Gross Anatomy

Mouth and Tongue


Anatomy Tables for Today's Topic


Bones
Muscles
Nerves
Arteries
Veins
Lymphatics
Viscera

Bones

Bone/Cartilage Structure Description Notes
mandible the U-shaped bone forming the lower jaw contains the inferior teeth; formed from the mesenchyme of the 1st pharyngeal arch, and its muscles are innervated by the nerve of the 1st arch (mandibular division of cranial nerve V)
body the anterior part of the mandible paired halves are fused in the midline at the symphysis menti
symphysis menti the midline symphysis between the two halves of the mandible the two halves of the mandible fuse during the first postnatal year
mental protuberance the projection on the anterior midline of the mandible the bone of the chin; mental means relating to the mind, a reference to the act of resting the chin on the hand while thinking (see the sculpture by Rodin: "The Thinker")
mental spines (genial tubercles) the spines on the inner surface of the mandible posterior to the mental protuberance attachment site for the genioglossus and geniohyoid mm.
mylohyoid line the ridge running obliquely from posterosuperior to anteroinferior on the medial surface of the body of the mandible attachment site for the mylohyoid muscle; the submandibular gland is located inferior to this line and the sublingual gland is located superior to this line
mental foramen the opening on the anterior surface of the body of the mandible inferior to the premolar teeth transmits the mental neurovascular bundle; covered superficially by the depressor anguli oris and depressor labii inferioris mm.
ramus the angled portion of the mandible that joins the posterior portion of the body it rises nearly vertically from the body; the chondyloid process and the coronoid process extend from the superior end of the ramus; the mandibular foramen is located on the medial surface of the ramus; the medial pterygoid m. attaches to the medial surface and the masseter m. attaches to the lateral surface of the ramus
angle the posteroinferior bend formed by the union of the body and the ramus
mandibular foramen the opening on the medial surface of the ramus it is the opening into the mandibular canal; it transmits the inferior alveolar neurovascular bundle
mandibular canal the canal that runs through the body of the mandible it transmits the inferior alveolar neurovascular bundle from the infratemporal fossa to the mandibular teeth and gingivae
lingula the projection of bone medial to the mandibular foramen it is the attachment site of the inferior end of the sphenomandibular ligament
coronoid process the process that projects anterosuperiorly from the ramus of the mandible it is the attachment site of the temporalis m.
condylar process the rounded process that projects posterosuperiorly from the ramus of the mandible it articulates with the mandibular fossa of the temporal bone
mandibular notch the notch between the coronoid and condylar processes it transmits the masseteric neurovascular bundle from the infratemporal fossa to the deep surface of the masseter m.
mandibular neck the constriction below the articular chondyle on the chondylar process of the mandible part of the lateral pterygoid m. inserts into the pterygoid fossa of the mandibular neck
pterygoid fossa of the neck a shallow depression on the anterior surface of the neck of the mandible part of the lateral pterygoid m. inserts into the pterygoid fossa of the mandibular neck
hyoid a "U"-shaped bone consisting of several parts: body, 2 greater horns, 2 lesser horns the hyoid bone ossifies completely in middle life; the body articulates with the greater horns via cartilage and with the lesser horns via fibrous joints prior to ossification; an important site for muscle attachments (suprahyoid and infrahyoid muscle groups)
body the middle portion of the "U"-shaped bone the body of the hyoid bone articulates with the greater horns posteriorly
greater horn (cornu) posteriorly directed limbs of the "U"-shaped bone each greater horn articulates with the body and lesser horns anteriorly; origin of middle pharyngeal constrictor m. and hyoglossus m.
lesser horn (cornu) articulates with the greater horn at its junction with the body the inferior end of the stylohyoid ligament attaches to the lesser horn
temporal bone forming the lateral side of the skull temporal refers the passage of time, which is marked by the appearance of gray hair on the side of the head

