CN V: Trigeminal nerve

CN V: Trigeminal nerveAnatomy and function of the trigeminal nerve. Ophthalmic nerve. Maxillary nerve. Mandibular nerve
~ 15 min

In this note, we are going to discuss the anatomy and function of the trigeminal nerve (n. trigeminus), which is the CN V.

Trigeminal nerve (n. trigeminus)
Trigeminal nerve (n. trigeminus)

This nerve is responsible for several functions: it provides sensory innervation to the face, oral cavity, nasal cavity, and dura mater. It also provides motor innervation to the muscles of mastication.

According to the generally accepted classification of functional components, it contains the following fiber types:

  • general somatic afferent fibers (GSA)
  • special visceral efferent (SVE) or branchiomotor fibers

Therefore, the trigeminal nerve is a mixed nerve.

The motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (nucleus motorius nervi trigemini), which is located in the dorsolateral part of the pons, is the source of the motor fibers.

Motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (nucleus motorius nervi trigemini)
Motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (nucleus motorius nervi trigemini)
Motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (nucleus motorius nervi trigemini)
Motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (nucleus motorius nervi trigemini)
Motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (nucleus motorius nervi trigemini)
Motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (nucleus motorius nervi trigemini)

It receives impulses from the corticobulbar tract (fibrae corticonucleares), which originates in the contralateral precentral gyrus.

Corticobulbar tract (fibrae corticonucleares)
Corticobulbar tract (fibrae corticonucleares)

The sensory trigeminal ganglion (ganglion trigeminale),

Trigeminal ganglion / Gasserian ganglion (ganglion trigeminale)
Trigeminal ganglion / Gasserian ganglion (ganglion trigeminale)
Trigeminal ganglion / Gasserian ganglion (ganglion trigeminale)
Trigeminal ganglion / Gasserian ganglion (ganglion trigeminale)
Trigeminal ganglion / Gasserian ganglion (ganglion trigeminale)
Trigeminal ganglion / Gasserian ganglion (ganglion trigeminale)

which is located in the trigeminal impression (impressio trigemini) on the anterior surface of the petrous part of the temporal bone, is the source of the sensory fibers. It is also known as the Gasserian ganglion.

Trigeminal impression (impressio trigeminalis)
Trigeminal impression (impressio trigeminalis)

The peripheral processes of sensory neurons pass to the innervation areas forming three branches:

  • the ophthalmic nerve CN V1 (n. ophthalmicus),
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus)
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus)
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus)
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus)
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus) - area of innervation
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus) - area of  innervation
  • the maxillary nerve CN V2 (n. maxillaris),
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris)
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris)
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris)
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris)
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris) - area of innervation
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris) - area of  innervation
  • and the mandibular nerve CN V3 (n. mandibularis)
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis)
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis)
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis)
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis)
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis) - area of innervation
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis) - area of  innervation

The central processes of the sensory neurons enter the brain, where they divide into smaller ascending and descending bundles. The descending bundle forms the so-called spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve (tractus spinalis nervi trigemini).

Spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve (tractus spinalis nervi trigemini)
Spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve (tractus spinalis nervi trigemini)
Spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve (tractus spinalis nervi trigemini)
Spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve (tractus spinalis nervi trigemini)

Descending into the medulla, and then into the spinal cord, this tract becomes gradually thinner as its fibers synapse with the neurons of the spinal nucleus (nucl. spinalis nervi trigemini).

Spinal trigeminal nucleus (nucleus spinalis nervi trigemini)
Spinal trigeminal nucleus (nucleus spinalis nervi trigemini)
Spinal trigeminal nucleus (nucleus spinalis nervi trigemini)
Spinal trigeminal nucleus (nucleus spinalis nervi trigemini)
Spinal trigeminal nucleus (nucleus spinalis nervi trigemini)
Spinal trigeminal nucleus (nucleus spinalis nervi trigemini)

The ascending bundle passes to two other nuclei: the main (or principal) sensory nucleus (nucl. principalis nervi trigemini),

