The facial artery (also known as external maxillary artery, Latin: arteria facialis; arteria maxillaris externa) arises from the external carotid artery in the carotid triangle at the level of the angle of the mandible.
At the level of the angle of the mandible, the facial artery ascends and runs forward beneath the digastric and stylohyoid muscles over which it arches upwards and grooves to emerge on the posterior surface of the submandibular gland. Then the artery curves around the base of the mandible, anterior to the masseter muscle, and appears on the face. On the face, the facial artery ascends laterally to the corner of the mouth and the lateral surface of the external nose. It ends at the medial commissure of the eye as the angular artery.
The facial artery gives off several branches on its way, including:
- ascending palatine artery,
- tonsillar artery,
- submental artery,
- glandular branches,
- superior labial artery,
- inferior labial artery.
The facial artery with its branches supplies the submandibular gland, lips, chin, most of the facial muscles, tongue, pharyngotympanic tube, soft palate, and tonsils.