JICDRO is a UGC approved journal (Journal no. 63927)

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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 139-142

Establishment of sexual dimorphism in north indian population by odontometric study of permanent maxillary canine teeth

1 Department of Oral Pathology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, IMS, Banaras Hindu University, Vanarasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of General Surgery, Carrier Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication28-Oct-2014

Correspondence Address:
Shalini Gupta
Department of Oral Pathology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow - 221 005, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0754.143521

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Aim: To investigate whether sexual dimorphism can be established by odontometric study of permanent maxillary canine teeth as well as inter-canine width in north Indian population. Study Design: The study was carried out at department of oral and maxillofacial pathology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India on students and patients reporting at OPD. Out of total 180 subjects examined 90 subjects were female and 90 were male. Impressions of the upper arch were made using alginate and casts poured in dental stone. The mesiodistal diameter (MD) of the crown of permanent maxillary canine both on right and left sides and inter-canine width were measured. From these measurements, maxillary canine index was calculated. The percentage of sexual dimorphism (SD) was assessed for all the parameters. Results: In the present study, the MD of maxillary canine for both right (P = 0.001) and left side (P = 0.005) was significantly higher among male subjects than females, Similar observation was found for inter-canine width too (P = 0.0001). However, the maxillary canine index for right and left was almost similar (P > 0.05) for both male and female subjects. The SD in right and left MDs of maxillary canine was 4.2% and 3.6% respectively. For, inter-canine width it was maximum (13.7%). However, SD in right and left canine index showed negative values (−2.1% and -0.9% respectively). Conclusion: There was SD in MD and inter-canine width of permanent maxillary canine teeth. SD was more on right permanent maxillary canine teeth than left permanent maxillary canine.

Keywords: Forensic odontology, maxillary canine teeth, odontometry, odontometric study, sex determination, sexual dimorphism

How to cite this article:
Gupta S, Chandra A, Verma Y, Gupta OP, Kumar D. Establishment of sexual dimorphism in north indian population by odontometric study of permanent maxillary canine teeth . J Int Clin Dent Res Organ 2014;6:139-42

How to cite this URL:
Gupta S, Chandra A, Verma Y, Gupta OP, Kumar D. Establishment of sexual dimorphism in north indian population by odontometric study of permanent maxillary canine teeth . J Int Clin Dent Res Organ [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Dec 4];6:139-42. Available from: https://www.jicdro.org/text.asp?2014/6/2/139/143521

   Introduction Top

Sex determination is an important step in determining the biological profile of unidentified human remains, since a correct result would automatically exclude about half the population in search operations. [1] "Sexual Dimorphism" refers to those differences in size, stature and appearance between male and female that can be applied to dental identification. [2]

Sex differentiation in forensic investigation utilizes craniofacial morphology, tooth dimensions and DNA analysis. [3],[4] It has been suggested that odontometrics plays an important role in determination of sex in young individuals where secondary sexual characteristics have not developed. In addition, the resistance of teeth to postmortem insults render them as a valuable tool in forensic investigation. [4]

According to Boaz et al., (2009) teeth are known to have sexual dimorphism (SD). [5] Sex determination using dental features is mainly based upon the comparison of tooth dimensions in males and females. [6] The mesiodistal diameter (MD) of mandibular and maxillary canines provides evidence of sex determination due to dimorphism. [7] Bosset and Marks [8] and Krogh [9] stated that the study of the canine teeth offers certain advantages. They are the least frequently extracted teeth and being less affected by periodontal disease. Canine teeth have also been reported to survive in air and hurricane disasters. [10]

Few studies on dental sex dimorphism exist for South-Asian populations which includes the 'canine index' formulated by Rao et al., in Indians. [11] The objectives of the present study were to investigate whether dimorphism of permanent maxillary canine teeth as well as inter-canine width play a role in establishing sex identity in north Indian population.

   Materials and methods Top

Present study was carried out at Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India after approval from the review board and ethical committee of King George Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow. All the patients enrolled in this study provided their written informed consent for the study.

