Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 356
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 54-59

Evaluation of morphological characteristic and varieties of tongue prints for personal identification in Kanpur communities: An impression-based analysis


1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Rama Dental College, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Public Health, UWA School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Date of Submission23-May-2020
Date of Decision23-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication28-Jul-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kriti Garg
117/K-68, Sarvodaya Nagar, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sidj.sidj_19_20

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 

Context: The human tongue, a unique organ with complex architecture, exhibits significant morphological variations in the human body consistent with its complex role. Its morphological characteristic features and varieties can go about as proof of life and can be used for personal identification. The morphology and surface highlights of the tongue are qualities of each person, and these characteristics can be utilized as legal distinguishing proof of each person.
Aims: This study is aimed to analyze varieties in morphological qualities of the tongue and to find out gender differences.
Settings and Design: This study was conducted on 206 (Group I consist of 105 females and Group II consist of 101 male) participants with an age range of 21–30 years for 4 months who had visited the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology.
Subjects and Methods: The tongue was exposed to visual assessment following which alginate impression of the dorsal surface of the tongue was taken to make tongue cast and to assess distinct morphological features of the tongue and its variations in males and females.
Statistical Analysis Used: The discrete (categorical) data were summarized in number (n) and percentage (%) and compared using the Chi-square (χ2) test.
Results: A total of 206 participants in both groups, the U-shaped tongue, was the most common findings in males, as well as in females followed by a V-shaped tongue with a sharp tip that was observed more in females compared to males. Scalloped borders and multiple fissures were more common in males as compared to females.
Conclusions: Variations of tongue shape and surface properties can be used as personal human identification in forensic odontology, and tongue prints can also be used as a standard method for the collection of data. The collected data of tongue prints may be used as a professional recognition database to ease human identification and to avoid future scams.

Keywords: Biometric authentication, forensic identification, personal identification, tongue print


How to cite this article:
Garg K, Sachdev R, Shwetam S, Saxena S, Mehrotra V, Srivastava A. Evaluation of morphological characteristic and varieties of tongue prints for personal identification in Kanpur communities: An impression-based analysis. Saint Int Dent J 2020;4:54-9

How to cite this URL:
Garg K, Sachdev R, Shwetam S, Saxena S, Mehrotra V, Srivastava A. Evaluation of morphological characteristic and varieties of tongue prints for personal identification in Kanpur communities: An impression-based analysis. Saint Int Dent J [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 5];4:54-9. Available from: http://www.sidj.org/text.asp?2020/4/1/54/291027


  Introduction Top


The aim of the study was to analyze varieties in morphological qualities of the tongue and to find out gender differences among kanpur community. Forensic odontology is developing as significant science in recognizable proof of expired person and has an enormous scope of development as a super-specialty of dentistry. Forensic dentistry has established as an indispensable science in medico-legal matters by demonstrating a central role by a collection of oral structures as evidence that is used as the identification of dead persons.[1]

According to the American Board of forensic odontology, dental identification can be divided into four types as follows:[2]

  1. Positive identification: The antemortem and postmortem data match to establish that it is from the same individual;
  2. Possible identification: The antemortem and postmortem data have few consistent features, but because of the quality of the records it is difficult to establish the identity;
  3. