Tooth as a Source of DNA in Forensic or Investigative Genetics: An Overview


  • Nandini D. B. Professor & Head, Department of Oral Pathology & Microbiology Dental College, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur
  • Juniya Grace Joji Independent Researcher, Mulamoottil Gilead Eraviperoor P.O. Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta District Kerala-689542



Applications, DNA Fingerprinting, DNA Profiling, DNA Extraction, Forensic Genetics, Human Identification, Isolation Methods, Limitations, Lineage Markers, Short Tandem Repeat, Tooth.


Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the genetic code of most organisms including humans. In the last few years, DNA analysis methods are applied to forensic cases for human identification which is termed forensic or investigative genetics. It is often challenging to obtain and interpret DNA from routine samples like blood in severely decomposed or disfigured bodies recovered from incineration, immersion, trauma, mutilation, and decomposition as in incidents of fire, explosion, or murder. The tooth can survive any extreme environment with minimum risk of contamination making it a valuable alternative source of DNA in such cases. Tooth structures like the enamel (amelogenin protein), dentin, cementum, pulp, and adherent tissues like bone and periodontal fibers are sources from which DNA can be obtained. Various methods have been described for DNA extraction. There are numerous applications of DNA analysis like identification of the deceased or missing victim or the unknown culprit from a crime scene, solving paternity issues, determining the occurrence of any genetic disease, and determining the ancestry. This article briefly summarizes an overview of the tooth as a valuable DNA source and various methods and challenges related to DNA analysis.


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How to Cite

D. B., N. ., & Joji , J. G. (2022). Tooth as a Source of DNA in Forensic or Investigative Genetics: An Overview. Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences, 12(3), 186–196.