Zygomatic nerve

The zygomatic nerve is not to be confused with the zygomatic branches of the facial nerve.

Zygomatic nerve
Distribution of the maxillary and mandibular nerves, and the submaxillary ganglion. (Zygomatic nerve is second from top.)
Nerves of the orbit, and the ciliary ganglion. Side view. (Zygomatic nerve labeled at bottom center.)
FromMaxillary nerve
Latinnervus zygomaticus
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The zygomatic nerve (temporomalar nerve; orbital nerve) is a branch of the maxillary nerve (CN V2, itself a branch of the trigeminal nerve) that enters the orbit and helps to supply the skin over the zygomatic and temporal bones.


The zygomatic nerve arises in the pterygopalatine fossa. It enters the orbit by the inferior orbital fissure, and divides at the back of that cavity into two branches, the zygomaticotemporal nerve and zygomaticofacial nerve, which exit the orbit using identically named foramina.

The zygomatic nerve carries sensory fibers from the skin. It also carries post-synaptic parasympathetic fibers (originating in the pterygopalatine ganglion) to the lacrimal nerve via a communication. These fibers will eventually provide innervation to the lacrimal gland. These parasympathetic preganglionic fibers come from the facial nerve (CN VII).

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 889 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  • lesson3 at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (orbit6)
  • cranialnerves at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (V)

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