Palatal rugae shapes in sex determination in forensic odontology

Rossy Sylvia Basman, Antonius Winoto Suhartono, Bambang Tri Hartomo, Elza Ibrahim Auerkari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: In cases of mass mortality, forensic identification is certainly needed. One of forensic identifiÂcation methods that can be used in such cases is forensic odontology, which is helpful in human identification based on dental records and evaluation of dental findings. The INTERPOL has categorized disaster victim idenÂtification (DVI) into primary and secondary methods. The primary identification methods include fingerprint, DNA, and dental analyses. The secondary identification methods involve palatal rugae analysis, lip prints, and objects found with victims at a scene. Palatal rugae is known for its resistance to environmental change, stability, and individuality. Palatal rugae can be investigated for up to 7 days after death, and it can also be identified even when a victim's body is in a bad condition, such as burned out. Moreover, palatal rugae analysis can be applied as one of the secondary identification methods to identify the gender of individuals. Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the differences in palatal rugae shape between males and females in an Indonesian subpopulation. Material and methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted by observing 100 maxillary jaws of 50 men and 50 women from Indonesia, aged 19-60 years based on Basauri classification. Results: There was no significant difference in the palatal rugae shape between males and females on either the left or right side, but the shape of palatal rugae was different between males and females in terms of distribution. Conclusions: It can be concluded that although palatal rugae in every individual is different, they still cannot disclose the differences between males and females in the Indonesian subpopulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Stomatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2020


  • Forensic odontology
  • Palatal rugae
  • Sex determination


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