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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-30

Dermatoglyphics: A prediction tool for malocclusion

1 Department of Oral Pathology, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Melaka, Malaysia

Date of Web Publication21-May-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Smitha Sammith Shetty
Department of Oral Pathology, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Campus, Manipal, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_101_17

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Introduction: Dermatoglyphics has proved to have a potential role in predicting the anomalies related to orofacial regions. Aim: The aim of the present study was to explore an association if any, between the dermatoglyphic patterns and type of malocclusion among the Malaysian dental and medical students. Materials and Methods: A total of 104 Malaysian dental and medical students were included in the study. The fingerprints and palm prints were recorded to analyze the type of pattern. Occlusion status was clinically assessed using Angle's classification of malocclusion. Results: Statistically significant association was seen between the left thumb ridge pattern and type of malocclusion. Individuals with loop ridge pattern on their left thumb showed high frequency of Class I normal occlusion and Class III malocclusion, and those with whorl ridge pattern were witnessed to have Class I malocclusion. Conclusion: Dermatoglyphics serves to strengthen the diagnostic impression of malocclusion at an early age and hence can aid in predicting malocclusion and plan preventive and interceptive orthodontics in pediatric patients.

Keywords: Dermatoglyphics, fingerprint, malocclusion

How to cite this article:
Shetty SS, Li GS, Babji NA, Yusof LS, Yang NN, Jun TD, Magandran K. Dermatoglyphics: A prediction tool for malocclusion. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ 2019;14:27-30

How to cite this URL:
Shetty SS, Li GS, Babji NA, Yusof LS, Yang NN, Jun TD, Magandran K. Dermatoglyphics: A prediction tool for malocclusion. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 8];14:27-30. Available from: http://www.journaldmims.com/text.asp?2019/14/1/27/258654

  Introduction Top

Dermatoglyphics is the study of epidermal ridges and their configurations on the fingers, palms, and soles.[1] The word “dermatoglyphics” comes from two Greek words – derma meaning skin and glyphae meaning carve. The term was coined by Harold Cummins and Midlo in 1926, and hence, Cummins is known as the “Father of Dermatoglyphics.”[2]

Dermatoglyphics has captured the interests of anthropologists, physicians, psychologists, writers, painters, and palmist as early as millions of years ago.[3] However, no longer does the modern study of the hand solely correlate to mysterious predictions of individual's future. Rather through decades of scientific research, the study of dermatoglyphics has come to be recognized as a powerful tool in the diagnosis of psychological, medical, and genetic conditions [4] and in forensic medicine for personal identification.[5]

In the field of dentistry, the association of dermatoglyphics has been studied in precancerous and cancerous lesions in the oral cavity, dental caries, and dental anomalies such as cleft lip and palate and malocclusion.[2],[3],[6],[7],[8] The basis of studying the relationship between dermatoglyphics and various dental anomalies is due to the development of teeth and associated structures, which coincides with the development of epidermal ridges during the 6th–13th week of intrauterine life.[9] Therefore, any environmental or genetic predisposing factors present during the process of development of dental hard tissues might affect and get recorded in the dermal ridges.[10]

Review of literature yielded several studies on association of dermatoglyphics and dental caries.[2],[3],[11] However, only few studies have been cited in the literature, which has correlated malocclusions with dermatoglyphics. Since the previous studies have reported controversial results pertaining to the association of dermatoglyphics with different types of malocclusions in Indian children,[1],[12],[13] the present study was carried out to identify if there is any association between dermatoglyphics and the type of malocclusion among Malaysian students and also to analyze any variation in results pertaining to nationality.

  Materials and Methods Top

A total of 104 Malaysian dental and medical students between the age group of 19–23 years were included in the study. The procedures and purpose of the study were explained to all the participants, and informed consent was obtained from the students before the participation in the study. Ethical approval was obtained from the Institutional Ethics committee before the study.

Exclusion criteria were the following:

  1. Those students who have completed and are undergoing orthodontic treatment
  2. Patients with a history of trauma or surgical procedures done in the orofacial region.

The students were clinically assessed for the type of occlusion. The Angle's classification of malocclusion introduced by Edward Angle was used to classify the type of occlusion. Based on the type of occlusion, the students were grouped as Class I normal occlusion, Class I malocclusion, Class II malocclusion, and Class III malocclusion.

