It is one of the muscles of the tongue, situated above and in front of the digastric muscle. At its base, it diverts around the digastric tendon. The stylohyoid originates at the temporal styloid process, which is located on the temporal bone of the skull. It inserts into the hyoid bone, which is located at the base of the tongue between the chin and neck. Its function is to lift and retract the hyoid bone. This action results in an elongation of the mouth floor which is needed for chewing and swallowing.
The nerve supply for the stylohyoid is provided by the facial nerve. Blood is supplied through the facial artery. If the nerves that surround the stylohyoid become irritated or damaged, the result can be chronic pain in the face, neck and head areas. Nerve damage and scar tissue in the stylohyoid muscle most commonly occurs during tonsillectomy surgeries. Although there is no known cure for stylohyoid nerve pain, common treatment includes physical therapy.