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Trigeminal nerve

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noun, plural: trigeminal nerves

The cranial nerve that is responsible for sensory innervation of the face and motor innervation to muscles of mastication (chewing)


Cranial nerves are paired nerves that emerge from the brain and the brainstem. They supply the motor pathways between organs in the face and the upper body, and account for detecting and processing various sensations. One of them is the trigeminal nerve, which is also referred to as the fifth cranial nerve or cranial nerve V (CN V).

The trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve responsible for the sensory innervation of the face and motor innervation to muscles of mastication. It is regarded as the largest cranial nerve. There are three divisions of the fifth cranial nerve: ophthalmic nerve (V1), maxillary nerve (V2), and mandibular nerve (V3).

Lesions of the sensory root to the trigeminal nerve can result in pain or loss of sensation in the face. Lesion of the motor root results in deviation of the jaw toward the paralysed side and difficulty in chewing.


  • cranial nerve V (CN V)
  • fifth cranial nerve
  • nervus trigeminus
  • trifacial nerve
  • trigeminus

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