The sample for the study comprised of 180 dental casts that belonged to 90 females and 90 males, all students and patients reporting at OPD at the King George's Medical University, Lucknow, UP. The study included young adults with an average age of 23.13 and 20.72 years for male and females respectively and one would have assumed that the dentitions were relatively intact and unaltered by the vagaries of pathology and physiologic wear.

Method for the cast preparation was that first impression of upper arch was made using alginate material followed by their disinfection and then cast poured in dental stone. The alginate material used for the impression was Zelgan 2002, dust free, regular mix, easy set, manufactured by Dentsply India Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon (Haryana), India (ISO 9001). For the disinfection, the alginate impressions were kept in a freshly prepared 1% sodium hypochlorite solution for 10 minutes. This solution was prepared by mixing 1 part sodium hypochlorite (containing 4 gram chlorine/100 ml) in three parts of water.

A few teeth in many of the casts did, however, present restorations, caries, excessive wear or casting defects. If such obstructions impeded tooth measurements, they were not included in the analysis.

MD and inter-canine width (ICW) measurements of permanent maxillary canine were obtained using a sliding digital stainless steel caliper, manufactured by ATICO Medical Pvt. Ltd. Ambala (Haryana), India [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. The measurement range of caliper was 0-12"(inches) or 0-300 mm with jaw depth of 2.40" and resolution (least calibration) of 0.0005" or, 0.01 mm. The measurements were performed by one person and all values were rounded to two decimal places.
Figure 1: Photograph showing the measurement of inter-canine width between permanent maxillary right and left canine

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Figure 2: (a) (a) Photograph showing the measurement of mesiodistal diameter of permanent maxillary right canine. (b) Photograph showing the measurement of mesiodistal diameter of permanent maxillary left canine

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Mesiodistal measurement (MD)

The greatest MD between the approximate surfaces of the crown was measured with the caliper beaks placed occlusally along the long axis of the tooth. In case of tooth rotation or malposition, the measurements were taken between points on the approximate surfaces of the crown where it was considered that contact with adjacent teeth would have normally occurred.

Inter-canine width (ICW)

The other measurement consisted of the distance between the tips of the two maxillary canines in a straight line. To measure the distance, each of the caliper beaks was kept over the centre of the tip of canine tooth of each side.

Maxillary canine index (MCI)

Maxillry Canine Index = Mesiodistal crown width of maxillary canine/Maxillary inter-canine width.

Sexual dimorphism (SD)

SD was calculated using formula given by Garn and Lewis. [12] as follows:

SD = [Xm/Xf]-1 × 100

Where: Xm = Mean value for males; Xf = Mean value for females

   Statistics and Results Top

The mean age for males was 23.13 (±2.85) years and 20.72 (±1.25) years for females. Mean age of males was found to be significantly higher as compared to that of females (P = 0.0001) [Table 1]. MD of maxillary canine for both right (Male = 8.13 ± 0.67 mm, Female = 7.80 ± 0.70 mm) and left (Male = 8.07 ± 0.71 mm, Female = 7.79 ± 0.60 mm) side was significantly higher among male subjects than females (P = 0.001, P = 0.005 for right and left maxillary canine respectively). Similar observation was also found for ICW, with a significantly high mean values for male subjects (41.00 ± 3.10 mm) than females (36.05 ± 2.32 mm) (P = 0.001) [Table 1].
Table 1: Mean values for the measurements recorded for males and females

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On evaluating mean maxillary canine index (MCI) of right and left sides, no significant difference was observed between two genders (P = 0.13 and 0.49 respectively) or between two sides within same gender (P > 0.05, NS). The right (Male = 5.96 ± 0.50, Female = 6.09 ± 0.58) and left (Male = 6.02 ± 0.59, Female = 6.08 ± 0.51) MCIs were almost similar (P > 0.05) among male and female subjects [Table 2].
Table 2: Maxillary canine index

