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Trigeminal nerve

The trigeminal nerve is the fifth (V) cranial nerve, so named because it splits into three nerves - the Ophthalmic nerve (V1), the Maxillary nerve (V2) and the Mandibular nerve (V3).

It is the major cutaneous sensory nerve of the head, and is responsible for sensation over most of the skin on your head. It also supplies motor fibres to temporalis muscle, lateral pterygoid muscle, medial pterygoid muscle, masseter muscle (the four main muscles involved in mastication), tensor veli palatini, mylohyoid muscle and the tensor tympani muscle.

Trigeminal neuralgia is an example of a disorder of the trigeminal nerve where the sufferer suffers pain in the territory of the trigeminal nerve innervation.

Named branches of the trigeminal nerve: (important branches in bold)

Ophthalmic nerve (V1)

Maxillary nerve (V2) Mandibular nerve (V3)