On each side of the oropharynx, styloglossus is one of the extrinsic muscles of the tongue. In continuity it originates from the:
- anterior surface of the styloid process of the mastoid bone
- proximal quarter of the stylohyoid ligament
It passes inferiorly and anteriorly to insert into the side and inferior aspects of the tongue. The muscle fibres of styloglossus merge with those of hyoglossus on the tongue.
It is innervated by the hypoglossal nerve (XII).
Styloglossus acts to:
- retract the tongue
- create a hollow in the centre of the tongue for swallowing