Muscles

Muscle Origin Insertion Action Innervation Artery Notes
geniohyoid mental spines of the mandible body of the hyoid bone elevates the hyoid bone; depresses the mandible ventral primary ramus of spinal nerve C1 via fibers carried by the hypoglossal nerve lingual a., submental a. thyrohyoid and geniohyoid receive ansa cervicalis fibers that travel with the hypoglossal nerve distal to the superior limb of the ansa cervicalis
genioglossus mental spine on the inner aspect of the mental symphysis fans out to insert into the tongue from the tip to the base protrudes the tongue (inferior fibers); depresses tongue (middle fibers) hypoglossal nerve (XII) lingual a. an extrinsic muscle of the tongue; XII innervates all tongue muscles except palatoglossus [innervated by vagus (X), as are most of the palate and pharynx muscles]; genioglossus is used to test the function of cranial nerve XII
hyoglossus upper border of the greater horn of the hyoid and body of the hyoid bone spreads out into the intrinsic muscles of the tongue depresses the sides of the tongue; retracts the tongue hypoglossal nerve (XII) lingual a. an extrinsic muscle of the tongue
styloglossus anterior side of the styloid process posterolateral side of the tongue retracts and elevates the tongue hypoglossal nerve (XII) ascending pharyngeal a., ascending palatine branch of the facial a. an extrinsic muscle of the tongue
linguae, longitudinalis within tongue within tongue near the apex shapes the tongue for speech and mastication hypoglossal nerve (XII) lingual a. an intrinsic muscle of the tongue; longitudinalis has superior and inferior subdivisions that span the length of the tongue
linguae, transversus within tongue within tongue compresses the sides of the tongue; shapes the tongue for speech and mastication hypoglossal nerve (XII) lingual a. an intrinsic muscle of the tongue whose fibers run transversely
linguae, verticalis within tongue within tongue shapes the tongue for speech and mastication hypoglossal nerve (XII) lingual a. an intrinsic muscle of the tongue whose fibers run superoinferiorly
palatoglossus palatine aponeurosis side of the tongue, entering it from above elevates and retracts the tongue vagus nerve (X) via the pharyngeal plexus tonsilar branch of the facial a., ascending pharyngeal a. although palatoglossus sounds like a tongue muscle (and would therefore be innervated by XII), it is a palatal muscle innervated by X

