Facial artery

Also known as the external maxillary, the facial artery branches off the external carotid artery, and it serves the components of the face.

The facial artery arises from the external carotid artery's carotid triangle, and it travels a course passing the lingual artery. From there, it moves under the digrastic and stylohyoid muscles (muscles located under the jaw) and it eventually reaches the submandibular gland (a gland located beneath the floor of the mouth) and the side of the nose. It ends underneath the eye, but there it is called 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 oxygenated blood to the regions it serves. It should not be mistaken for the anterior or posterior facial veins, which assist in draining oxygen-depleted blood from areas of the face to it can return to the lungs for oxygenation.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Facial artery

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