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SD in right and left MD of maxillary canine was 4.2% and 3.6% respectively. For, ICW it was found to be maximum that is. 13.7%. However, SD in right and left canine index showed negative values which is -2.1% and -0.9% respectively [Table 3].
Table 3: Sexual dimorphism in maxillary canine

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   Discussion Top

Odontometric features that show SD are used in sex determination in cases where sex could not be determined using craniofacial features. As a means of determining sex, odontometric features have been the subject of research for a long time. [6] Ditch and Rose (1972) were the first to prove that teeth diameters can be successfully used in determining sex in poorly preserved and fragmentary skeletal remains in archaeology. [13]

Crowns of permanent teeth are formed at an early stage and their dimensions remain unchanged during further growth and development, except in cases when specific changes and disorders in terms of functionality, pathology and nutrition can have affect on the normal dimensions of a tooth. [6] Chromosomes responsible for the sexual difference are in direct connection to growth and development of teeth. [14] The research preformed by Stroud et al. (1994) showed that males have larger MD of single teeth, which is due to a thicker dentin layer. [14]

The dimensions of canine teeth were studied by several methods which include Moire's topography and Fourier's analysis and measurement of linear dimensions, such as mesiodistal width, buccolingual width and incisocervical height. [15] The uses of Moire's topography and Fourier's analysis were limited to small samples whereas measurements of linear dimensions of canine teeth were employed in a large population because they are simple, reliable, inexpensive and easy to perform. [7],[16]

In the present study, subjects with age ranging from 18-30 years were selected because eruption of canines and growth in width of both the jaws, including the width of the dental arches, are completed before the adolescent growth changes. In addition, the inter-canine distance also do not change after 12 years of age. [17]

The present study showed that MD of maxillary canines was significantly greater in males than females. Males having values on the right side 8.13 ± 0.67 mm and on left side 8.07 ± 0.71 mm while females having values 7.80 ± 0.70 mm (right) and 7.79 ± 0.60 mm (left).

This was in accordance with the study conducted by Parekh et al. Their study found these values as 6.923 + 0.611 mm (right) and 7.098 + 0.535 mm (left) in males, and 6.359 + 0.526 mm (right) and 6.617 + 0.51 mm in females with a statistically significant difference in males and females. [18]

Rao et al., have demonstrated that inter-canine distance and canine index are useful parameters as measured in differentiating the sexes. [11]

In the present study also, the ICW showed a statistically significant difference between males (41.00 ± 3.10 mm) and female (36.05 ± 2.32 mm). On the contrary, the MCI for male and female subjects was not statistically significant (P > 0.05) for both right (male = 5.96 ± 0.50, female = 6.09 ± 0.58) and left (male = 6.02 ± 0.59, female = 6.08 ± 0.51) sides.

Among all the parameters, in the present study, the SD was maximum for ICW (13.7%) while in MD of maxillary canine it was more in the right side (4.2%) than left (3.6%) describing their significance in the determination of sex.

However, SD in right and left canine index showed negative values indicating no contribution in sex determination.

Clinical relevance of odontometric studies in dentistry

Odontometry is an anthropological science that can distinguish different groups and populations based on their dental parameters. [19] Odontometry has been performed on various tooth groups with the objective of establishing measurements that can act as standards and useful in dental surgery and also be extremely useful in forensic odontology. [20] In addition to determination of age, sex can also be determined from the teeth. [21]

The dentition is routinely used in forensic investigation and its applications range from postmortem comparative identification to estimating age in children, juveniles, and adults. [22] Teeth are also useful in reconstructive identification and it is possible to obtain reasonable quantities of information concerning race, stature, and sex from them. [23]

Since teeth are one of the strongest tissues in the human body and are known to resist postmortem insults, they assume importance when preferred predictors such as the pelvis or long bones are destroyed or fragmented. [1]

   Conclusion Top

Odontometrics is a quick and easy method for determining sex. For this reason, teeth assessment is necessary by odontometric investigations, the values of which are population specific and showed varying output and degree of SD in north Indian population. MD and inter-canine width of permanent maxillary canine teeth showed SD. SD was more on right permanent maxillary canine teeth than left and was maximum for inter-canine width. Teeth therefore can be considered as useful remains while determining and establishing SD.