Main (principal) sensory nucleus (nucleus sensorius principalis nervi trigemini)
Main (principal) sensory nucleus (nucleus sensorius principalis nervi trigemini)
Main (principal) sensory nucleus (nucleus sensorius principalis nervi trigemini)
Main (principal) sensory nucleus (nucleus sensorius principalis nervi trigemini)
Main (principal) sensory nucleus (nucleus sensorius principalis nervi trigemini)
Main (principal) sensory nucleus (nucleus sensorius principalis nervi trigemini)

located in the dorsal part of the pons near the motor nucleus, and the mesencephalic nucleus (nucl. mesencephalicus nervi trigemini), located in the tegmentum of the midbrain (within the lateral periaqueductal grey matter).

Mesencephalic nucleus (nucleus mesencephalicus nervi trigemini)
Mesencephalic nucleus (nucleus mesencephalicus nervi trigemini)
Mesencephalic nucleus (nucleus mesencephalicus nervi trigemini)
Mesencephalic nucleus (nucleus mesencephalicus nervi trigemini)

The spinal nucleus receives pain and temperature information from the face, the main sensory nucleus receives tactile information from the face and mouth. And finally, the mesencephalic nucleus receives proprioception for masticatory muscles, and it also senses deep pressure which helps us to regulate the process of mastication.

Moreover, the sensory nuclei of the trigeminal nerve (mainly the spinal nucleus) receive information from other mixed cranial nerves: facial, glossopharyngeal and vagus.

After synapsing, the ascending fibers emerge from the sensory nuclei. This pathway is called trigeminal lemniscus (lemniscus trigeminalis). They run towards the thalamus, and from there to the cortex of the postcentral gyrus, where sensory information is processed.

Trigeminal lemniscus (lemniscus trigeminalis / tractus trigeminothalamicus)
Trigeminal lemniscus (lemniscus trigeminalis / tractus trigeminothalamicus)

The trigeminal nerve emerges from the lateral aspect of the pons by a large sensory root (radix sensoria)

Sensory root (radix sensoria)
Sensory root (radix sensoria)
Sensory root (radix sensoria)
Sensory root (radix sensoria)
Sensory root (radix sensoria)
Sensory root (radix sensoria)

and a smaller motor root (radix motoria).

Motor root (radix motoria)
Motor root (radix motoria)
Motor root (radix motoria)
Motor root (radix motoria)
Motor root (radix motoria)
Motor root (radix motoria)

In the cranial cavity, the nerve is located between the sheaths of the dura mater within the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus.

Trigeminal nerve in the area of the cavernous sinus
Trigeminal nerve in the area of  the cavernous sinus

The nerve splits into three major branches, which exit the cranium.

  • The ophthalmic nerve passes through the superior orbital fissure (fissura orbitalis superior).
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus)
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus)
Superior orbital fissure (fissura orbitalis superior)
Superior orbital fissure (fissura orbitalis superior)
  • The maxillary nerve passes through the foramen rotundum (foramen rotundum).
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris)
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris)
Foramen rotundum (foramen rotundum)
Foramen rotundum (foramen rotundum)
  • And the mandibular nerve leaves the cranium through the foramen ovale (foramen ovale).
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis)
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis)
Foramen ovale (foramen ovale)
Foramen ovale (foramen ovale)

Let’s discuss each of the major divisions of the trigeminal nerve in greater detail.

Ophthalmic nerve

Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus, CN V1)

It emerges from the trigeminal ganglion.

Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus)
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus)
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus) - area of innervation
Ophthalmic nerve (n. ophthalmicus) - area of  innervation

The nerve passes along the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus. It gives off the recurrent tentorial nerve, which courses backward and innervates the tentorium cerebelli.

