Background: Palatal rugae (PR) are asymmetrical irregular elevations, recorded during maxillary cast fabrication, that can be used for identification purpose if previous comparative sources are available. Aim: This study investigated uniqueness of PR patterns in relation to gender, palatal vault forms, and ABO blood groups in three (North‑East [N‑E], Northern and Western) populations of India. Subjects and Methods: The study was conducted on randomly selected 90 students, 30 from each sub population. Design ‑ The palatal vault was recorded as Types I, II, and III. The maxillary casts were analyzed for each subject. The blood group of each subject was also recorded. Pearson’s correlation coefficient tests were performed on cross‑tabulations to evaluate significant relationship among different variables. Results: The PR number was more among females with an insignificant correlation among gender and mean rugae size on both sides. Types I and II hard palate vaults were seen associated with straight forwardly directed PR pattern, while Type III with curved forwardly directed PR. On the right side, straight rugae shape was most common type. On the left side, straight rugae shape was most common in Northern population while in N‑E and Western populations curved rugae was the dominating type. A highly significant correlation was found between ABO blood groups and different PR patterns. Conclusions: PR possesses unique characteristics and can be used along with palatal vault forms as well as ABO blood groups for racial and individualistic soft tissue oral print in forensic cases.
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