The mylohyoideus muscle is the maxillary sinus muscle extending above the hyoid bone, which arises from a fine bone border on the lower jaw side. Tendon muscle tension may be responsible for dysphagia and other health disorders.

What is the mylohyoid muscle?

The hyoid bone (Os hyoideum) is surrounded by two muscle groups, divided into internal (intrinsic) and external (extrinsic) muscles. The mylohyoid muscle, like the digastric muscle and the stylohyoid muscle, belongs to the upper hyoid bone and has the ability to pull up the hyoid bone.

The lower tendon muscles of the sternohyoid, the thyrohyoid muscle and the omohyoid muscle are responsible for the downward pull. The TMJ muscle, along with the other muscles, works in the direction of the jaw and neck muscles, with connections to the shoulder blades and chest. Because the hyoid bone is very deep, the elongated mylohyoid muscle is one of the most interwoven muscles in the head.

The skeletal muscle attached to the hyoid bone is connected to the hyoid bone with its posterior fibers, while the other hyoid muscles meet with their anterior fibers in the connective tissue line of the median plane (raphe mylohyoidea). The mylohyoid muscle also takes over the functional supply of tissue. The entire hyoid muscle supports tongue movement, speech, breathing, swallowing, coughing, laryngeal motion, mouth opening and chewing system. The jaw hyoid muscle is specifically designed to lift the hyoid bone and open the lower jaw.

Anatomy & Construction

The mylohyoid muscle is a derivative of the first gill arch and is also called Diaphragma oris. The soft floor of the mouth between the lower jaw and the hyoid bone is predominantly formed by the left and right jaw-tongue leg muscles.

Both tongue muscles connect via the raphe mylohyoidea and join together to form a continuous muscle plate. Under the tongue on the floor of the mouth is the hyoid bone, a curved U-shaped bone that is the only one not connected to the skeletal system. It hangs on the tongue muscles and ligaments that anchor it in the skull base area. The tongue muscles allow the hyoid bone to support the tongue weight. Without this function, man could neither speak nor articulate words.

The mylohyoid muscle raises the hyoid bone during swallowing and opens the jaw, while the geniohyoid muscle moves the hyoid bone forward as the chin-tongue muscle. Responsible for the tongue lift are also the bony digastrica on the chin projection and the split musculus stylohyoid on the small tongue of the tongue. At the posterior border of the mylohyoid muscle under the lid of the mouth is the submandibular gland.

Function & Tasks

Every day, the human consciously or unconsciously uses his tongue muscles, for example, to moisten the lips. In addition to opening the jaw, the mylohyoid muscle is also involved in the swallowing process and the grinding movements. The flat jaw hyoid muscle together with the other intrinsic and extrinsic muscles guarantees the undisturbed function of the tongue during food intake and during an unrestricted chewing and speaking process.

The internal tongue muscles are able to deform the tongue and is activated by the seventh cranial nerve (hypoglossal nerve). The external tongue muscles can move the tongue throughout the oral cavity, raising it, lowering it, pulling it back and forth. The mylohyoid muscle performs certain tasks that are subject to the constant change of movement and tension. Larynx and trachea are connected to the hyoid bone. During swallowing, certain tongue muscles pull up together with the larynx and close the laryngeal inlet by pressing the laryngeal lid to the inside of the neck. The mandibular hyoid muscle forms a stable connection to the floor of the mouth. In addition, the mylohyoideus muscle affects the cervical muscles and is also involved in locomotor coordination of the neck and shoulder area.

There are no muscles directly above the hyoid bone, which makes it palpable through the skin. Since the tongue muscles of the jaw, chest and shoulder pulls to the tongue, it is an important building block for various movements. The muscles on the hyoid bone and the thyroid cartilage as the largest laryngeal cartilage are among the most important forms of movement in the neck, head and trunk.


If there are bad postures or breathing difficulties, physicians rarely consider problems with the hyoid bone and the surrounding tongue muscles. If the hyoid bone is only loosely fixed in a weak tongue muscle and lies too far back, it can lead to a lower jaw reserve.

As a result of this malposition of the jaw, constrictions of the trachea arise, which can cause respiratory problems. In speech therapy, tongue function plays an important role in language education. By training the tongue and mouth muscles, various speech and swallowing disorders can be treated. Tension in the mylohyoid muscle or the other tongue muscles can also lead to a variety of health problems. If the mobility of the hyoid muscles is impaired, it often results in difficulty swallowing, headaches or neck stiffness due to the tension.

If children suffer from defective tongue restraint, mouth breathing instead of correct nasal breathing is favored. Here, the tongue is not in the resting position on the palate, but on the floor of the mouth, resulting in a flabby tongue muscles and possibly the formation of a too large lower jaw by itself. If the tongue falls backwards when sleeping, the air flow is obstructed, which can lead to snoring or even breathing interruptions. Meanwhile, doctors are using tongue pacemakers to stimulate certain tongue muscles and the tongue nerve against potentially life-threatening sleep apnea.

In the treatment of sleep apnea also a targeted tongue muscle training is used, which strengthens the suprahyoid muscle group, which includes the mylohyoideus muscle. This therapy method is performed by means of electrical stimulation over a period of four to eight weeks and can significantly improve the parameters for nocturnal respiratory disorders.

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