Recurrent tentorial nerve (r. meningeus recurrens / r. tentorii)
Recurrent tentorial nerve (r. meningeus recurrens / r. tentorii)
Recurrent tentorial nerve (r. meningeus recurrens / r. tentorii)
Recurrent tentorial nerve (r. meningeus recurrens / r. tentorii)

The ophthalmic nerve exits the cranium through the superior orbital fissure and enters the orbit after dividing into the following branches:

  • The lacrimal nerve (n. lacrimalis), which is located near the external surface of the orbit. It innervates the skin and conjunctiva of the external part of the superior eyelid and provides sensory innervation to the lacrimal gland. It also contains postganglionic parasympathetic fibers from the pterygopalatine ganglion.
Lacrimal nerve (n. lacrimalis)
Lacrimal nerve (n. lacrimalis)
Lacrimal nerve (n. lacrimalis)
Lacrimal nerve (n. lacrimalis)
Lacrimal nerve (n. lacrimalis)
Lacrimal nerve (n. lacrimalis)
  • The frontal nerve (n. frontalis), which courses forwards, directly beneath the roof of the orbit and superiorly to the superior palpebral levator muscle. A little before reaching the supraorbital margin, it divides into two terminal branches: the supraorbital and supratrochlear branches.
Frontal nerve (n. frontalis)
Frontal nerve (n. frontalis)
Frontal nerve (n. frontalis)
Frontal nerve (n. frontalis)
  • The supraorbital nerve (n. supraorbitalis), which passes through the supraorbital notch (or foramen) and supplies the conjunctiva and the skin of the upper eyelid, the skin of the lower forehead, and the mucous membrane of the frontal sinus.
Supraorbital nerve (n. supraorbitalis)
Supraorbital nerve (n. supraorbitalis)
Supraorbital nerve (n. supraorbitalis)
Supraorbital nerve (n. supraorbitalis)
Supraorbital notch (incisura supraorbitalis)
Supraorbital notch (incisura supraorbitalis)
Supraorbital foramen (foramen supraorbitale)
Supraorbital foramen (foramen supraorbitale)
Terminal branches of the supraorbital nerve
Terminal branches of the supraorbital nerve
  • The supratrochlear nerve (n. supratrochlearis), which passes above the trochlea and circumflexes the superior orbital margin interiorly to the supraorbital nerve
Supratrochlear nerve (n. supratrochlearis)
Supratrochlear nerve (n. supratrochlearis)
Supratrochlear nerve (n. supratrochlearis)
Supratrochlear nerve (n. supratrochlearis)

and innervates the skin of the dorsum of the nose and adjacent skin of the upper eyelid.

Terminal branches of the supratrochlear nerve
Terminal branches of the supratrochlear nerve
  • The nasociliary nerve (n. nasociliaris),
Nasociliary nerve (n. nasociliaris)
Nasociliary nerve (n. nasociliaris)
Nasociliary nerve (n. nasociliaris)
Nasociliary nerve (n. nasociliaris)

which passes forward along the superior border of the medial rectus muscle, giving off the following branches:

1. The communicating branch for the ciliary ganglion (r. communicans).

Communicating branch for the ciliary ganglion (r. communicans cum ganglio ciliari)
Communicating branch for the ciliary ganglion (r. communicans cum ganglio ciliari)

Through this branch, the sensory fibers that were passing from the eyeball as part of the short ciliary nerves leave the ganglion and then pass further as part of the nasociliary nerve. Moreover, short ciliary nerves contain postganglionic parasympathetic fibers from the Edinger-Westphal nucleus, innervating the ciliary body and the sphincter pupillae muscle.

Short ciliary nerves (nn. ciliares breves)
Short ciliary nerves (nn. ciliares breves)

2. Long ciliary nerves (nn. ciliares longi) penetrate the posterior part of the sclera, innervating the sclera and the choroidea.

Long ciliary nerves (nn. ciliares longi)
Long ciliary nerves (nn. ciliares longi)
Long ciliary nerves (nn. ciliares longi)
Long ciliary nerves (nn. ciliares longi)

3. The posterior ethmoid nerve (n. ethmoidalis posterior)

Posterior ethmoid nerve (n. ethmoidalis posterior)
Posterior ethmoid nerve (n. ethmoidalis posterior)

passes through the posterior ethmoid foramen and innervates the ethmoid cells and sphenoid sinus.

