Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
formed by the junction of the two preceding nerves in the cartilaginous substance which fills the foramen lacerum, passes forward, through the pterygoid canal, with the corresponding artery, and is joined by a small ascending sphenoidal branch from the otic ganglion. Finally, it enters the pterygopalatine fossa, and joins the posterior angle of the sphenopalatine ganglion.
Branches of Distribution.These are divisible into four groups, viz., orbital, palatine, posterior superior nasal, and pharyngeal.
The orbital branches (rami orbitales; ascending branches) are two or three delicate filaments, which enter the orbit by the inferior orbital fissure, and supply the periosteum. According to Luschka, some filaments pass through foramina in the frontoethmoidal suture to supply the mucous membrane of the posterior ethmoidal and sphenoidal sinuses.
The palatine nerves (nn. palatini; descending branches) are distributed to the roof of the mouth, soft palate, tonsil, and lining membrane of the nasal cavity. Most of their fibers are derived from the sphenopalatine branches of the maxillary nerve. They are three in number: anterior, middle, and posterior.
The anterior palatine nerve (n. palatinus anterior) descends through the pterygopalatine canal, emerges upon the hard palate through the greater palatine foramen, and passes forward in a groove in the hard palate, nearly as far as the incisor teeth. It supplies the gums, the mucous membrane and glands of the hard palate, and communicates in front with the terminal filaments of the nasopalatine nerve. While in the pterygopalatine canal, it gives off posterior inferior nasal branches, which enter the nasal cavity through openings in the palatine bone, and ramify over the inferior nasal concha and middle and inferior meatuses; at its exit from the canal, a palatine branch is distributed to both surfaces of the soft palate.
The middle palatine nerve (n. palatinus medius) emerges through one of the minor palatine canals and distributes branches to the uvula, tonsil, and soft palate. It is occasionally wanting.
The posterior palatine nerve (n. palatinus posterior) descends through the pterygopalatine canal, and emerges by a separate opening behind the greater palatine foramen; it supplies the soft palate, tonsil, and uvula. The middle and posterior palatine join with the tonsillar branches of the glossopharyngeal to form a plexus (circulus tonsillaris) around the tonsil.
The posterior superior nasal branches (rami nasales posteriores superiores) are distributed to the septum and lateral wall of the nasal fossa. They enter the posterior part of the nasal cavity by the sphenopalatine foramen and supply the mucous membrane covering the superior and middle nasal conchæ, the lining of the posterior ethmoidal cells, and the posterior part of the septum. One branch, longer and larger than the others, is named the nasopalatine nerve. It enters the nasal cavity through the sphenopalatine foramen, passes across the roof of the nasal cavity below the orifice of the sphenoidal sinus to reach the septum, and then runs obliquely downward and forward between the periosteum and mucous membrane of the lower part of the septum. It descends to the roof of the mouth through the incisive canal and communicates with the corresponding nerve of the opposite side and with the anterior palatine nerve. It furnishes a few filaments to the mucous membrane of the nasal septum.
The pharyngeal nerve (pterygopalatine nerve) is a small branch arising from the posterior part of the ganglion. It passes through the pharyngeal canal with the pharyngeal branch of the internal maxillary artery, and is distributed to the mucous membrane of the nasal part of the pharynx, behind the auditory tube.
The mandibular nerve (n. mandibularis; inferior maxillary nerve) (Figs. 778,781) supplies the teeth and gums of the mandible, the skin of the temporal region, the auricula, the lower lip, the lower part of the face, and the muscles of mastication; it also supplies the mucous membrane of the anterior two-thirds of the tongue.