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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-31

Association of dermatoglyphics with dental caries and oral hygiene status

1 Department of Oral Pathology, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Dental Materials, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Conservative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication16-Mar-2018

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/srmjrds.srmjrds_65_17

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Introduction: Dermatoglyphics has proved to be a helpful adjunct in identifying specific syndromes of genetic origin. The significant etiological role of genetics and plaque in dental caries provides us the scope to explore the correlation between dermatoglyphics, dental caries, and dental plaque. Aims: This study aims to explore the association between dermatoglyphics, dental caries, and oral hygiene status. Materials and Methods: A total of 168 students were included in the study. The participants were examined and assessed for decayed-missing-filled eeth (DMFT) and plaque index score. The bilateral thumb impression was recorded and categorized based on type of pattern. Results: Statistical significant association was seen between the dermatoglyphics and dental caries experience (P < 0.05). Loop pattern was associated with high DMFT score. Individuals with arch pattern were found to be caries free. Association of dermatoglyphics with plaque index scores did not reveal statistical significant esults. Conclusion: Dermatoglyphics serves as a diagnostic tool in predicting dental caries at an early age and hence preventive treatment strategies can be planned.

Keywords: Dental caries, dermatoglyphics, oral hygiene

How to cite this article:
Shetty SS, Saran R, Swapna B V, Shetty S. Association of dermatoglyphics with dental caries and oral hygiene status. SRM J Res Dent Sci 2018;9:29-31

How to cite this URL:
Shetty SS, Saran R, Swapna B V, Shetty S. Association of dermatoglyphics with dental caries and oral hygiene status. SRM J Res Dent Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 7];9:29-31. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Palmistry or dermatoglyphics is the study of palmar and plantar dermal ridge carvings on hands and feet. These fingerprints found in an individual are unique and remain unchanged during lifetime.[1] The study of palmistry has been of interest to anthropologists, writers, painters, sages, and chiromancers over centuries.[2] At present, the study of palmistry has moved far from the popular image of predicting mysterious incidences of future to a more of scientific application.[3] Apart from the use of fingerprints in identification of individuals by forensic experts, currently, dermatoglyphics has been studied in various medical and oral conditions.[4],[5],[6],[7] The association of dermatoglyphics with systemic disorders such as hypertension,[7] type II diabetes,[8] gastrointestinal cancers, autism,[4] and skeletal discrepancies [8] has been investigated. The role of dermatoglyphics in oral diseases such as dental caries,[3],[5],[9] oral clefts,[10] and precancerous lesions and conditions [11] has been studied.

The association of dermatoglyphics with various diseases may be due to the coincidence in the morphogenesis of dermatoglyphic structures and organogenesis, and both may be programmed by interrelated genetic expressions.[12] The formation of finger ridges is under the control of both environmental and genetic factors; hence, they serve as a reflection of genetic and early developmental events.[4] Various studies give the indication on the consistent association of the dermatoglyphics to genetics as seen in patients with autism who present with decrease in mean ridge count compared to normal individuals.[4] Studies also report that genetic factors are modulated by lifestyle factors and are responsible for developing various disorders.[13] Similarly, individual's role in maintaining oral hygiene also plays a vital role in the prevention of dental caries. Hence, it is important to explore the correlation between dermatoglyphics, dental caries, and oral hygiene status.

  Materials and Methods Top

A total of 168 students between the age group of 18–21 years were included in the study. The study was performed after the approval of the institutional ethical committee. Informed consent was obtained from the students before the commencement of the study. Bilateral thumb impression of students was recorded by pressing both their thumbs on the ink pads and then onto the paper and were designated with a code number. The obtained thumbprints were then categorized into loop, whorl, and arch pattern. The students were examined for caries experience using decayed-missing-filled teeth (DMFT) index proposed by Henry T. Klein, Carrole E. Palmer, and Kutson J. W. in 1938 and modified by WHO in 1997, and the presence of plaque was assessed using plaque index developed by Loe in 1967.[14] The data obtained was subjected to statistical analysis using Chi-square test and one way ANOVA (SPSS version 16.0, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) with significance at P < 0.05.

  Results Top

The study sample consists of total of 168 students of which 66.7% were female and 33.3% were male individuals. The mean DMFT score was 2.99 ± 2.9, and the mean plaque score was 0.25 ± 0.2 [Table 1]. Statistical significant association was found between dermatoglyphics patterns and DMFT scores. Loop pattern in both right (n = 57) and left (n = 62) thumbs was found to be more in proportion among those with DMFT scores between 1 and 5 [Table 2]. The distribution of dermatoglyphic patterns based on presence/absence of plaque did not show statistical significant association, but highest number of individuals with loop patterns in right (n = 66) and left (n = 72) thumb showed the presence of plague compared to those with other patterns [Table 3]. Comparison of mean plaque scores across different patterns of dermatoglyphics showed no statistically significant difference between the mean plaque scores within and between dermatoglyphic patterns in both the thumbs [Table 4].
Table 1: Distribution of study participants according to variables

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Table 2: Distribution of dermatoglyphic patterns according to decayed-missing-filled teeth scores of study participants

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Table 3: Distribution of dermatoglyphic patterns according to mean plaque scores among study population

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Table 4: Comparison of mean plaque scores across different patterns of dermatoglyphics

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  Discussion Top

Dental caries is the most common chronic oral diseases in childhood accounting to about 20% of the children.[3] Cariogenic bacteria in the plaque is the most important cause of dental caries. In addition, it is a multifactorial disease with genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors that are associated with the susceptibility to dental caries.[15] 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 development of epidermal ridges during the 6th–13th week of intrauterine life.[16] 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.[3] Hence, it may be important to lookout for the association between the fingerprints, dental caries, and plaque.

