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Maxillary veins

The maxillary veins consist of the main maxillary blood vessel and its extensions. This group of veins is located in the head. It is accompanied by the maxillary artery that runs alongside the vein. They are identified as one of the major groups of deep veins in the head.

The maxillary veins are created by the merging of superficial veins in the head known as the pterygoid plexus. The veins travel to the back of head and border the sphenomandibular ligament, a ligament that connects the lower jawbone, or mandible, to the temporal bone. The path continues past the top portion of the mandible. The maxillary veins meet another vein in the side of the head called the superficial temporal vein. Their convergence creates the beginning of the retromandibular vein.

Each of the maxillary veins directs blood flow to the internal and external jugular veins. Together, they deliver blood from the head to the heart. In some individuals, the maxillary veins and superficial temporal vein join together without creating the retromandibular vein at the site of convergence. A venous junction is formed in lieu of where the vein would be.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Maxillary veins

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