Manickam Selvamani1, Shilpa Hosallimath2, Madhushankari2, Praveen Shivappa Basandi2, Andamuthu Yamunadevi3
1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, Mahe Institute of Dental Science and Hospital, Mahe, Union Territory of Puducherry, India.
2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Davangere, Karnataka, India.
3Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology, Vivekanandha Dental College for Women, Elayampalayam, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India.
Background: Analysis of palatal rugae patterns, which are similar to fingerprints, is one of the techniques used in forensic sciences for human identification. As palatal rugae patterns are genetically determined, they can also be used in population differentiation and gender determination. Hence, we aimed to record the distribution of the predominant rugae pattern in Kerala population. Materials and Methods: A total of 100 maxillary study models (40 males and 60 females) recorded from Kerala population within the age group of 17-25 years were analyzed. The dental casts were examined for the interpretation of the total number, length, shape, location and unification of rugae. Chi-square test and unpaired t-test were employed for statistical analysis. Result: The total number of rugae was significantly (P < 0.001) greater in females than males. Regarding the shape, wavy pattern predominated in both males and females, followed by curve, straight, divergent, convergent and circular pattern. Circular pattern was more in males than females. The rugae patterns were located more in between mesial aspect of first premolar to mesial aspect of second premolar. Conclusion: The palatal rugae and their features of an individual may be considered as a reliable guide for identification purpose, provided antemortem casts are available. Nevertheless, gender differentiation is evident in terms of number and shape of rugae.
Keywords: Forensic sciences, palatal rugae, human identification.