The palm prints and fingerprints of both the hands of the participants were recorded by the ink and roller method as previously described.[13] The hands of the participants were asked to clean their hand with soap before the recording of palm prints, to avoid any dirt or sweat. A small amount of ink was dispensed onto the inking slab, and it was thoroughly rolled until a thin and even film of pigment covered the entire surface. The palmar surface of either right or left hand was placed on the inking slab, and it was gently pressed. The completely inked palmar surface was then gently pressed on a clean white paper, and the impression was recorded. The same procedure was repeated for the other hand. The fingerprints were recorded by pressing it against the inkpad with slight pressure and then on to a plain white paper. Hence, the fingerprint of all 10 fingers was recorded. In case of unsatisfactory prints, the procedure was repeated. The impressions were assessed for fingerprint patterns such as arch, loop, and whorl patterns, and atd angle formed by connecting the lines from the triradii of below the first and last digits to the triradii in the hypothenar region of the palm [13] was calculated. The data obtained were statistically analyzed using the Chi-square test, independent sample t-test, and ANOVA (SPSS version 10, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) with significance at P < 0.05.

  Results Top

The study sample consists of 104 students of which 64.4% were female and 35.5% were male participant. The participants who participated in the study included Chinese students (45.2%), Indians (27.9%), Malays (20.2%), and others (6.7%). Individuals with Class III malocclusion (36.5%) were the highest, followed by Class I malocclusion (35.6%) and Class I normal occlusion (19.2%), and individuals with Class II malocclusion (8.7%) were the least.

[Table 1] shows the frequency distribution of dermatoglyphic patterns according to malocclusion. It was noted that the left-hand first digit showed statistically significant association with the type of malocclusion. Hence, it was evident that Class III malocclusion (n = 23) was most frequently seen in individuals with loop ridge pattern in their left thumb, whereas Class I malocclusion (n = 20) was seen in individuals with whorl ridge pattern in their left thumb. The distribution of dermatoglyphic patterns based on the type of malocclusion [Table 2] showed the individuals with Class I normal occlusion and Class III malocclusion having 22.2% and 11.25% of loop pattern, respectively.
Table 1: Frequency distribution of dermatoglyphic patterns according to the type of malocclusion

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Table 2: Distribution of dermatoglyphic patterns according to the type of malocclusion

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The mean “atd” angle was 41.13 ± 6.9 on the right hand and 40.6 ± 5.21 on the left hand for Class I normal occlusion. All the groups with malocclusion exhibited higher values as compared to Class I normal occlusion, but there was no statistically significant difference [Table 3]. The atd angles were also analyzed based on gender and ethnicity; however, no statistically significant results were obtained [Table 4] and [Table 5].
Table 3: Mean atd angle on the right and left hands

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Table 4: Mean atd angle based on gender

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Table 5: Mean atd angle based on ethnicity

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  Discussion Top

The development of occlusion is influenced by genetic as well as environmental factors. Hence, the facial or dental morphology is determined by the combination of both, where the impact of various environmental factor varies depending on genetic background.[13] The epidermal ridges and the orofacial structures originate from the same embryonic tissue, the ectoderm.[12] Hence, due to the same origins and concurrent development of the epidermal ridges and the orofacial structures, the genetic message contained in the genome is deciphered during this period and is reflected in dermatoglyphic patterns.[3] Naugler et al.[14] have studied the relevance of asymmetry between normally symmetric and bilateral traits. The asymmetry in dermatoglyphic patterns of the left and right hands may reflect the inability of the individual to buffer environmental or genomic stress during embryogenesis, which, in turn, may contribute to the development of malformations.[14] Based on the above background, this study was undertaken to analyze and compare the dermatoglyphic parameters of individuals with normal occlusions and different malocclusions.

Tikare et al.[1] conducted the study on 696 schoolchildren to assess the relationship between fingerprint pattern and malocclusion. The results showed no overall association of dermatoglyphics with malocclusion; however, it was stated that whorl patterns were significantly associated with Classes I and III malocclusions. Jindal et al.[12] studied 237 North Indian children and found that participants with all types of malocclusion showed the predominance of ulnar loop pattern. After ulnar loops, high frequencies of plain arches and whorls were found in participants with Classes III and II malocclusion, respectively. Eslami et al.[6] conducted the study on 323 patients and found increased frequency of loops and whorls and decreased frequency of arches in all types of malocclusions.

