Table 1: Distributions and functions of the facial nerve
Muscles supplied Sensory nerve distribution Parasympathetic nervous system functions
Facial expression Taste – anterior two thirds of the tongue Submandibular gland
Scalp External auditory meatus Sublingual gland
External ear Soft palate Lacrimal gland
Buccinator Adjacent pharynx Nasal
Platysma Palatine glands
Posterior belly of digastric

The facial nerve (cranial nerve VII) supplies motor branches to the muscles of facial expression and supplies some sensory and parasympathetic fibres (see Table 1).