The buccinator (also buccinator muscle, latin: musculus buccinator) is a facial muscle that forms the anterior part of the cheek.
The buccinator originates from the alveolar processes of the maxilla and mandible at the region of the 1st and 2nd molar teeth, and the pterygomandibular raphe. The buccinator inserts into the angle of the mouth radiating into the fibers of the orbicularis oris muscle. The buccinator muscle participates in forming the lateral wall of the oral vestibule.
Upon contraction the buccinator pulls the angle of the mouth laterally, presses the cheeks to the teeth, thus decreasing the oral vestibule. Contractions of the buccinator muscle produce facial expressions presenting satisfaction, as well as laughing and crying.
The buccinator is innervated by the buccal branch of the facial nerve (CN VII).