Infraorbital Nerve

Written by Akila Wasalage

Last updated July 10, 2024 • 5 Revisions

The infraorbital nerve is a nerve of the face. It is the terminal branch of the maxillary division (V2) of the trigeminal nerve.

It supplies sensation to structures of the midface – lower eyelid, side of the nose, cheek, upper lip, maxillary sinus and upper teeth.

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Course

The infraorbital nerve arises from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve within the pterygopalatine fossa.

It leaves the pterygopalatine fossa to enter the bony orbit through the inferior orbital fissure.

The infraorbital nerve then travels along a groove on the floor of the orbit (inferior orbital groove). Here, it gives rise to two sensory branches – middle superior and anterior superior alveolar nerves.

The nerve exits the orbit via the inferior orbital canal and emerges on the face at the infraorbital foramen.

It then terminates by dividing into several sensory branches to the skin:

  • Palpebral branches
  • Nasal branches
  • Superior labial branches

Fig 1
The course and branches of the infraorbital nerve

Sensory Functions

The infraorbital nerve supplies sensory innervation to structures of the midface via its branches:

  • Middle superior and anterior superior alveolar nerves – maxillary sinus, upper teeth and gums
  • Palpebral branches – skin and conjunctiva of the lower eyelid
  • Nasal branches – lateral surface of external nose and nasal septum.
  • Superior labial branches – upper lip, oral mucosa of upper lip, skin of anterior aspect of cheek.