The facial nerve provides motor innervation to the muscles of facial expression, scalp, stapedius, stylohyoideus and posterior belly of the digastric. It is sensory from the anterior 2/3 of the tongue (taste), external auditory meatus, soft palate and adjacent pharynx. It carries parasympathetic fibers which are secretomotor to the submaxillary, sublingual, lacrymal, nasal and palatine glands. It enters the substance of the parotid at the posterior border of the gland and immediately divides into a temporofacial and cervicofacial branch. Each branch subdivides into numerous nerves exiting the anterior borders of the gland to spread over the face. The marginal mandibular branch is variable, sometimes coming off the main trunk before the bifurcation.
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