terrorism or mass disasters occur in which it isdifficult to identify a person according to finger-prints or dental records, palatine rugae may bean alternative method of identification.
The pala-tine rugae are permanent and unique to eachperson and can establish identity through dis-crimination(via casts, tracings or digitized rugaepatterns).
As early as 1955, Lysell
suggested that thepalatine rugae might possess unique characteris-tics that could be used in paternity identification.However, to date, the study of palatine rugae hasnot been extensive. The purpose of this article isto review the literature concerning palatine rugaeand discuss their significance to the dentalprofession.
indicated that a rugae pattern is formedby the 12th to 14th week of prenatal life, and itremains stable throughout the person’s life.Lund
observed that a connective tissue core isembedded deeply between the submucosal fattytissue and the stratum reticulum of the palate.This core represents a foundation over which thesubstance of the rugae builds to become a foldlikeprojection in the roof of the mouth. With theincrease in size of the anterior part of the palatein the early years of life, the length of the rugaeand the distance between them increase. The pat-tern of orientation of the rugae becomes clearerand remains unchanged throughout life.
The number of rugae on each side of the palatevaries between three and five. The palatine rugaedo not extend posteriorly beyond the anterior half of the hard palate, and they never cross the mid-line. The anterior rugae usually are more promi-nent than the posterior rugae (Figure 1). Two-thirds of the rugae are curved, and the rest areangular. The last rugae frequently are divided;the medial and lateral parts are not connectedand do not continue in their axial orientation.Fragmentary rugae frequently are present, par-ticularly in the posterior half of the rugae terri-tory. The shape, length, width, prominence,number and orientation of palatine rugae varyconsiderably among people.Variation also exists,although to a lesser extent, in the left and rightsides of the same person. The inclination of therugae to the sagittal plane can differ markedlybetween both sides. In general, no bilateral sym-metry exists in the rugae pattern.
used a symmetrograph to recordgrowth-related changes in the shape of the palatewith regard to alterations in the midsagittal andtransverse contours. Lysell
recorded an increasein primary ruga length (from 5 to 10 years of age)of 11 percent for boys and 9 percent for girls. vander Linden,
in his longitudinal study of childrenaged 6 to 16 years based on 80 series of dentalcasts collected yearly, reported that a more or lesscontinuous and small increase occurred in the dis-tances between the medial borders of pairedrugae. The same was true for the length of thethree large paired rugae, with the exception beingthat after age 10 years, the anterior pair of rugaeno longer increased in length.Friel
demonstrated in a study that the teethmove forward in relation to the rugae in conjunc-tion with growth of the jaws. He showed that theposterior boundary of the rugae in relation tothe teeth tends to extend backward until age20 years.
CLASSIFICATION OF PALATINE RUGAE
The first system of classification, to our knowl-edge, was developed by Goria
in 1911 and wasrudimentary. The rugae pattern was categorizedin two ways: specifying the number of rugae andspecifying the extent of the rugal zone relative tothe teeth.In this system, compound rugae of two or morebranches were counted as one, whether they were V- or Y-shaped. Goria further distinguished twotypes: simple or primitive and more developed.Lysell’s
classification in 1955 is the mostimportant, and it has been used widely inresearch involving rugae. It is comprehensive andincludes the IP. Rugae are measured in a straightline between the origin and termination and aregrouped into three categories:
primary: 5 millimeters or more;
secondary: 3 to 5 mm;
fragmentary: 2 to 3 mm.Rugae smaller than 2 mm are disregarded.The rugae on both sides of the palate are num-bered separately from anterior to posterior and
JADA, Vol. 139http://jada.ada.org November 2008
Mesiopalatal cusp of secondprimary molar.
Mesiopalatal cusp of first perma-nent molar.
Median palatal raphae in relation tosecond primary molar.
Median palatal raphae inrelation to first permanent molar.
Posteriorborder of last ruga.
Posterior border of last pri-mary or secondary ruga.
D o wnl o a d e d f r om