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Infraorbital Nerve
Nervous System

Infraorbital Nerve

Nervus infraorbitalis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Maxillary nerve.

Course: Runs anteriorly through the inferior orbital fissure, anteriorly through the floor of the orbit in the inferior orbital groove, and then exits the orbit via the inferior orbital canal and foramen to reach the front of the face just below the eye.

Branches: Anterior and middle superior alveolar branches, inferior palpebral nerves, external and internal nasal and superior labial branches.

Supply: Sensory: conveys general sensory information from the skin of the anterior face overlying the maxilla and the anterior cheek, the upper lip, lateral portions of the nose, and mucosa of the upper lip and anterior most nasal cavity; Parasympathetic: innervation to the labial glands of the upper lip.

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The infraorbital nerve originates as one of the major branches of the maxillary nerve. It is often considered the anterior continuation of the maxillary nerve.


The inferior orbital fissure marks the point at which the maxillary nerve, running proximal to the fissure, becomes the infraorbital nerve.

From its origin, the infraorbital nerve runs anteriorly along the floor of the orbit in the infraorbital groove. Towards the front of the orbit, the infraorbital nerve dives into the maxillary bone in the infraorbital canal. This canal ends at the infraorbital foramen where the infraorbital nerve emerges onto the anterior face, roughly 5–10 mm below the orbit and lateral to the nasal cavity.


The infraorbital nerve gives rise to five types of branches.

—The middle and anterior superior alveolar nerves are both given off within the orbit.

—The inferior palpebral branches ascend deep to orbicularis oculi muscle to the lower eyelid.

—The nasal branches of the infraorbital nerve extend to the skin of the lateral surface of the nose.

—The superior labial branches descend deep to levator labii superioris muscle.

Supplied Structures

The infraorbital nerve is a mixed nerve carrying sensory and parasympathetic fibers. The sensory fibers have cell bodies located in the trigeminal ganglion while the parasympathetic fibers originate in the pterygopalatine ganglion.

The sensory fibers convey general sense information from the lower eyelid and conjunctiva, maxillary sinus, maxillary incisors, canines, and premolar teeth, anterior-most region of the nasal cavity, the skin of the anterior cheek and upper lip, and the oral mucosa of the upper lip.

The parasympathetic fibers innervate the labial glands of the upper lip and mucosa.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Infraorbital Nerve

ScienceDirect image

The infraorbital nerve block anesthetizes the branches of the anterior and middle superior alveolar nerves.

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