The mandibular nerve [Vc; V3] (Inferior maxillary nerve) 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.
It is the largest of the three divisions of the fifth, and is made up of two roots: a large, sensory root proceeding from the inferior angle of the semilunar ganglion, and 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.
Immediately beneath the base of the skull, the nerve gives off from its medial side a recurrent branch (nervus spinosus) and the nerve to the Pterygoideus internus, and then divides into two trunks, an anterior and a posterior.
The anterior division gives off branches to the four main muscles of mastication and a buccal branch which is sensory to the cheek. The posterior division gives off three main sensory branches, the auriculotemporal, lingual and inferior alveolar nerves and motor fibres to supply mylohyoid and the anterior belly of the digastric muscle.
The mandibular nerve gives off the following branches: