Vascular & Nerve Supplies Of Tongue

  • Lingual artery
  • A branch of external carotid artery(after passing deep to the hyoglossus muscles)
  1. Divides into :
  2. Dorsal lingual arteries: supply posterior part
  3. Deep lingual artery : supplies the anterior part
  4. Sublingual artery: supplies the sublingual gland and floor of the mouth
  1. Dorsal lingual vein- drains the dorsum and sides of the tongue
  2. Deep lingual veins (Ranine veins) - drains the tip of the tongue and join sublingual veins from sublingual salivary gland
  • All these veins terminate directly or indirectly into internal jugular veins
  • Lymph from one side (esp. of the posterior side), may reach the nodes of the both sides of the neck (in contrast to the blood supply which remains unilateral) Tip - drain to submental nodes or directly to deep cervical nodes
  • Marginal lymphatics from the anterior part tend to drain to ipsilateral submandibular nodes or directly to inferior deep cervical nodes
  • Central lymphatics - drain to deep cervical nodes of either side
  • Posterior part - drains directly and bilaterally to deep cervical nodes
  • The deep cervical nodes usually involved: jugulodigastric and jugulo-omohyoid nodes
  • All lymph from the tongue is believed to eventually drain through the jugulo-omohyoid node before reaching the thoracic duct or right lymphatic duct
  • Innervation of the tongue
  • Motor: All muscles of the tongue (intrinsic and extrinsic) are supplied by hypoglossal nerve except palatoglossus which is supplied by pharyngeal plexus
  • Sensory:
  1. Anterior 2/3 of the tongue:General sensation: lingual nerve - branch of the mandibular nerve (with cell bodies in the trigeminal ganglion)
  2. Taste: chorda tympani (with cell bodies in the geniculate ganglion of facial nerve)
  • Parasympathetic secretomotor fibres to the anterior lingual gland run in the chorda tympani from the superior salivary nucleus, and relay in the submandibular genglion
  • Posterior 1/3 of the tongue: innervated by the glossopharyngeal nerve (both general sensation and taste), with cell bodies in the glossopharyngeal ganglia in the jugular 
  • foramen
  • Posterior most part of the tongue: innervated by the vagus nerve through the internal laryngeal branch (with cell bodies in the inferior vagal ganglion)
  • Facial nerve supplies fungi from papillae
  • Glossopharyngeal nerve supplies circumvallate papillae
Exam Question
  • Taste sensation from anterior 2/3rd is carried by chorda tympani branch of facial nerve
  • Pain sensation from tip of the tongue is carried by lingula nerve branch of V3
  • Taste sensations from the posterior 1/3rd of tongue are carried by nerve glossopharyngeal nerve
  • All of the following muscles of tongue are supplied by hypoglossal nerve, except palatoglossus
  • Sensory supply to tongue are by lingula nerve, facial nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve, vagus nerve
  • Muscles of tongue are supplied mainly by hypoglossal nerve
  • Tip of the tongue drain to submental nodes or directly to deep cervical nodes
  • General sensation to the posterior one-third of the tongue is mediated by the glossopharyngeal nerve
  • Facial nerve supplies fungi from papillae
  • Glossopharyngeal nerve supplies circumvallate papillae

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