level of the upper teeth. The various parts are annotated in red, with red arrows.

You can see how the masseter muscle extends beyond the ramus of the mandible, and reaches to the side of the wisdom tooth.

The buccinator muscle is a muscle on the inside of the cheeks, in the area of the molar teeth. The buccal fat pad is an encapsulated mass of fat in the cheeks.

See how the wisdom tooth touches the buccinator muscle, which in turn touches the buccal fat pad, which has an inverted U shape, in white, and then it further touches the masseter muscle.

As you can see in illustrations on this page, the masseter rests on the wisdom teeth, and only those teeth.This contact I think is important for the proper function of the jaw.

Remarks: On the left, the buccal fat pad in this picture is larger. That is, according to the information that came with the image, because the patient in the picture had a lipoma, which is a benign tumor of the fat, in that buccal fat pad. As well, ignore the large black arrows, which came with the picture too, and point to the buccal fat pads.

Copyright information: Image 1 is the album cover of Avoda Ivrit, is used under fair use, for research and education purposes, is edited to add a caption and an arrow by me, and cannot be reused without permission by the original creators. Image 2 is a picture edited by me, from Kenhub and is used under fair use too. Image 3 was bought for my personal and non-transferable use from Shutterstock, edited by me, and cannot be reused without permission from Shutterstock.

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