The front teeth of the lower jaw are your forensic ID card! | Ahmedabad News

Vadodara: Now there are all the more reasons why dental health should be taken seriously – your teeth are the ultimate passport to your true identification! So, in addition to flashing your pearls for great selfies, remember that a healthier mandibular central incisor – the tooth on the jawbone – just off the midline is also your natural ID.
In mass disasters like plane crashes, earthquakes or floods, forensics will now be able to determine the race and gender of a disaster victim based on these two incisors on the lower jaw of a victim. Just this pair of incisors can also tell if the victim was an Indian or an African!
Until now, experts could determine a few breeds based on canine analysis. But in most disasters, the sharp canines are often found broken or fractured when bodies are brought in for identification.
“The teeth of all human beings are placed differently in the mouth. But at the same time, each tooth has its unique characteristics that help identify victims,” said Dr. Arushi Chawla, who guided the research by his forensic science student, Dr. Romesha Chatterjee.
“The teeth are the strongest part of the human body. They are able to withstand mass disasters like earthquakes, plane crashes, floods, etc. They can even withstand temperatures exceeding 1,600°C,” she explained, adding that in the process of identifying mutilated bodies, therefore, forensic examination of teeth becomes very crucial.
Usually, the canines located at the corners of the mouth tend to break under the influence of an external force. “In contrast, the durability of the mandibular incisors is greater because they are protected by the lower lips,” Chawla said.
The research team which included co-guide and assistant professor Suraj Kumar studied different measurements taken from more than 150 samples, including Indian and African students between the ages of 18 and 28. The study was carried out using digital caliper analysis while the samples were statistically analyzed by T-test.
“Compared to Indians, Africans have a wider mesiodistal dimension of the mandibular incisors. In other words, the width of the mandibular incisor in the African population is greater than that of the Indians,” Chawla said.
“The same technique was used to compare the sexes,” she said, adding, “We can even estimate the size of the deceased using the dimensions of the mandibular teeth.”
The researchers found that the length of the left incisor of an African girl is between 5.1 and 9.14 cm, while that of an African man is 4.82 to 9.05 cm. In contrast, the length of the left incisor of an Indian woman is between 3.12 and 9.57 cm, while that of an Indian man is 4.22 to 9.89 cm.
“Similarly, we studied the range of straight incisors as well as the width of incisors through which race and sex can be determined,” she said.

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