a. Ophthalmic Nerve or First Division. This division supplies sensation to the
eyes, the tear-producing glands, the mucous lining of the nose, the eyelids, the
eyebrows, and the forehead.
b. Maxillary Nerve or Second Division. This division supplies sensation to the
central part of the face, including the maxillary bone, all the maxillary teeth, the soft
tissues of the hard palate, and the soft tissues surrounding the teeth. It contains no
somatic motor fibers.
(1) The maxillary teeth. The maxillary nerve on each side passes forward in
the floor of the orbit of the eye. It first gives off the posterior superior alveolar branch to
the three maxillary molars. When in the floor, the maxillary nerve gives off a middle
superior alveolar branch to the maxillary bicuspids and mesial root of the first molar.
Then, the maxillary nerve gives off an anterior superior alveolar branch to the maxillary
incisors and cuspid.
(2) The palatal area. The maxillary nerve on each side gives off a palatine
nerve, which has an anterior, middle, and posterior branch. The anterior palatine nerve
emerges upon the hard palate through the greater palatine foramen, and passes
forward nearly to the incisor teeth where it ends with fibers of the nasopalatine nerve. It
supplies the gingiva (gum tissue), the mucous membrane, and the glands of the hard
palate and part of the soft palate. The middle and posterior palatine nerves reach the
soft palate area through the lesser palatine foramina and give off branches to the uvula,
tonsil, and soft palate.
(3) The nasopalatal area. Another branch of the maxillary nerve gives rise
to the nasopalatine nerve. This nerve 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.
c. Mandibular Nerve or Third Division. This division supplies sensation to the
mandible and the teeth. It contains somatic motor fibers as well as sensory nerve
fibers. (The first two divisions are primarily sensory.) This nerve passes downward to
enter the mandible through the mandibular foramen. Before entering the foramen, it
gives off branches to the muscles of mastication and a large sensory branch to the
tongue. Thus, it provides motor impulses for mastication and general sensation to the
anterior two thirds of the tongue, the mandible and the mandibular teeth, the soft tissues
of the tongue, the soft tissues of the floor of the mouth, and the soft tissues surrounding