Posterior ethmoid foramen (foramen ethmoidale posterius)
Posterior ethmoid foramen (foramen ethmoidale posterius)

4. The infratrochlear nerve (n. infratrochlearis) exits the orbit below the trochlea of the superior oblique muscle and innervates the skin and conjunctiva of the upper eyelid, as well as the skin of the nasal root.

Infratrochlear nerve (n. infratrochlearis)
Infratrochlear nerve (n. infratrochlearis)
Infratrochlear nerve (n. infratrochlearis)
Infratrochlear nerve (n. infratrochlearis)

5. The anterior ethmoid nerve (n. ethmoidalis anterior)

Anterior ethmoid nerve (n. ethmoidalis anterior)
Anterior ethmoid nerve (n. ethmoidalis anterior)

passes through the anterior ethmoid foramen and enters the anterior cranial fossa,

Anterior ethmoid foramen (foramen ethmoidale anterius)
Anterior ethmoid foramen (foramen ethmoidale anterius)

where it lies on the superior surface of the horizontal plate of the ethmoid bone. From here, it passes into the nasal cavity through the small hiatus located laterally to the crista galli. This nerve innervates the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity.

Nasal branch of the anterior ethmoidal nerve
Nasal branch of the anterior ethmoidal nerve

The direct continuation of the anterior ethmoid nerve is the external nasal nerve (r. nasalis externus), which exits the nasal cavity between the nasal bone and the superior nasal cartilage and innervates the skin of the nose.

Maxillary nerve

Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris, CN V2)

It emerges from the trigeminal ganglion.

Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris)
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris)
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris) - area of innervation
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris) - area of  innervation

The maxillary nerve passes along the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus, exits the cranium,

Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris) - area of innervation
Maxillary nerve (n. maxillaris) - area of  innervation

and enters the pterygopalatine fossa.

Maxillary nerve exits the cranium
Maxillary nerve exits the cranium
Pterygopalatine fossa (fossa pterygopalatina)
Pterygopalatine fossa (fossa pterygopalatina)

From there, the nerve goes into the orbit through the inferior orbital fissure,

Inferior orbital fissure (fissura orbitalis inferior)
Inferior orbital fissure (fissura orbitalis inferior)

and continues as the infraorbital nerve (n. infraorbitalis).

Infraorbital nerve (n. infraorbitalis)
Infraorbital nerve (n. infraorbitalis)
Infraorbital nerve (n. infraorbitalis)
Infraorbital nerve (n. infraorbitalis)

The infraorbital nerve lies in the infraorbital sulcus

Infraorbital sulcus (sulcus infraorbitalis)
Infraorbital sulcus (sulcus infraorbitalis)

and then enters the eponymous canal until it eventually passes through the infraorbital foramen.

Infraorbital canal (canalis infraorbitalis)
Infraorbital canal (canalis infraorbitalis)
Infraorbital foramen (foramen infraorbitale)
Infraorbital foramen (foramen infraorbitale)

In the area of the infraorbital sulcus, the nerve passes close to the maxillary sinus. Here it gives off the following branches:

  • Anterior superior alveolar branches (rr. alveolares superiores anteriores)
Anterior superior alveolar branches (rr. alveolares superiores anteriores)
Anterior superior alveolar branches (rr. alveolares superiores anteriores)
  • Middle superior alveolar branch (r. alveolaris superior medius)
Middle superior alveolar branch (r. alveolaris superior medius)
Middle superior alveolar branch (r. alveolaris superior medius)
  • Together with the posterior superior alveolar branches, they form the superior dental plexus, which innervates the maxillary sinus and maxillary teeth.
Superior dental plexus (plexus dentalis superior)
Superior dental plexus (plexus dentalis superior)

Exiting the canal, the nerve divides into multiple small branches.

