Mandibular nerve

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Mandibular nerve
Gray782 updated.png
Mandibular division of trigeminal nerve, seen from the middle line. The small figure is an enlarged view of the otic ganglion.
Latin Nervus mandibularis
From Trigeminal nerve
Gray's p.893
MeSH A08.800.800.120.760.500
TA A14.2.01.064
FMA 52996
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The mandibular nerve (V3) is the largest of the three branches or divisions of the trigeminal nerve, the fifth (V) cranial nerve.



It is made up of two roots:

  • a large sensory root proceeding from the inferior angle of the trigeminal ganglion.
  • a small motor root (the motor part of the trigeminal), which passes beneath the ganglion, and unites with the sensory root, just after its exit through the foramen ovale.[1]


The two roots (sensory and motor) exit the middle cranial fossa through the foramen ovale. The two roots then combine.

Immediately in the infratemporal fossa beneath the base of the skull, the nerve gives off two branches from its medial side: a recurrent branch (nervus spinosus) and the nerve to the medial pterygoid muscle. The mandibular nerve then divides into two trunks, an anterior and a posterior.


Branches from the main trunk (except nervus spinosus) and the posterior division.

The mandibular nerve gives off the following branches:

Branches from the posterior and anterior divisions (except lateral pterygoid nerve)

To remember the sensory branches of V3

  • B - Buccal n. (or long buccal n.; not to be confused with the buccal branch of CN VII)
  • A - Auriculotemporal n.
  • I - Inferior Alveolar n.
  • L - Lingual n.


Mandibular nerve

The mandibular nerve innervates:[1]

Anterior Division:

(Motor Innervation - Muscles of mastication)

(Sensory Innervation)

Posterior Division

Lingual Split
(Sensory Innervation - NOT Taste)

Inferior Alveolar Split
(Motor Innervation)

(Sensory Innervation)

Auriculotemporal Split

See also[edit]

Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ a b Human Anatomy, Jacobs, Elsevier, 2008, page 196
  2. ^ Illustrated Anatomy of the Head and Neck, Fehrenbach and Herring, Elsevier, 2012, page 181

External links[edit]