Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-44

Dimorphism in human maxillary and madibular canines in establishment of gender

Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Karen Boaz
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Light House Hill Road, Mangalore - 575 001, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2948.50889

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Sexual dimorphism refers to the differences in size, shape, color, etc. between males and females and is a useful tool to distinguish them, especially in forensic investigations and anthropological assessments. The canines are favoured as ideal teeth to study these differences in view of their durability in the oral cavity. The present study was performed on 100 dental casts of a South Indian population in the age group of 14-20 years in an attempt to assess the dimorphism of human permanent maxillary and mandibular canines and to evaluate the possibility of dimorphism of the canines being used as a valid tool in the forensic and legal identification of an individual. The mesiodistal and buccolingual measurements were subjected to statistical analysis using the t test to determine whether significant differences exist between tooth sizes in males and females. The present study revealed that the mean values of the buccolingual and mesiodistal dimensions of the mandibular left canine (33) were greater in females than in males and the mean values of the mesiodistal dimensions of the mandibular right canine (43) in females were greater than that in males in the given sample. The finding could be attributable to evolution resulting in a reduction in sexual dimorphism, causing an overlap of tooth dimensions in modern males and females.

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