Greater palatine nerve

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 13 Oct 2022

The greater palatine nerve, also known as the anterior palatine nerve, is a branch of the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve and contributes to the pterygopalatine ganglion.

Gross anatomy

The greater palatine nerve divides off the maxillary division just after emerging from the foramen rotundum to enter the pterygopalatine fossa. At the pterygopalatine ganglion receives parasympathetic fibers that supply palatine mucosal glands as well as special sensory fibers (taste) which arrive at the ganglia via the greater petrosal nerve.

It leaves the fossa inferiorly through the greater palatine canal, and when its the canal gives off the lateral posterior inferior nasal nerve. The greater palatine nerve then emerges from the canal through the greater palatine foramen and curves anteriorly to run along on the undersurface of the hard palate which it may groove. It supplies the mucosa of the posterior hard palate.

Variant anatomy

According to some authors, it may give off a sensory branch to the medial wall of the maxillary sinus.

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