Terminal branches of the infraorbital nerve
Terminal branches of the infraorbital nerve

These are:

  • External nasal branches (rr. nasales externi), these innervate the skin of the nose
External nasal branches (rr. nasales externi)
External nasal branches (rr. nasales externi)
  • Internal nasal branches (rr. nasales interni), which innervate the nasal septum
  • Superior labial branches (rr. labiales superiores), which innervate the upper lip
Superior labial branches (rr. labiales superiores)
Superior labial branches (rr. labiales superiores)

Inferior palpebral branches (rr. palpebrales inferiores), which innervate the lower eyelid

Inferior palpebral branches (rr. palpebrales inferiores)
Inferior palpebral branches (rr. palpebrales inferiores)

Along its course, the maxillary nerve gives off several more branches:

  • The meningeal branch (r. meningeus), which innervates the dura mater of the middle cranial fossa.
Meningeal branch (r. meningeus)
Meningeal branch (r. meningeus)
Meningeal branch (r. meningeus)
Meningeal branch (r. meningeus)
  • Branches to the pterygopalatine ganglion (rr. ganglionares).
Branches to the pterygopalatine ganglion
(rr. ganglionares ad ganglion pterygopalatinum)
Branches to the pterygopalatine ganglion<br />
(rr. ganglionares ad ganglion pterygopalatinum)
Branches to the pterygopalatine ganglion (rr. ganglionares ad ganglion pterygopalatinum)
Branches to the pterygopalatine ganglion (rr. ganglionares ad ganglion pterygopalatinum)

They contain the sensory fibers that pass from the nasal cavity, palate, and pharynx through the ganglion without synapsing, and join the maxillary nerve.

Pterygopalatine ganglion (ganglion pterygopalatinum)
Pterygopalatine ganglion (ganglion pterygopalatinum)
  • Posterior superior alveolar nerves (nn. alveolares superiores posteriores), which go to the maxillary tuberosity from the pterygopalatine fossa and through the alveolar foramina pass into the canals located inside the bone. With the other teeth branches, they form a plexus that innervates the teeth of the maxilla and the maxillary sinus.
Posterior superior alveolar nerves (nn. alveolares superiores posteriores)
Posterior superior alveolar nerves (nn. alveolares superiores posteriores)
  • The zygomatic nerve (n. zygomaticus), which enters the orbit through the inferior orbital fissure and then goes superiorly along the lateral wall of the orbit, dividing into two branches.
Zygomatic nerve (n. zygomaticus)
Zygomatic nerve (n. zygomaticus)

The zygomaticofacial branch (r. zygomaticofacialis) is one of these terminal branches.

Zygomaticotemporal branch (r. zygomaticofacialis)
Zygomaticotemporal branch (r. zygomaticofacialis)

It passes to the face through the zygomaticofacial foramen, innervating the skin of the zygomatic region.

Zygomaticofacial foramen (foramen zygomaticofaciale)
Zygomaticofacial foramen (foramen zygomaticofaciale)
Terminal branches of the zygomaticofacial nerve
Terminal branches of the zygomaticofacial nerve
  • The zygomaticotemporal branch (r. zygomaticotemporalis) is another terminal branch,
Zygomaticotemporal nerve (r. zygomaticotemporalis)
Zygomaticotemporal nerve (r. zygomaticotemporalis)

which emerges in the temporal region through the zygomaticotemporal foramen

Zygomaticotemporal foramen (foramen zygomaticotemporale)
Zygomaticotemporal foramen (foramen zygomaticotemporale)

on the posterior surface of the zygomatic bone, supplying the skin of the temporal region.

Terminal branches of the zygomaticotemporal nerve
Terminal branches of the zygomaticotemporal nerve

Furthermore, the zygomatic nerve contains postganglionic parasympathetic fibers from the pterygopalatine ganglion, which innervate the lacrimal gland.

  • Lateral superior posterior nasal branches / LSPN (rr. nasales posteriores superiores laterales)
Lateral superior posterior nasal branches (rr. nasales posteriores superiores laterales)
Lateral superior posterior nasal branches (rr. nasales posteriores superiores laterales)

and medial superior posterior nasal branches / MSPN (rr. nasales posteriores superiores mediales)

Medial superior posterior nasal branches (rr. nasales posteriores superiores mediales)
Medial superior posterior nasal branches (rr. nasales posteriores superiores mediales)

pass through the sphenopalatine foramen and innervate the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. They also contain postganglionic parasympathetic fibers from the pterygopalatine ganglion, innervating the nasal glands.

