Lingual artery

The lingual artery (Latin: arteria lingualis) is a branch of the external carotid artery that supplies blood to the tongue and floor of the mouth.

The vessel arises medially from the external carotid at the level of the greater cornu of the hyoid bone. It loops antero-inferiorly and passes, at first, to the posterior border of the hyoglossus, then forwards deep to it. Further, the lingual artery runs upward and forward on the inferior surface of the tongue and continues as the terminal branch till its tip. The terminal branch of the lingual artery is called the deep lingual artery.

Branches of the lingual artery

On its course, the lingual artery also gives off side branches, including:

  • dorsal lingual branches that supply the dorsum of the tongue till the epiglottis;
  • sublingual artery supplying the sublingual gland.

The branches of the lingual artery provide blood supply to the tongue, sublingual gland, and the floor of the mouth.