Cheeks | Definition, Histology, Functions & Synonyms


Cheeks are one of the parts of our face. In Latin, it is known as Buccae or Buccal. They are covered over by skin with numerous fat pads below.  They are fleshy parts of the face in humans.

The skin is being suspended by the chin and the jaw and forming the side wall of the human mouth which is visibly touching the cheekbone under the eye. During chewing, the cheeks and tongue among them serve to keep the food among the teeth. They are formed by many glands, tissues, muscles, and fat pads. In animals, it refers to Jowls.


It is the area of the face below the eyes among the nose and on the left and right ear. Also, it is described as the region below the eyes but above the jawline. In Urdu language, we call it گال.


This word originates from the Old English ceace, “jaw”, which maybe stems from ceowan, “chew.”


  • Jaw
  • Jowl
  • Choppers
  • Mandible
  • Jawline
  • Gill
  • Wang
  • Jawbone

Histology of Cheeks

In humans, the external surface of the cheek is covered by the skin, and the inner surface is covered by the mucosa. Its histology is similar to that of other parts of the oral cavity but it contains several muscle fibers and fat tissues different from other anatomical structures.

The skin of the cheek has a huge amount of thick elastic fibers that form an elastic fiber network. Its skin is lined with the Stratified Squamous Keratinized epithelium but the mucosa lines with the stratified squamous non-keratinized epithelium.

Also, it comprises sebaceous glands that are in the center line of the mucosa where the maxillary and mandibular teeth join. The cheek contains large amounts of blood vessels and capillaries.

The existence of capillaries can be observed when a person blushes and cheeks become red. It happens because the blood vessels of the cheeks broaden and this procedure is Vasodilation. The three bony structures that help to form the cheek are:

  • Zygomatic Bone
  • Maxilla Bone
  • Mandibular Bone

Functions of Cheeks

Cheek has several functions that give normal physiological processes of the human body.  It contributes to eating, talking, digestion, and in creation of various facial expressions.

Also, it helps us in digestion and mechanical and chemical food procedures. Mechanical food procession is provided by the muscles and Masseter is classified as the mastication muscle and it contracts during the process of chewing.

In the cheeks, muscles regulate the size and shape of the oral fissure and help to get the food into the oral cavity. Chemical food procession is done through saliva by the parotid gland and minor buccal salivary glands.

Cheek Tissue

The tissue that lines the mouth is called Basal Mucosa. It comprises of Squamous Epithelial cells. These structures split approximately in 24 hours.

Cheek Muscles

Cheek comprises several muscle fibers that form them. Some of the muscles in the cheek are:

  • Orbicularis Oris
  • Levator Labii Superioris
  • Depressor Anguli Oris
  • Mentalis
  • Corrugator
  • Nasalis
  • Risorius
  • Buccinator
  • Procerus
  • Zygomaticus Major and Minor
  • Masseter
  • Temporalis
  • Depressor Septi Nasi
  • Frontalis
  • Platysma

Prominent Muscles:

The most prominent muscles in the cheeks are the:

  • Buccinator
  • Masseter


It is the most important muscle involved in the compression of the cheek. It presses the cheeks to the teeth lies deep in the middle part of every cheek and widens from the alveolar arches of the mandible and maxilla to the corner of the mouth. Buccinator blends with the fibers of the orbicularis oris to make the medial aspects of the cheeks.


It is in the anterior to the ear in the lateral aspect of every cheek. It expands from the Zygomatic Arch to the Mandible. Also, it helps us in the procedure of chewing as a mastication muscle.

Disorders of Cheeks

Several disorders can affect the look of the cheeks. Generally, they are related to systemic conditions or different skin diseases. Some systemic disorders present with their typical symptoms on the cheeks.

Most common disorders include diverse skin diseases such as Acne. The superficial surface of the cheek is visible to everyone and changes in visual appearance can affect the social life and mental health of a person. List of disorders:

  • Unhealthy Diet
  • Various Antigens
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Stress
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Cosmetic Products
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Sun Exposure
  • Excessive Tobacco & Alcohol Consumption
  • Weather and Temperature Changes


  • Her cheeks are very soft.
  • Ali has a reddish birthmark on his cheek.
  • He kissed Sara on the cheek.
  • Saba touched his cheek gently.
  • Ahmed pecked his sister on the cheek.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Mention some facts about the cheeks.

  • It is a fundamental component of facial expression
  • It protects teeth
  • It helps in the process of chewing
  • It contains many blood vessels

Mention the scientific name of the cheek.

The scientific name of the cheek is Buccae.

How much thick the human cheek is?

The average thickness of the skin of the cheek is 1.85mm.

Mention the parts of the cheek cell.

  • Nucleus
  • Cytoplasm
  • Cell membrane
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