Sphenopalatine foramen (foramen sphenopalatinum)
Sphenopalatine foramen (foramen sphenopalatinum)

The longest branch of the medial group is called the nasopalatine nerve (n. nasopalatinus).

Nasopalatine nerve (n. nasopalatinus)
Nasopalatine nerve (n. nasopalatinus)

It enters the incisive canal (canalis incisivus).

Incisive canal (canalis incisivus)
Incisive canal (canalis incisivus)
  • The greater palatine nerve (n. palatinus major)
Greater palatine nerve (n. palatinus major)
Greater palatine nerve (n. palatinus major)

and usually two lesser palatine nerves (nn. palatini minores).

Lesser palatine nerves (nn. palatini minores)
Lesser palatine nerves (nn. palatini minores)

The greater nerve passes through the greater palatine canal (canalis palatinus major) and goes to the incisive fossa.

Greater palatine canal (canalis palatinus major)
Greater palatine canal (canalis palatinus major)

It innervates the mucous membrane of the hard palate. The lesser nerves pass, respectively, in the lesser palatine canals (canales palatini minores) and innervate the soft palate. Palatine nerves also contain postganglionic parasympathetic fibers from the pterygopalatine ganglion, innervating the minor salivary glands.

Mandibular nerve

Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis, CN V3)

This branch of the trigeminal nerve is mixed. The motor component innervates the muscles developing from the first pharyngeal arch.

Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis)
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis)
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis) - area of innervation
Mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis) - area of  innervation

The sensory and motor roots of the mandibular nerve exit the cranial cavity through the foramen ovale and merge into the common trunk that descends between the lateral pterygoid muscle externally and the tensor veli palatini muscle internally.

Mandibular nerve in the area of the foramen ovale
Mandibular nerve in the area of  the foramen ovale

There are two branches that arise from this common trunk.

1. The meningeal branch (r. meningeus), re-enters the cranium through the foramen spinosum and innervates the dura mater of the middle cranial fossa.

Meningeal branch (r. meningeus)
Meningeal branch (r. meningeus)
Meningeal branch (r. meningeus)
Meningeal branch (r. meningeus)

2. The medial pterygoid nerve (n. pterуgoideus medialis), which innervates the respective muscle.

Medial pterygoid nerve (n. pterygoideus medialis)
Medial pterygoid nerve (n. pterygoideus medialis)
Medial pterygoid nerve (n. pterygoideus medialis)
Medial pterygoid nerve (n. pterygoideus medialis)
Medial pterygoid nerve (m. pterygoideus medialis)
Medial pterygoid nerve (m. pterygoideus medialis)

Two branches arise from this nerve:

the nerve to the tensor veli palatini muscle (n. musculi tensoris veli palatini)

Nerve to the tensor veli palatini muscle (n. musculi tensoris veli palatini)
Nerve to the tensor veli palatini muscle (n. musculi tensoris veli palatini)

and the nerve to the tensor tympani muscle (n. musculi tensoris tympani).

Nerve to the tensor tympani muscle (n. musculi tensoris tympani)
Nerve to the tensor tympani muscle (n. musculi tensoris tympani)

Then mandibular nerve is divided into a smaller anterior and a larger posterior division.

Three motor branches and one sensory branch arise from the anterior division:

1. The masseteric nerve (n. massetericus)

Masseteric nerve (n. massetericus)
Masseteric nerve (n. massetericus)

which goes externally, passes through the mandibular notch to the internal surface of the masseter muscle and innervates it.

Masseter muscle (m. masseter)
Masseter muscle (m. masseter)

2. The deep temporal nerves (anterior and posterior) (nn. temporales profundi), which go superiorly to the internal surface of the temporalis muscle, innervating it.

Deep temporal nerves (nn. temporales profundi)
Deep temporal nerves (nn. temporales profundi)
Deep temporal nerves (nn. temporales profundi)
Deep temporal nerves (nn. temporales profundi)
Temporalis muscle (m. temporalis)
Temporalis muscle (m. temporalis)

3. The lateral pterygoid nerve (n. pterygoideus lateralis), which innervates the respective muscle.

Lateral pterygoid nerve (n. pterygoideus lateralis)
Lateral pterygoid nerve (n. pterygoideus lateralis)
Lateral pterygoid muscle (m. pterygoideus lateralis)
Lateral pterygoid muscle (m. pterygoideus lateralis)

4. The buccal nerve (n. buccalis), which is the sensory branch. It courses between the heads of the lateral pterygoid muscle.

