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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2015, Article ID 650648, 8 pages
Research Article

Morphological Study of Palatal Rugae in a Sudanese Population

1Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Mail Code 3127, P.O. Box 3660, Riyadh 11481, Saudi Arabia
2Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, P.O. Box 102, Khartoum 11111, Sudan
3Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Medical Sciences and Technology, P.O. Box 12810, Khartoum 11111, Sudan

Received 28 October 2014; Accepted 18 January 2015

Academic Editor: Carla Evans

Copyright © 2015 Altayeb Abdalla Ahmed and Awrad Hamid. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Palatal rugae patterns have unique characteristics and have been proposed as an alternative method to establish identity when other means, such as fingerprints and dental records, are not attainable. This study was conducted to determine the morphological characteristics of palatine rugae and to assess the existence of side asymmetry in them in Sudanese Arabs. It also assesses the possibility of determining sex using logistic regression. One hundred dental casts for 50 males and 50 females aged between 18 and 23 were studied for palatal rugae dimensions, shapes, and orientations, as well as sexual dimorphism and side symmetry. The most predominant rugae were primary, and the most prevalent shapes in both sexes were wavy, curved, and straight forms. The predominant orientation was forward. Side asymmetry existed more in the orientations than in the shapes, but no side asymmetry was recorded in the dimensions. There was no significant sexual dimorphism in the rugae dimensions, shapes, and orientations, except for forward-directed rugae . A predictive value of 60% was obtained in assigning sex using dimensions and orientations and of 58% using shapes alone. Therefore, the palatal rugae are not recommended for assigning sex effectively among Sudanese Arabs unless it is the only means available.