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Paul Kim

Mandibular nerve (English)

Mandibular nerve (English)

The posterior division of the mandibular nerve is mainly sensory and is larger than the anterior division. The auriculotemporal nerve arises posterior to the temporomandibular joint (usually as two roots which encircle the middle meningeal artery) and supplies parts of the auricle/external acoustic meatus and posterior half of the temporal region. Sympathetic/parasympathetic fibers to the parotid gland (derived from the plexus of the middle meningeal artery and otic ganglion, respectively) are also carried within this nerve. The lingual nerve arises from the terminal bifurcation of the posterior division, and carries general somatic afferent/sensory fibers from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue, floor of the oral cavity and lower lingual gingiva. It is joined by the chorda tympani (of facial nerve) which delivers general visceral efferent/parasympathetic fibers to the submandibular and sublingual glands via homonymous/same-named branches of the lingual nerve. Special visceral afferent/taste fibers from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue are carried by the lingual nerve to the chorda tympani. The inferior alveolar nerve is a mixed nerve, carrying sensory fibers from the mandibular teeth via the inferior dental plexus (see first image) and lower lip/labial gingiva (via mental nerve), as well as general somatic afferent/motor fibers to the mylohyoid and anterior belly of digastric muscles.
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