Buccal nerve (n. buccalis)
Buccal nerve (n. buccalis)

It anastomoses with the buccal branches of the facial nerve (CN VII) and innervates the skin of the cheek and buccal mucosa.

There are two sensory branches and one mixed branch arising from the posterior division of the mandibular nerve.

1. The auriculotemporal nerve (n. auriculotemporalis), which loops around the middle meningeal artery.

Auriculotemporal nerve (n. auriculotemporalis)
Auriculotemporal nerve (n. auriculotemporalis)
Auriculotemporal nerve (n. auriculotemporalis)
Auriculotemporal nerve (n. auriculotemporalis)

It innervates the skin of the auricle and external acoustic meatus, the external surface of the tympanic membrane, and the skin of the temporal region above the auricle, as well as the temporomandibular joint. It also provides sensory innervation to the parotid gland. Moreover, a certain number of preganglionic parasympathetic fibers pass along the nerve to the otic ganglion.

Preganglionic parasympathetic fibers within the auriculotemporal nerve
Preganglionic parasympathetic fibers within the auriculotemporal nerve

2. The lingual nerve (n. lingualis), which descends along the external surface of the medial pterygoid muscle and then goes inferiorly along the internal surface of the mandible, passing beneath the submandibular gland and reaching the inferior surface of the tongue.

Lingual nerve (n. lingualis)
Lingual nerve (n. lingualis)

Dividing into terminal branches, it provides sensory innervation of the anterior two-thirds of the tongue, floor of the oral cavity and mandibular gingiva.

The chorda tympani, which is a branch of the facial nerve, joins it at the inferior border of the lateral pterygoid muscle. It provides gustatory innervation of the anterior two-thirds of the tongue.

Chorda tympani (chorda tympani)
Chorda tympani (chorda tympani)

3. The inferior alveolar nerve (n. alveolaris inferior), which is a mixed branch.

Inferior alveolar nerve (n. alveolaris inferior)
Inferior alveolar nerve (n. alveolaris inferior)

It enters the mandibular canal,

Mandibular canal (canalis mandibulae)
Mandibular canal (canalis mandibulae)

where it gives off numerous branches forming the inferior dental plexus.

Inferior dental plexus (plexus dentalis inferior)
Inferior dental plexus (plexus dentalis inferior)

The mental nerve (n. mentalis),

Mental nerve (n. mentalis)
Mental nerve (n. mentalis)

which is its terminal branch, exits the mandibular canal through the mental foramen

Mental foramen (foramen mentale)
Mental foramen (foramen mentale)

and innervates the skin of the lower lip and the chin.

Terminal branches of the mental nerve
Terminal branches of the mental nerve

At the entrance to the mandibular branch, it gives off the mylohyoid nerve (n. mylohyoideus), which is the motor branch that innervates the respective muscle

Mylohyoid nerve (n. mylohyoideus)
Mylohyoid nerve (n. mylohyoideus)
Mylohyoid nerve (n. mylohyoideus)
Mylohyoid nerve (n. mylohyoideus)
Mylohyoid muscle (m. mylohyoideus)
Mylohyoid muscle (m. mylohyoideus)

and gives off nerve fibers to the anterior belly of the digastric muscle.

