Maxillary Artery Anatomy
1. Sphenopalatine artery
2. Posterior superior alveolar artery
3. Descending palatine artery in pterygopalatine fossa
4. Inferior alveolar artery
5. Middle meningeal artery
6. Deep temporal arteries and nerves
Comment: The maxillary artery is 1 of the 2 terminal branches of the external carotid artery. It passes superficially or deeply to the lateral pterygoid muscle and courses medially in the infratemporal fossa. Descriptively, it is divided into 3 parts.
The 1st (retromandibular) portion of this artery gives rise to branches supplying the tympanic cavity and membrane, dura, mandibular teeth and gums, ear, and chin. The 2nd (pterygoid) portion supplies the muscles of mastication and the buccinator. The 3rd (pterygopalatine) part supplies the maxillary teeth and gums, portions of the face, orbit, palate, auditory tube, superior pharynx, paranasal sinuses, and nasal cavity.
Clinical: A nosebleed, or epistaxis, is a common occurrence and often involves the richly vascularized region of the vestibule and the anteroinferior aspect of the nasal septum (Kiesselbach’s area). Many of these small nasal arteries and arterioles are branches of the maxillary artery and facial artery (lateral nasal and septal branches).