The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between masseter muscle size and craniofacial morphology, focusing on the maxilla. Twenty-four patients (11 males and 13 females; mean age 27.6 ± 5.6 years) underwent cephalometric analyses. Ultrasonography was used to measure the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the masseter muscle and bite force was measured using pressure sensitive film.
The results showed that CSA-relaxed was positively correlated with upper anterior face height (UAFH)/total anterior face height (TAFH) and negatively with lower anterior face height (LAFH)/TAFH and LAFH (P < 0.05). CSA-clenched was correlated positively with SN-palatal, FH-palatal, UAFH/TAFH, and lower posterior face height (LPFH)/total posterior face height (TPFH) and negatively with LAFH/TAFH, LAFH, upper posterior face height (UPFH)/TPFH, and UPFH (P < 0.05). Bite force was positively correlated with LPFH/TPFH and negatively with UPFH/TPFH (P < 0.05). As the masseter became larger, the anterior maxillary region tended to shift downwards relative to the cranial base, whereas the posterior region tended to shift upwards. The decrease in LAFH/TAFH and increase in LPFH/TPFH as the size of the masseter muscle increases may be influenced not only by the inclination of the mandibular plane but also by the clockwise rotation of the maxilla.