Advertisement

What is the facial nerve?

Also called the seventh cranial nerve, this nerve controls most of the muscles in the face. After it emerges from the brain, it splits into five primary branches: temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular and cervical. Each branch reaches different areas of the face and signals muscles that control facial expressions.

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
The facial nerve is the seventh (VII) of 12 nerves that presents from the brainstem that controls facial animation, expression, and allows for taste sensation to the anterior two-thirds of the tongue. The efferent or motor control includes control of most of the muscles of facial expression. The five major branches found coursing through the parotid gland includes the Temporal (frontal) , zygomatic, buccal, marginal mandibular, and the cervial branches. The afferent (sensory division) nerves innervate the anterior two-thirds of the tongue via the chorda tympani. Bell's facial palsy is associated with the idiopathic form of facial nerve palsy. There may be loss of wrinkling the brow, teeth show, closure of the eyes, frowning, puffing out of the cheeks. 

Continue Learning about Nerves

What is the seventh cranial nerve?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
Also called the facial nerve, this nerve controls most facial muscles. It splits into five primary b...
More Answers
What can cause electric shock-like sensations on my face?
Anthony L. Komaroff, MDAnthony L. Komaroff, MD
Discomfort that feels like an "electric shock" suggests a nerve problem. Perhaps the most common exa...
More Answers
What is the prognosis for a pinched nerve?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
With treatment, most people recover from a pinched nerve. However, in some cases, damage is irrevers...
More Answers
What are cranial nerves?
Regional Medical Center Bayonet PointRegional Medical Center Bayonet Point
Cranial nerves are the pairs of nerves that control vision, smell, eye movement, sensation in the fa...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.