Also known as the external maxillary, the facial artery branches off the external carotid, and it serves the components of the face. The blood vessel arises from the external carotid artery's carotid triange, and it travels a course passing the lingual artery. From there, it moves under the digrastic and stylohyoid muscles and it eventually reaches the submandibular gland and the side of the nose. It ends under near the eye, but under the name of the angular artery. The facial artery branches into many smaller blood vessels around the face and oral cavity. These include the tonsillar and glandular branches, as well as the ascending palatine artery, the submental artery and many others. The facial artery delivers oxygenate blood to the regions it serves. However, it should not be mistaken for the anterior or posterior facial veins. Both veins assist in draining deoxygenated blood from areas of the face, returning the blood to the lungs for oxygenation. Afterwards, the blood is returned to the heart for circulation.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Facial artery