Nerves

Nerve Source Branches Motor Sensory Notes
lingual n. mandibular division of the trigeminal n. (V3) no named branches none general sense from the anterior 2/3 of the tongue and floor of the mouth lingual n. is joined by the chorda tympani (taste and preganglionic parasympathetic) from the facial n. in the infratemporal fossa; the submandibular ganglion hangs from the lingual nerve in the paralingual space
hypoglossal n. medulla: hypoglossal nucleus no named branches; branches of the ventral primary ramus of spinal nerve C1 are carried by this nerve and are not considered to be branches of the hypoglossal nerve intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the tongue (except the palatoglossus m.) none also known as: CN XII, 12th cranial nerve; the hypoglossal n. exits the posterior cranial fossa by passing through the hypoglossal canal; the superior root of the ansa cervicalis travels with the hypoglossal n. for a short distance
maxillary division of the trigeminal n. trigeminal ganglion meningeal br., posterior superior alveolar n., pharyngeal, posterior superior medial and lateral nasal brs., nasopalatine n., greater and lesser palatine nn., zygomatic n., infraorbital n. none GSA: skin of the upper lip, cheek, lower eyelid; mucous membrane of the palate; teeth and gingiva of the maxillary alveolar arch; the mucous membrane lining most of the nasal cavity; the mucous membrane lining the maxillary sinus also known as: V2; maxillary division of the trigeminal n. passes through the foramen rotundum to enter the pterygopalatine fossa; the pterygopalatine ganglion is associated with it in the pterygopalatine fossa; postganglionic parasympathetic fibers distribute with branches of the maxillary division to mucous glands of the nasal cavity and palate; the zygomatic n. & its brs. carry postganglionic parasympathetic axons to the orbit to reach the lacrimal n. and lacrimal gland
alveolar, anterior superior infraorbital n. dental plexus none maxillary canine and incisor teeth and gingiva; maxillary sinus anterior superior alveolar n. is enclosed in bone its entire length
alveolar, middle superior infraorbital n. dental plexus none maxillary premolar teeth and gingiva; maxillary sinus middle superior alveolar n. is enclosed in bone its entire length
alveolar, posterior superior maxillary n. dental plexus none maxillary molar teeth and gingiva; maxillary sinus posterior superior alveolar n. enters bone by passing through the small foramina on the posterior surface of the maxilla
mandibular division of the trigeminal n. trigeminal ganglion; motor root arises from the pons meningeal br., medial pterygoid and lateral pterygoid nn., masseteric n., anterior and posterior deep temporal nn., buccal n., auriculotemporal n., lingual n., inferior alveolar n. SVE: mylohyoid m., anterior belly of the digastric m.; tensor tympani m., tensor veli palatini m.; muscles of mastication (temporalis, masseter, medial pterygoid and lateral pterygoid) GSA: skin of the lower lip and jaw extending superiorly above level of the ear; mucous membrane of the tongue and floor of the mouth; lower teeth and gingiva of the mandibular alveolar arch also known as: V3; passes through the foramen ovale to exit the middle cranial fossa; the otic ganglion is associated with the medial side of V3 below the foramen ovale; the auriculotemporal n. carries postganglionic parasympathetic axons to the parotid gland; the submandibular ganglion is associated withe the lingual n. near the submandibular gland; postganglionic parasympathetics from the submandibular ganglion supply the submandibular gland and the sublingual gland
alveolar, inferior mandibular division of the trigeminal n.(V3) n. to mylohyoid; inferior dental plexus; mental nerve mylohyoid muscle and anterior belly of the digastric m. via n. to mylohyoid teeth of the mandible; skin of the chin inferior alveolar n. passes through the mandibular canal; the mental n. is its terminal branch which emerges through the mental foramen
mylohyoid, n. to inferior alveolar n., a branch of the mandibular division of the trigeminal n. (V3) no named branches mylohyoid m., anterior belly of the digastric m. none n. to mylohyoid arises near the lingula of the mandible; course within the mylohyoid groove of the mandible
facial n. pons and medulla: nucleus solitarius of medulla via nervus intermedius (SVA sensory root) from geniculate ganglion; superior salivatory nucleus (GVE preganglionic parasympathetic) of pons via nervus intermedius; facial motor nucleus of pons via motor root greater petrosal n. (preganglionic parasympathetic to pterygopalatine ganglion, postganglionic parasympathetic travels with brs. of maxillary division of V), chorda tympani (SVA taste from anterior 2/3 of the tongue; preganglionic parasympathetic to the submandibular ganglion, postganglionic parasympathetic to the submandibular and sublingual glands), n. to stapedius, posterior auricular n., intraparotid plexus with temporal, zygomatic, buccal, marginal mandibular & cervical brs. stapedius m., stylohyoid m., posterior belly of digastric m., muscles of facial expression; secretomotor to lacrimal, submandibular, sublingual, and mucous glands of the nasal and oral cavities taste (SVA) from the anterior 2/3 of the tongue; part of the skin of the external auditory meatus also known as: CN VII, 7th cranial nerve; exits the posterior cranial fossa by passing into the internal acoustic meatus, goes through the facial canal; motor to muscles of facial expression exits the skull at the stylomastoid foramen
chorda tympani facial (VII) no named branches secretomotor to the submandibular and sublingual glands (it carries preganglionic parasympathetic axons to the submandibular ganglion) taste to the anterior 2/3 of the tongue chorda tympani joins the lingual nerve in the infratemporal fossa and continues with it to the tongue
glossopharyngeal n. medulla: spinal trigeminal nucleus from the superior ganglion (GVA); nucleus solitarius from the inferior ganglion (SVA); nucleus ambiguus (SVE); inferior salivatory nucleus (GVE - preganglionic parasympathetic) tympanic nerve to the tympanic plexus and lesser petrosal n., carotid sinus n., stylopharyngeus brs., pharyngeal brs. SVE: stylopharyngeus; GVE: secretomotor to the parotid gland (preganglionic parasympathetic via the tympanic n. to the lesser petrosal n. to the otic ganglion; postganglionic parasympathetic via the auriculotemporal n.) GVA: carotid body, carotid sinus, pharynx, middle ear; GSA: skin of the external ear; SVA: taste from the posterior 1/3 of the tongue also known as: CN IX, 9th cranial nerve; the glossopharyngeal n. exits the posterior cranial fossa by passing through the jugular foramen;it may penetrate the stylopharyngeus m.
vagus n. medulla: dorsal motor nucleus (GVE preganglionic parasympathetic); inferior ganglion (GVA); nucleus ambiguus (SVE); superior ganglion (GSA); inferior ganglion(SVA) auricular br., pharyngeal br., superior laryngeal, superior and inferior cervical cardiac brs., recurrent laryngeal n., thoracic cardiac brs., brs. to the pulmonary plexus, brs. to the esophageal plexus, anterior and posterior vagal trunks SVE: intrinsic muscles of the larynx, pharynx (except stylopharyngeus), and palate (except tensor veli palatini); GVE: smooth muscle of the respiratory tree & gut (proximal to the left colic flexure), heart; secretomotor: mucous glands of the larynx, respiratory tree, pharynx and gut; secretomotor to digestive glands GSA: skin of the external auditory meatus; GVA: viscera of head, neck, thorax & abdomen proximal to the left colic flexure; SVA: taste from the epiglottis also known as: CN X, 10th cranial nerve; the vagus n. passes through the jugular foramen to exit the posterior cranial fossa; vagus means "wanderer" in reference to its extensive distribution to the body cavities
ganglion, submandibular preganglionic parasympathetic axons from the chorda tympani (accompanying the lingual n. from the mandibular division of the trigeminal n.) postganglionic parasympathetic axons distribute either directly, or with branches of the lingual n. to the submandibular and sublingual glands secretomotor to the submandibular and sublingual glands and the small glands of the lingual mucosa none a parasympathetic ganglion; submandibular ganglion is suspended from the lingual n. near the deep part of the submandibular gland
to geniohyoid m. C1 fibers from the superior root of the ansa cervicalis no named branches geniohyoid m. none nerve to the geniohyoid m. travels with the hypoglossal nerve for a short distance in the superior neck