The results of our study showed a statistically significant association between the type of malocclusion and the dermatoglyphic pattern in the left-hand first digit or thumb. Class III malocclusion and Class I normal occlusion were predominantly seen in the individuals with loop pattern in their left thumb, while high frequency of whorl patterns was observed with Class I malocclusion. The number of Class II malocclusion individuals in the study was very less but showed a predominance of loop pattern in the left thumb.

The atd angles were analyzed based on gender and ethnicity but lacked statistically significant results similar to the results by Reddy et al.[13] and Jindal et al.[12]

  Conclusion Top

Research and studies correlating dermatoglyphic patterns with malocclusion have opened a window for predicting malocclusions. Dermatoglyphics can serve as an early marker for the diagnosis of malocclusion. The statistically significant association of malocclusion with dermatoglyphic pattern in our study offers further avenues for more extensive research in this field. Findings from the studies may provide important clinical implications for preventive and interceptive orthodontics among pediatric patients. Further studies, particularly longitudinal studies with large sample size based on ethnicity and background, may be required to evaluate and ascertain the significant role of dermatoglyphics in malocclusion.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patients have given their consent for their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest

  References Top

Tikare S, Rajesh G, Prasad KW, Thippeswamy V, Javali SB. Dermatoglyphics – A marker for malocclusion? Int Dent J 2010;60:300-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
Madan N, Rathnam A, Bajaj N. Palmistry: A tool for dental caries prediction! Indian J Dent Res 2011;22:213-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Singh E, Saha S, Jagannath GV, Singh S, Saha S, Garg N, et al. Association of dermatoglyphic peculiarities with dental caries in preschool children of Lucknow, India. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2016;9:39-44.  Back to cited text no. 3
Abhilash PR, Divyashree R, Patil SG, Gupta M, Chandrasekar T, Karthikeyan R, et al. Dermatoglyphics in patients with dental caries: A study on 1250 individuals. J Contemp Dent Pract 2012;13:266-74.  Back to cited text no. 4
Negi A, Negi A. The connecting link! Lip prints and fingerprints. J Forensic Dent Sci 2016;8:177.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Eslami N, Jahanbin A, Ezzati A, Banihashemi E, Kianifar H. Can dermatoglyphics be used as a marker for predicting future malocclusions? Electron Physician 2016;8:1927-32.  Back to cited text no. 6
Gupta A, Karjodkar FR. Role of dermatoglyphics as an indicator of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the oral cavity. Contemp Clin Dent 2013;4:448-53.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Saujanya K, Prasad MG, Sushma B, Kumar JR, Reddy YS, Niranjani K, et al. Cheiloscopy and dermatoglyphics as genetic markers in the transmission of cleft lip and palate: A case-control study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2016;34:48-54.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Sharma A, Somani R. Dermatoglyphic interpretation of dental caries and its correlation to salivary bacteria interactions: Anin vivo study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2009;27:17-21.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Bhasin MT, Bhasin P, Singh A, Bhatia N, Shewale AH, Gambhir N. Dermatoglyphics and malocclusion-a forensic link. Br Biotechnol J 2016;13:1-12.  Back to cited text no. 10
Sengupta AB, Bazmi BA, Sarkar S, Kar S, Ghosh C, Mubtasum H, et al. Across sectional study of dermatoglyphics and dental caries in Bengalee children. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2013;31:245-8.  Back to cited text no. 11
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Jindal G, Pandey RK, Gupta S, Sandhu M. A comparative evaluation of dermatoglyphics in different classes of malocclusion. Saudi Dent J 2015;27:88-92.  Back to cited text no. 12
Reddy BR, Sankar SG, Roy ET, Govulla S. A comparative study of dermatoglyphics in individuals with normal occlusions and malocclusions. J Clin Diagn Res 2013;7:3060-5.  Back to cited text no. 13
Naugler CT, Ludman MD. A case-control study of fluctuating dermatoglyphic asymmetry as a risk marker for developmental delay. Am J Med Genet 1996;66:11-4.  Back to cited text no. 14


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]

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