The major muscles of the tongue and associated structures are as follows:
- genioglossus Attached to the inside of the mandible at the front, the fibres run throughout the tongue and attach to the hyoid bone. Contraction of this muscle draws the hyoid and tongue root forward, allowing the front of the tongue to move forward and upward.
- hyoglossus Attached to the hyoid bone, the fibres of this muscle travel upwards to the base of the tongue. Contraction of the hyoglossus pulls the tongue backward and downward.
- styloglossus Attached to the styloid process of the temporal bones of the skull. Contraction of this muscle pulls the tongue backward and upward.