External Carotid Arteries


Branching off from the external carotid artery there are numerous smaller arteries which form a tubular network which extends upward along the side of the neck and head. Each branch reaches various destinations, lending itself to an area of service. Each basic artery is named for its area of service.


The larynx, vocal folds, hyoid region, and thyroid gland are all supplied by the superior thyroid artery. The pharyngeal area and the corresponding lymph nodes are supplied by the ascending pharyngeal artery. The lingual artery is responsible for the blood supply to the sublingual gland and the tongue. The palate, chin, lips, and nasal cavity as well as the supporting pharyngeal area which corresponds to these areas are supplied by the facial artery.

The facial artery follows the path of the inferior margin of the mandible. Some of the posterior neck muscles, the mastoid process, the meninges over the surface of the brain, and rear section of the scalp are supplied by the occipital artery. The auricle of the ear and the adjacent scalp sections are provided for by the posterior auricular artery.


External Carotid Arteries
Image: External Carotid Arteries

Close to the mandibular condyle the external carotid artery extends into the branches of the maxillary and superficial temporal arteries, concluding the existence of the external carotid artery.
The superficial configurations along the side of the head and the parotid gland are supplied with the vital blood necessities via the superficial temporal artery. The maxillary artery branches off into various networks which supply the teeth, gums, eyelids, nasal cavity, muscles of mastication, and meninges.

The temporal artery is located very close to the skin’s surface and can be used primarily by anesthesiologists to check the pulsation of the heart during a surgical procedure.
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