The Unrevealed Truth about the Tongue in Forensic Identification
Keywords:forensic odontology, morphological characteristics, sex determination, tongue impressions
Background: Forensic odontology, a branch of dentistry includes identification of individuals in various
crime scenes, natural calamities, and mass disasters. The identification is possible because every individual
body is unique and so is our tongue due to its morphological variations. The primary objective of the study
was to assess the morphological features of the tongue and its use in sex determination.
Methods: The study included a sample size of 100 individuals (50 males and 50 females) in the age range
of 20-50 years old. Photographs were taken of front and side view of the tongue; visual inspection was
done and lastly impressions of the tongue were made with help of alginate and then poured with the help
of dental stone. IBM SPSS statistics 20.0 (IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA) was used for the analyses
of the data. Microsoft word and Excel were used to generate graphs, tables etc. Females presented with
triangular shape, presence of shallow fissures more commonly and a sharp lingual apex of tongue. Males
presented with rectangular shape, presence of deep fissure/absence of fissures more commonly and septate/
sharp lingual apex of the tongue.
Conclusion: Tongue exhibits various unique characteristics and can be used in sex determination.
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