Buccal branches of the facial nerve

The buccal branches of the facial nerve (infraorbital branches), are of larger size than the rest of the branches, pass horizontally forward to be distributed below the orbit and around the mouth.

Buccal branch of the facial nerve
Plan of the facial and intermediate nerves and their communication with other nerves. (Labeled at center bottom, third from the bottom.)
The nerves of the scalp, face, and side of neck.
Fromfacial nerve
Latinrami buccales nervi facialis
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy


The superficial branches run beneath the skin and above the superficial muscles of the face, which they supply: some are distributed to the procerus, joining at the medial angle of the orbit with the infratrochlear and nasociliary branches of the ophthalmic.

The deep branches pass beneath the zygomaticus and the quadratus labii superioris, supplying them and forming an infraorbital plexus with the infraorbital branch of the maxillary nerve. These branches also supply the small muscles of the nose.

The lower deep branches supply the buccinator and orbicularis oris, and join with filaments of the buccinator branch of the mandibular nerve.

Muscles of facial expression

The facial nerve innervates the muscles of facial expression. The buccal branch supplies these muscles

BuccinatorAids chewing by holding cheeks flat
Levator labii superiorisElevates upper lip
Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscleSnarl
Levator anguli orisSoft smile
NasalisFlare nostrils
Orbicularis oris musclePurse Lips
Depressor septi nasiDepresses nasal septum
ProcerusMoves skin of forehead

Testing the nerve

• Puff up cheeks (buccinator)

i. Tap with finger over each cheek to detect ease of air expulsion on the affected side

• Smile and show teeth (orbicularis oris)

See also

Additional images


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 905 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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