Background: Dental caries, although of infectious origin along with its multiple predisposing factors, may have a genetic predisposition. This study was executed to evaluate the association of dermatoglyphics as a genetic predictor of the susceptibility of participants to acquire dental caries considering environmental factors such as salivary pH, Decayed, Missing and Filled Permanent (DMFT) Score and Plaque Index Score. Methods: 531 student volunteers of a dental college were included in the study. Thumbprint patterns of the thumbs of their respective dominant hands were analyzed. DMFT Index, Plaque Index Score and Salivary pH for each subject was recorded. Statistical analysis was executed using nonparametric chi-square tests, correlation coefficients and measures of central tendencies. Results: The predominant thumbprint pattern seen was loop type followed by whorl and arch type with 52%, 31% and 17% of occurrence and a salivary pH of 7, 5 and 6 respectively. The Chi-Square tests concluded that whorl type of thumbprints show association with increased DMFT score. Mean and median plaque index score was considerably higher in the individuals with a whorl type of thumbprint. Conclusion: There was distinct association between pattern of thumbprints and prevalence of dental caries. Whorl type thumbprint could prove itself as a genetic predictor towards increased caries incidence.
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