   References Top

Acharya AB, Prabhu S, Muddapur MV. Odontometric sex assessment from logistic regression analysis. Int J Legal Med 2011;125:199-204.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kiesu, JA. Human adult odontometrics. In: The study of variation in adult tooth size. Cambridge University Press: 1990. p. 125-34.  Back to cited text no. 2
Bilge Y, Kedici PS, Alakoc YD, Ulkuer KU, Ilkyaz YY. The identification of a dismembered human body: A multidisciplinary approach. Forensic Sci Int 2003;137:141-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
Lund H, Mornstad H. Gender determination by odontometrics in a Swedish population. J Forensic Odontotomatol 1999;17:30-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Reddy VM, Saxena S, Bansal P. Mandibular canine index as a sex determinant: A study on a population of Western Uttar Pradesh. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2008;12:56-9.   Back to cited text no. 5
Vodanovic M, Demo Z, Njemirovskij V, Keros J, Brkic H. Odontometrics: A useful method for sex determination in an archaeological skeletal population. J Archaeol Sci 2007;34:905-13.   Back to cited text no. 6
Mohammed QA, Abdullah MA, Ashraf I, Khan N. Dimorphism of mandibular and maxillary canine teeth in establishing identity. Saudi Dent J 1997;9:17-20.  Back to cited text no. 7
Bosset WA, Marks HH. Prevalence and characteristics of periodontal disease in 12,800 persons under periodic dental observation. J Am Dent Assoc 1956;52:442-9.   Back to cited text no. 8
Krogh HW. Permanent tooth mortality: A clinical study of causes of loss. J Am Dent Assoc 1968;57:670-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
Patterson KB, Kogan SL. Dental identification in woodbridge disaster. J Canad Dent Assoc 1985;37:301-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
Rao NS, Rao NN, Pai ML, Kotain MS. Mandibular canine index - A clue for establishing sex identity. Forensic Sci Int 1989;42:249-54.   Back to cited text no. 11
Garn SM, Lewis AB, Kerewsky RS. Buccolingual size asymmetry and its developmental meaning. Angle Orthod 1967;37:186-93.  Back to cited text no. 12
Ditch LE, Rose JC. A multivariate dental sexing technique. Am J Phys Anthropol 1972;37:61-4.  Back to cited text no. 13
Stroud JL, Buschang PH, Goaz PW. Sexual dimorphism in mesiodistal dentin and enamel thickness. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 1994;23:169-71.  Back to cited text no. 14
Anderson DL, Thompson GW. Interrelationship and sex differences of dental and skeletal measurements. J Dent Res 1973;52:431-8.  Back to cited text no. 15
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Proffit MR, Field HW Jr, Ackerman JL, Thompson PM, Tullock SA. Contemporary orthodontics. St. Louis: CV Mosby Co; 1984. p. 84-9.  Back to cited text no. 17
Parekh DH, Patel SV, Zalawadia AZ, Patel SM. Odontometric study of maxillary canine teeth to establish sexual dimorphism in Gujarat population. Int J Biol Med Res 1995;3:1935-7.  Back to cited text no. 18
Peck S, Peck H. Orthodontic aspects of dental anthropology. Angle Orthod 1975;43:95-102.   Back to cited text no. 19
Rai B, Anand SC, Bhardwaj DN, Dhattarwal SK. Gender determination from odontometery. Int J Dent Anthrop 2006;9:8-12.   Back to cited text no. 20
Duraiswamy P, Tibdewal H, Patel K, Kumar S, Dhanni C, Kulkarni S. Sex determination using mandibular canine index in optimal-fluoride and high-fluoride areas. J Forensic Dent Sci 2009;1:99-103.   Back to cited text no. 21
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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Evaluation of sexual dimorphism in maxillary and mandibular canine using mesiodistal, labiolingual dimensions, and crown height
Neelakshi Pandey,MangShin Ma
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[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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