Prathusha Subramanium, Nithya Jagannathan



Objective: The role of forensic science in establishing the personal identity is based on DNA analysis, finger print and dental analysis. When the
forensic remains are decomposed making all these sources, unavailable palatal rugae served as an important aid as it is resistant to heat and placed
deep inside the oral cavity in a secure environment. Thus, palatal rugae can be used as an adjunct in the gender determination. This study was
performed to determine the length, number and the patterns of palatal rugae in males and females on right and left side and thereby determine the
gender difference.
Methods: A total of 50 subjects were included in the study comprising of 25 males and 25 females. An impression of the maxillary arch was made
using the hydrocolloid impression material (alginate). The palatal rugae were highlighted using a graphite pencil and the length, number and pattern
of the rugae were determined using Thomas and Kotze classification. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the two-tailed significance test
to determine the significance between the two genders.
Results: The wavy pattern was found to highest, followed by curved, straight, circular and unification pattern. The females showed a statistically
significant rise in the unification pattern, whereas males demonstrated higher amount of wavy and straight pattern based on descriptive statistics.
There was no statistical difference in the length and number of the rugae in males and females.
Conclusion: No two palatal rugae are alike and this forms the basis of rugoscopy. The uniqueness, overall stability and feasibility make palatal rugae
an ideal forensic identification marker.

Keywords: Rugoscopy, Personal identification, Gender, Marker.

| PDF |


Whittaker DK. An introduction to forensic dentistry. Quintessence Int 1994;25(10):723-30.

Morlang WM. Forensic dentistry. Aviat Space Environ Med 1982;53(1):27-34.

Caldas IM, Magalhães T, Afonso A. Establishing identity using cheiloscopy and palatoscopy. Forensic Sci Int 2007;165(1):1-9.

Kavitha B, Einstein A, Sivapathasundaram B, Saraswathi TR. Limitations of forensic odontology J Forensic Dent Sci 2009;1:8-10.

Almeida MA, Phillips C, Kula K, Tulloch C. Stability of the palatal rugae as landmarks for analysis of dental casts. Angle Orthod 1995;65(1):43-8.

Reuer E. Gaumentleistein, und Gaumerferm bei drei lokalen populationen in Osterreich. Mitt Anthropologischen Gesellschaft Wien 1973;103:1-3.

Thomas CJ, Kotze TJ. The palatal ruga pattern: a new classification. J Dent Assoc S Afr 1983;38(3):153-7.

Gillespie TH, Brannon RB, Grayson FW, Gardner JD. Dental identification of remains from the 23 October 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Headquarters, Beirut, Lebanon. Mil Med 1985;150(12):635-9.

Bastiaan RJ. Dental identification of the Victorian bushfire victims. Aust Dent J 1984;29(2):105-10.

Hausser E. Zur Bedeutung Ver nderung der Gaumenflaten Menschen. Stoma 1951;4:3.

Nayak P, Acharya AB, Padmini AT, Kaveri H. Differences in the palatal rugae shape in two populations of India. Arch Oral Biol 2007;52(10):977-82.

Dohke M, Osato S. Morphological study of the palatal rugae in Japanese 1. Bilateral differences in the regressive evaluation of the palatal rugae. Jpn J Oral Biol 1994;36:125-40.

Saraf A, Bedia S, Indurkar A, Degwekar S, Bhowate R. Rugae patterns as an adjunct to sex differentiation in forensic identification. J Forensic Odontostomatol 2011;29(1):14-9.

Indira AP, Gupta M, David MP. Rugoscopy for establishing individuality Ind J Dent Adv 2011;3:427-32.

Kapali S, Townsend G, Richards L, Parish T. Palatal rugae patterns in Australian aborigines and Caucasians. Aust Dent J 1997;42(2):129-33.

Solheim T, van den Bos A. International disaster identification report. Investigative and dental aspects. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 1982;3(1):63-7.

Allan H. The palatal rugae in man. Dent Cosm 1989;31:66-80.

Sassouni V. Palatal-print, physoprint and roentoenographic cephalometry as new method in human identification (preliminary report). J Forensic Sci 1957;2:420-42.

Ritter R. Uber die form den verlauf und die. Typeneinteilung der Gaumenleisten. Z Morphol Anthropol 1943;40:367.

About this article





Additional Links

Manuscript Submission


Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research
Vol 8 Issue 2 (March - April) 2015 Page: 136-138

Print ISSN


Online ISSN


Authors & Affiliations

Prathusha Subramanium

Nithya Jagannathan
Senior Lecturer, Saveetha Dental College

Article Tools

Email this article (Login required)
Email the author (Login required)


  • There are currently no refbacks.