It is a complex nerve that has several nuclei located at various brainstem levels. There are 3 major branches: the ophthalmic nerve (V1, purely sensory), the maxillary nerve (V2, purely sensory) and the mandibular nerve (V3, sensory and motor).
The main sensory, spinal and mesencephalic nuclei of the trigeminal handle all trigeminal sensory functions including reflexes, cerebellar pathways and pathways to the thalamus.
CN V provides pain, temperature, touch and position sense for the face.
The trigeminal nerve motor branches, which are contained within the mandibular nerve, innervate the muscles of mastication among others.
The trigeminal nerve innervates the 4 muscles of mastication: masseter, temporalis, medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid. These muscles allow for chewing and biting.
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