41880779 © Aliced | Dreamstime.com
Dreamstime Xs 41880779

Good read: Scientists discover new body part within jaw

June 27, 2023
Scientists uncovered a part of the body never described before: an "anatomically distinct" third layer of the masseter muscle, which raises the lower jaw and is critical for chewing.
Elizabeth S. Leaver, Digital content manager

Enjoy this “good read,” an excerpt from an article or other online source related to dentistry curated and shared with DentistryIQ readers.

In December 2021, scientists discovered a part of the body that had not been named or described before: a deep layer of muscle in the masseter, which raises the lower jaw and is critical for chewing.

Anatomy textbooks describe the masseter muscle as having two layers, one deep and one superficial—but based on some “inconsistent” mentions of the possible existence of a third layer, study authors suspected the prominent jaw muscle might also have a hidden, super-deep layer.

Through examining both cadavers and living subjects, they identified an "anatomically distinct ... deep, deep " third layer of the masseter muscle “clearly distinguishable from the two other layers in terms of its course and function,” noted a study author.

Read Scientists discover new part of the body on LiveScience

More good reads:

How changing diets changed language

Why do we have so many "not normal" issues with our teeth?