This is the mandibular canal containing the inferior alveolar nerve (lower) and artery (upper) of a pig! 🐷
The 5th cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve, branches into the ophthalmic, maxillary and mandibular nerve.
The mandibular nerve divides itself into several branches including the buccal nerve, lingual nerve and inferior alveolar nerve.
The inferior alveolar nerve carries both sensory and motor fibers, whereas the motor fibers form the mylohyoid nerve, while the sensory fibers enter the mandibular canal. The mandibular canal is a tunnel in the mandible, protecting the nerve and its blood vessels, as well as supplying mandibular teeth with sensation and nutrients. The canal exits at the mental foramen where the nerve terminates as the mental nerve innervates the lower lip and chin.
That is why a mandibular nerve block which aims at anesthetizing the nerve before it enter the mandobular canal might numb your tongue, teeth, lip and chin on one side of the lower jaw/mandible at the same time. 💉 Injury to the inferior alveolar nerve is an unwanted complication during extraction of wisdom teeth, resulting in paresthesia/abnormal or loss of sensation.⚡ However, in most cases, the sensation is more or less restored within a few months. 🌞
The mandibular canal of a pig is enormous compared to that of a human, by the way!
Corte GM, Plendl J, Hünigen H, Richardson KC, Gemeinhardt O, Niehues SM (2017) Refining experimental dental implant testing in the Göttingen Minipig using 3D computed tomography—A morphometric study of the mandibular canal. PLoS ONE.
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