Lateral Pterygoid

Joe Muscolino

Share This

The lateral pterygoid on the right side of the body. We seen the superior and inferior heads. The medial pterygoid has been ghosted in. And note that part of the mandible has been cut away.

The Lateral Pterygoid is a muscle of mastication that moves the mandible at the temporomandibular joints (TMJs). The primary muscles of mastication are:


The Lateral Pterygoid has two heads: Superior Head and Inferior Head.







  1. Having attachments directly into the articular structures of the TMJ, the lateral pterygoid is especially important to assess and treat in clients who have any sort of TMJ dysfunction.
  2. The lateral pterygoid is so-named because it attaches onto the sphenoid bone more laterally than the medial pterygoid.