Lingual nerve

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Branches of the mandibular nerve

The lingual nerve (Latin for "tongue nerve") is a branch of the mandibular nerve ( Nervus mandibularis ), which in turn is a branch of the fifth cranial nerve ( Nervus trigeminus ). The lingual nerve is primarily responsible for the sensitive innervation of the mucous membrane of the anterior two thirds of the tongue . It usually consists of 1 to 3 fascicles .


The tongue nerve separates from the mandibular nerve at the Gasseri ganglion (Ggl. Trigeminale) and runs below the lateral pterygoid muscle . Here parasympathetic and sensory nerve fibers from the timpani cord ( chorda tympani ) as well as sympathetic fibers are attached to the nerve . The parasympathetic fibers of the chorda tympani are switched in the submandibular ganglion (called the mandibular ganglion in animals ). Via these fibers , originally from the cranial nerve VII ( facial nerve ), the lingual nerve also takes on the management of the taste information of the anterior two thirds of the tongue (the posterior third of the tongue is gustatory supplied by the parasympathetic fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve) as well as the innervation of the lower salivary glands ( Sublingual gland and submandibular gland ).

After the attachment of the chorda tympani, the lingual nerve runs between the medial pterygoid muscle and the lower jaw branch (ramus mandibulae) to the tongue.


During dental and surgical interventions in the lower jaw, especially with injections for local anesthesia , lesions of the lingual nerve can occur, which manifest themselves in sensory disorders in the front two thirds of the lateral edge of the tongue.


  • Franz-Viktor Salomon: nervous system, systema nervosum . In: Franz-Viktor Salomon, Hans Geyer, Uwe Gille (Ed.): Anatomy for veterinary medicine. 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Enke, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8304-1075-1 , pp. 464-577.

Individual evidence

  1. Differential therapy after lesions of the inferior alveolar and lingual nerves (PDF; 262 kB) Scientific opinion of the German Society for Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine.