Descending palatine artery

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Artery: Descending palatine artery
Plan of branches of internal maxillary artery. ("Desc. pal." visible in upper right.)
Plan of branches of internal maxillary artery. (Artery not labeled, but region is visible.)
Latin arteria palatina descendens
Gray's subject #144 562
Supplies hard palate, soft palate
Source maxillary artery (3rd part)   
/ Elsevier

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

The descending palatine artery descends through the pterygopalatine canal with the anterior palatine branch of the sphenopalatine ganglion, and, emerging from the greater palatine foramen, runs forward in a groove on the medial side of the alveolar border of the hard palate to the incisive canal; the terminal branch of the artery passes upward through this canal to anastomose with the sphenopalatine artery.


Branches are distributed to the gums, the palatine glands, and the mucous membrane of the roof of the mouth; while in the pterygopalatine canal it gives off twigs which descend in the lesser palatine canals to supply the soft palate and palatine tonsil, anastomosing with the ascending palatine artery.

According to Terminologia Anatomica, the descending palatine artery branches into the "greater palatine artery" and "lesser palatine arteries".

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.