Gender and race differentiation-an odontometric and rugoscopic analysis

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Sexual variations in human skeleton and dentition have been a subject of interest to forensic odontologists and anthropologists since long. Several methods have been used for gender determination from skeletal remains. Gender may be determined from the pulpal tissue, through DNA finger printing and through various other anthropological measurements of available bones. In the case of human jaws, odontometry (measurement of teeth) as well as rugoscopy have been used with success to differentiate between the sexes and populations. The commonly used odontometric parameters include crown diameter, crown-root ratio, mandibular canine index and more routinely, measurement of mesio-distal and bucco-lingual dimensions of teeth. The last mentioned odontometric measurement however, may not be practical in the case of malocclusion and rotated teeth. Palatal rugae are also stable structures and have five patterns and three levels of representation, which allow us to objectively categorize an individual of a particular gender and race. Aims and Objectives The study aimed to investigate the sexual and racial dimorphism exhibited by teeth and rugae pattern and to assess its reliability and accuracy in differentiating between Indian and Malaysian populations. Materials and Methods: The study population included Indians and Malaysian students aged 15 – 40 yrs. A total of sixty subjects of the age group of 15-40 years, male and female were included in this study and impressions of the maxillary and mandibular arches were made after informed consent from the individual. Using these models the mesio distal and the diagonal [mesiobuccal – distolingual (MBDL) and distobuccal – mesiolingual (DBML)] measurements of seven teeth on each quadrant were made using vernier caliper and tabulated. The rugae analysis was done as per the protocol followed by Thomas &Kotz’s classification. Results: Both Indian and Malaysian populations showed males having greater tooth dimensions compared to females. Size of teeth was greater in Malaysian population as compared to Indians. In our study it was found that the total number of rugae on the right side was more in Malaysians females when compared to Indians. The predominant shape of the rugae in our study was curved in Indians and straight in Malaysians male and female. In our study the number of primary rugae was predominant in Malaysians when compared with Indians. Conclusion: Mesiodistal, Diagonal measurements of teeth and rugae pattern may discriminate race and gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of South India Medicolegal Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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