Statistical significant association was seen between the dermatoglyphic pattern and DMFT score in our study. The presence of loop pattern in thumb was significantly associated with high DMFT score in individuals. Our results were in contrast to the previous studies by Anitha et al.,[17] Singh et al.,[18] and Abhilash et al.,[3] where the whorls pattern was found to be higher in individuals with high caries experience. However, Sengupta et al.[19] reported high incidence of caries in individuals with ulnar loop pattern, similar to our study.

In our study, the individuals with arch pattern showed low DMFT and plaque score. Similar results were reported by Singh et al.[18] and Madan et al.,[20] where individuals with arch pattern were less susceptibility to dental caries.

The mean plaque scores did not show any significant association with the distribution of dermatoglyphic pattern in both thumbs suggesting that lifestyle habits may not be related to the individual's specific fingerprint pattern but plays important etiological role in dental caries.

  Conclusion Top

Association of dermatoglyphics with dental caries may explain its significant role in identifying those people either with or at increased risk. Hence, clinicians can screen and identify the individuals who are at threat of developing dental caries at an early age or childhood and plan preventive treatment strategies for those children.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Mulvihill JJ, Smith DW. The genesis of dermatoglyphics. J Pediatr 1969;75:579-89.  Back to cited text no. 1
Naffah J. Dermatoglyphic analysis: Anthropological and medical aspects. Bull N Y Acad Med 1977;53:681-92.  Back to cited text no. 2
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. 3
Kazemi M, Fayyazi-Bordbar MR, Mahdavi-Shahri N. Comparative dermatoglyphic study between autistic patients and normal people in Iran. Iran J Med Sci 2017;42:392-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Bhat PK, Badiyani BK, Aruna CN, Chengappa S, Bhaskar NN. Dermatoglyphics – A new diagnostic tool in detection of dental caries among deaf and mute children. Int J Clin Dent Sci 2011;2:80-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
Madhusudan K, Patel HP, Umesh K, Chavan S, Patel R, Patel R, et al. Relationship between dermatoglyphics, chiloscopy and dental caries among dental students of Visnagar town, Gujarat. Int J Adv Res 2015;3:952-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
Wijerathne BT, Meier RJ, Agampodi TC, Agampodi SB. Dermatoglyphics in hypertension: A review. J Physiol Anthropol 2015;34:29.  Back to cited text no. 7
Manjusha P, Sudha S, Shameena PM, Chandni R, Varma S, Pandiar D, et al. Analysis of lip print and fingerprint patterns in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2017;21:309-15.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Shetty SS, Johnli AR, Mohd NF, Md Nor SN, Haron AB, Gunasegaram L, et al. Dermatoglyphics: A prediction tool for dental caries. Int J Dent Res 2016;4:30.  Back to cited text no. 9
Mathew L, Hegde AM, Rai K. Dermatoglyphic peculiarities in children with oral clefts. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2005;23:179-82.  Back to cited text no. 10
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Lakshmana N, Ravikiran A, Samatha Y, Nayya AS, Vamsi PB, Kartheeki B. Role of digital and palmar dermatoglyphics in early detection of oral leukoplakia, oral submucous fibrosis and oral squamous cell carcinoma patients. Adv Hum Biol 2016;6:163-41.  Back to cited text no. 11
Asif S, Lahig A, Babu D. Dermatoglyphics: A tool in detection of dental caries. Br J Med Med Res 2016;12:1-5.  Back to cited text no. 12
Rask-Andersen M, Karlsson T, Ek WE, Johansson Š. Gene-environment interaction study for BMI reveals interactions between genetic factors and physical activity, alcohol consumption and socioeconomic status. PLoS Genet 2017;13:e1006977.  Back to cited text no. 13
Peter S. Essentials of Preventive and Community Dentistry. 4th ed. New Delhi (India): Arya Medi Publishing House Pvt Ltd.; 2015.  Back to cited text no. 14
Hassell TM, Harris EL. Genetic influences in caries and periodontal diseases. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 1995;6:319-42.  Back to cited text no. 15
Sharma A, Singh M, Chaudhary S, Bjaj N, Bhalla M, Singh J. Dermatoglyphic characterization of dental caries and its correlation to salivary pH- an in vivo study. Indian J Contemp Dent 2013;1:5-8.  Back to cited text no. 16
Anitha C, Konde S, Raj NS, Kumar NC, Peethamber P. Dermatoglyphics: A genetic marker of early childhood caries. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2014;32:220-4.  Back to cited text no. 17
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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. 18
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. 19
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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. 20


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


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