Greater palatine artery

Last revised by Travis Fahrenhorst-Jones on 1 Sep 2021

The greater palatine artery is a branch of the descending palatine artery (branch of the 3rd part of the maxillary artery) 4. The blood vessel supplies the hard palate mucosa, gingival tissue, and palatine tonsils 5. The greater palatine artery also contributes to the Kiesselbach plexus of the nasal septum via anastomoses with the sphenopalatine artery 3,5.


  • origin: descending palatine artery (branch of the maxillary artery)
  • course: emerges from the pterygopalatine fossa via the greater palatine foramen onto the inferior surface of the hard palate before traveling anterior-lateral to the greater palatine nerve and entering the incisive canal 4,5
  • branches: branches to the gingival tissues, the palatine tonsils, and the mucous membrane of the roof of the mouth 5
  • termination: anastomoses with the septal branch of the sphenopalatine artery

Clinical importance

The greater palatine artery and greater palatine nerve form a neurovascular bundle as they pass through the greater palatine foramina, therefore, forming an area of special care in procedures of the hard palate 5

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