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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-61

Tongue replica for personal identification: A digital photographic study

Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, M.R. ZAmbedkar Dental College and Hospital, R.G.U.H.S, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. C Sreepradha
M.R. Ambedkar Dental College and Hospital, # 1/36, Cline Road, Cooke Town, Bangalore - 560 005, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaomr.jiaomr_59_19

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The tongue is a vital internal organ well encased within the oral cavity and protected from the environment. The morphology and surface features are characteristics of every individual, and these traits can be used for forensic identification. Aims: To examine and classify variations in morphological characteristics of the tongue as observed on digital photographs and to assess the usefulness of tongue replica for personal identification in forensic science. Settings and Design: A study was conducted in the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, M.R. Ambedkar Dental College, Bangalore, for a period of 3 months. Materials and Methods: In total, 100 (50 male and 50 female) study participants with an age range of 21 − 40 years were included in the study. The tongue was subjected to visual examination following which digital photographs of the dorsal surface of the tongue were taken to evaluate different morphological characteristics of the tongue. Statistical Analysis Used: Chi-square test. Results: The predominant shape of the tongue in both males and females was U-shape, V-shaped tongue with a sharp tip was observed in more number of females compared to males. Scalloped borders were more common in females compared to men. Single fissures were more common in females, and multiple fissures were more common in males. Conclusions: Variations in morphology and surface features of the tongue may constitute distinctiveness, which can be adopted by dentists as a chairside technique on a regular basis. This could serve as a database and a guide for personal identification. The lingual photographic image can enhance personal identification along with other techniques in forensic science.

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