Operate and Anatomy, Diagram, Exams, Ache Causes

There are 12 cranial nerves within the physique, all originating within the mind. They arrive in pairs and join completely different physique areas and organs to the mind.

Cranial nerves can transmit two kinds of info:

  • Sensory info contains particulars about smells, sights, tastes, contact, and sounds to the mind.
  • Motor info refers to indicators that have an effect on the motion or exercise of muscle groups and glands.

Nerves that ship sensory info are stated to have sensory features. People who ship motor info have motor features. Whereas some nerves have solely sensory or motor features, others can have each.

The trigeminal nerve is likely one of the cranial nerves that has each sensory and motor perform. Cranial nerves are additionally labeled utilizing Roman numerals primarily based on their location. The trigeminal nerve can also be known as cranial nerve V.

The trigeminal nerve is the biggest of the 12 cranial nerves. Its important perform is transmitting sensory info to the pores and skin, sinuses, and mucous membranes within the face. It additionally stimulates motion within the jaw muscle groups.

The trigeminal nerve has three completely different divisions. Every division has a barely completely different perform.

Ophthalmic division

The ophthalmic division conveys sensory info from the:

  • scalp
  • brow
  • higher components of the sinuses
  • higher eyelid and related mucous membranes
  • cornea of the attention
  • bridge of the nostril

Maxillary division

Just like the ophthalmic division, the maxillary division of your trigeminal nerve has a sensory part. It transmits sensory info from the:

  • decrease eyelid and related mucous membranes
  • center a part of the sinuses
  • nasal cavity and center a part of the nostril
  • cheeks
  • higher lip
  • a few of the tooth of the higher jaw and related mucous membranes
  • roof of the mouth


The mandibular division is the one a part of the trigeminal nerve that has each sensory and motor features.

It communicates sensory info from the:

  • outer a part of the ear
  • decrease a part of the mouth and the related mucous membranes
  • entrance and center components of the tongue
  • tooth of the decrease jaw and the related mucous membranes
  • decrease lip
  • chin

It additionally stimulates motion of the muscle groups within the jaw and a few of the muscle groups throughout the internal ear.

Discover the interactive 3-D diagram under to study extra in regards to the trigeminal nerve.

The trigeminal nerve performs a task in lots of sensations which might be felt in numerous components of the face. Consequently, there are a number of methods to check the perform of the trigeminal nerve.

Frequent strategies embody:

  • Pin or cotton swab take a look at. One or each side of the face are touched with both a pin or cotton swab. The individual will then be requested whether or not they felt something, and in that case, the place they felt it. A physician can also flippantly contact the cornea of the attention with a cotton swab to check the ophthalmic division. If the individual doesn’t blink, the ophthalmic division of their trigeminal nerve could also be broken.
  • Clenching take a look at. A physician will ask somebody to clench their tooth or attempt to open their jaw when resistance is utilized. They’ll verify muscle tone and motion for any indicators of trigeminal nerve injury.

The trigeminal nerve will also be a supply of intense ache for some folks. That is a part of a continual situation known as trigeminal neuralgia. It occurs when the trigeminal nerve is beneath strain or irritated. This could occur when a vein or artery presses towards the nerve. Trigeminal neuralgia is extra widespread in folks over the age of 50.

A number of issues may cause irritation of the trigeminal nerve, together with:

The ache related to trigeminal neuralgia will be very painful. Folks usually describe it as a capturing or jabbing ache that lasts wherever from a number of seconds to a number of hours.

Ache will also be achy or burning. It tends to happen extra usually over time. Many issues can set off the ache, together with touching the face, shaving, consuming, yawning, or speaking. It may well have an effect on one or each side of the face.

Trigeminal neuralgia is normally managed with drugs used for different circumstances, together with anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and muscle relaxers. However some folks could finally cease responding to medicine.

Generally surgical procedure is required to take away what’s irritating the trigeminal nerve. In different circumstances, injecting a numbing agent into the nerve can assist.

Mindfulness and leisure methods, reminiscent of meditation or yoga, also can assist to loosen up close by muscle groups and ease ache.

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