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Anterior Division of Mandibular Nerve
Nervous System

Anterior Division of Mandibular Nerve

Divisio anterior nervi mandibularis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Mandibular nerve.

Course: Runs only a very short distance inferiorly before splitting.

Branches: Deep temporal, masseteric, and buccal nerves and the nerve to the lateral pterygoid muscle.

Supply: Sensory: conveys general sense information from the skin and mucosa on either side of the buccinator muscle; Motor: innervates the temporalis, lateral pterygoid, and masseter muscles.

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Origin

The anterior division of the mandibular nerve is the anterior bifurcation of the main mandibular nerve trunk, slightly below the level of the foramen ovale.

The neurons of sensory fibers are located in the trigeminal ganglion and the neurons of motor fibers are located in the pons in the motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve.

Course

The anterior division of the mandibular nerve runs inferiorly, deep to the lateral pterygoid muscle. It quickly splits, giving off branches that head to their different targets.

Branches

The anterior division of the mandibular nerve gives rise to five major branches.

—The anterior and posterior deep temporal nerves run to the temple and serves the temporalis muscle.

—The masseteric nerve runs to the deep surface of the masseter muscle and serves that muscle.

—The nerve to lateral pterygoid muscle branches off while the anterior division is still deep to the lateral pterygoid muscle.

—The buccal nerve runs between the heads of the lateral pterygoid muscle, deep to the masseter, and into the cheek, superficial to the buccinator muscle.

Supplied Structures

The anterior division of the mandibular nerve is a mixed sensory and motor nerve.

The sensory fibers are carried by the buccal nerve. This is not to be confused with the buccal branches of the facial nerve. The buccal nerve conveys general sense information from the skin and oral mucosa on either side of the buccinator muscle, and the vestibular and gingival mucosa adjacent to several mandibular molars.

Branchial motor efferents are transmitted to the temporalis, masseter, and lateral pterygoid muscles by nerves of the same name.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Mandibular Nerve

ScienceDirect image

Branches of the mandibular nerve provide sensory innervation to portions of the dura mater and the mucosal lining of the mastoid sinus.

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