Anterior belly of the digastric muscle (venter anterior musculi digastrici)
Anterior belly of the digastric muscle (venter anterior musculi digastrici)
Dictionary

CN V: Trigeminal nerve

Trigeminal nerve
nervus trigeminus
Sensory root
radix sensoria
Motor root
radix motoria
Trigeminal ganglion
ganglion trigeminale
Principal sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve
nucleus principalis n. trigemini
Pontine nucleus
nucleus pontinus n. trigemini
Spinal trigeminal nuclei
nucleus spinalis n. trigemini
Ophthalmic nerve
nervus ophthalmicus
Maxillary nerve
nervus maxillaris
Mandibular nerve
nervus mandibularis
Tentorial branch
ramus tentorius
Lacrimal nerve
nervus lacrimalis
Frontal nerve
nervus frontalis
Supraorbital nerve
nervus supraorbitalis
Supratrochlear nerve
nervus supratrochlearis
Nasociliary nerve
nervus nasociliaris
Anterior and posterior ethmoidal nerves
nn. ethmoidales anterior et posterior
Long ciliary nerves
nn. ciliares longi
Infratrochlear nerve
nervus infratrochlearis
Communicating branch to the ciliary ganglion
ramus communicans cum ganglio ciliare
Ciliary ganglion
ganglion ciliare
Ciliary nerves
nn. ciliares longi
Maxillary nerve
nervus maxillaris
Middle meningeal branch
ramus meningeus medius
Infraorbital nerve
nervus infraorbitalis
Inferior palpebral branches
rr. palpebrales inferiores
External nasal branches
rr. nasales externi
Superior labial branches
rr. labiales superiores
Superior alveolar nerves
nn. alveolares superiores
Anterior, middle, and posterior superior alveolar branches
rr. alveolares superiores anteriores, medius et posteriores
Superior dental plexus
plexus dentalis superior
Superior dental branches
rr. dentales superiores
Superior gingival branches
rr. gingivales superiores
Internal nasal branches
rr. nasales interni
Zygomatic nerve
n. zуgomaticus
Zygomaticotemporal branch
r. zуgomaticotemporalis
Zygomaticofacial branch
r. zуgomaticofacialis
Ganglionic branches to the pterygopalatine ganglion
rr. ganglionares ad ganglion pterуgopalatini
Pterygopalatine ganglion
ganglion pterуgopalatinum
Medial and lateral superior posterior nasal branches
rr. nasales posteriores superiores mediales et laterales
Nasopalatine nerve
n. nasopalatinus
Greater palatine nerve
n. palatinus major
Lesser palatine nerves
nn. palatini minores
Inferior posterior nasal branches
rr. nasales posteriores inferiores
Mandibular nerve
n. mandibularis
Masseteric nerve
n. massetericus
Deep temporal nerves
nn. temporales profundi
Nerves to lateral and medial pterygoid muscles
nn. pterуgoidei lateralis et medialis
Nerve of the tensor veli palatini muscle
n. musculi tensoris veli palatini
Nerve of the tensor tympani
nervus musculi tensoris
muscle
tуmpani
Buccal nerve
n. buccalis
Auriculotemporal nerve
n. auriculotemporalis
Lingual nerve
n. lingualis
Inferior alveolar nerve
n. alveolaris inferior
Meningeal branch
r. meningeus
Anterior auricular nerves
nn. auriculares anteriores
Nerve to external acoustic meatus
n. meatus acustici externi
Branches of the tympanic membrane
rr. membranae tуmpani
Superficial temporal branches
rr. temporales superficiales
Parotid branches
rr. parotidei
Otic ganglion
ganglion oticum
Lingual branches
rr. linguales
Sublingual nerve
n. sublingualis
Branches to the isthmus of the fauces
rr. isthmi faucium
Ganglionic branches to the sublingual ganglion and the submandibular ganglion
rr. ganglionares ad ganglion sublinguale et ad ganglion submandibulare
Sublingual ganglion
ganglion sublinguale
Communicating branch with chorda tympani
ramus communicans cum chorda tуmpani
Mental nerve
n. mentalis
Nerve to the mylohyoid
n. mуlohуoideus
Inferior dental plexus
plexus dentalis inferior
Inferior dental branches
rr. dentales inferiores
Inferior gingival branches
rr. gingivales inferiores
Inferior labial branches
rr. labiales inferiores
Main screen of the Easy Anatomy app

Download Easy Anatomy and try it for free

  • Anatomical atlas
  • Interactive notes
  • Videos on Anatomy
  • Flashcard tests

Easy Anatomy

Learn anatomy effectively

3.2K

Функция доступна в приложении

Download the app