The mentalis lifts the skin over the chin. This direct action is not expressive, but the indirect action, the pushing together of the lips, is. We employ the mentalis to squash and pout our lips whenever we're sad and often when we're nervous or angry. It plays a role in the stifled smile and the facial shrug. Here its movement is isolated. In expression, it always acts in concert with other muscles. The signature wrinkle (the puckered chin) is always present, no matter what the expression. The mentalis on the skull does not attach to the mouth. It originates (A) in the depression below the teeth. From there the fibers move down and toward the surface, inserting themselves into the skin on the ball of the chin (B). In the pout, the pockmarks on the surface are actually the places where the fibers are attaching to, and pulling up, the skin.
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