Arteries

Artery Source Branches Supply to Notes
alveolar, anterior superior infraorbital a. dental brs., mucosal brs. maxillary incisor and canine teeth; part of the maxillary sinus anterior superior alveolar a. is located between the inner and outer tables of bone of the maxilla
alveolar, middle superior infraorbital a. dental brs., mucosal brs. maxillary premolar teeth; part of the maxillary sinus middle superior alveolar a. is located between the inner and outer tables of bone of the maxilla
alveolar, posterior superior maxillary a. dental brs., mucosal brs. maxillary molar teeth; part of the maxillary sinus posterior superior alveolar a. enters the maxilla in the infratemporal fossa
alveolar, inferior maxillary a. lingual br., mylohyoid a., dental brs., mental a. mandibular teeth and gingiva; mandible; mylohyoid m. inferior alveolar a. runs with the inferior alveolar nerve within the mandibular canal
lingual external carotid a. suprahyoid br., dorsal lingual brs., deep lingual a., sublingual a. tongue, suprahyoid muscles, palatine tonsil lingual a. is the 2nd branch off of the anterior side of the external carotid a.; it may arise in common with the facial a.
lingual, deep lingual a. no named branches anterior tongue deep lingual a. is the terminal br. of the lingual a.
lingual, dorsal lingual a. no named branches posterior tongue, palatine tonsil, soft palate dorsal lingual a. is only one of five arteries that supply the tonsil bed
sublingual lingual a. no named branches mylohyoid m., sublingual gland, floor of the mouth sublingual a. is one of three branches of the lingual a. (see also: dorsal lingual a., deep lingual a.)

Veins

Vein Tributaries Drains Into Regions Drained Notes
vena comitans nervi hypoglossi no named tributaries lingual v. tongue vena comitans nervi hypoglossi accompanies CN XII

Lymphatics

Structure Location Afferents from Efferents to Regions drained Notes
submental nodes under the mandible on the mylohyoid m. lymphatic vessels from the lower face and chin submandibular nodes, juguloomohyoid node tip of the tongue, lower lip, floor of the mouth, chin, gums and lower incisor teeth submental nodes are important nodes to examine in cases of oral cancer caused by the use of tobacco products
tonsil, lingual superior surface of the root of the tongue lymphatic vessels of the tongue superior deep cervical nodes "guards" the entrance of the oropharynx lingual tonsil is part of the tonsillar ring (of Waldeyer)

Viscera

Organ Location/Description Notes
frenulum of the tongue fold of mucous membrane in the midline under the tongue sublingual caruncles (drainage of the submandibular gland) can be seen on either side of the frenulum
foramen cecum (of the tongue) depression located on the midline of tongue in the "V" of the sulcus terminalis foramen cecum is a remnant of the thyroid diverticulum
filiform papillae small taste buds covering the dorsum of the tongue slender, conical papillae found on the anterior 2/3 of the tongue
fungiform papillae medium-sized papillae located on the sides and tip of the tongue fungiform papillae are mushroom-shaped and have a rich blood supply that gives them a red color
vallate papilla the largest type of papilla located on the dorsum of the tongue; a total of 8-12 in number arranged along the anterior border of the sulcus terminalis vallate papillae possess taste buds in a circular sulcus; also known as: circumvallate papillae
oropharynx the portion of the pharynx located posterior to the palatoglossal arches of the oral cavity and inferior to the soft palate oropharynx communicates: anteriorly with oral cavity through oropharyngeal isthmus (palatoglossal arch), superiorly with the nasopharynx through pharyngeal isthmus (posterior margin of soft palate), inferiorly with the laryngopharynx at the superior margin of epiglottis; it contains the palatine tonsil which is located in the tonsilar bed (between the palatoglossal arch and the palatopharyngeal arch)
plica sublingualis fold of mucosa under the tongue which covers the sublingual gland also known as the sublingual fold
submandibular duct duct connecting the submandibular gland to the floor of the oral cavity submandibular duct drains the submandibular gland to the sublingual caruncle
submandibular gland salivary gland located beneath the mylohyoid m. in the submandibular triangle submandibular gland is innervated by postganglionic parasympathetic fibers from the submandibular ganglion
sublingual caruncle a papilla on the lateral side of the sublingual frenulum of the tongue sublingual caruncles the site of the opening of the duct of the submandibular gland
sublingual gland salivary gland located beneath the oral mucosa in the floor of mouth sublingual gland is located deep to the plica sublingualis; it drains onto the floor of the oral cavity via multiple small ducts

Other Tables of Interest:

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Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

Content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2007, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Unauthorized use is prohibited.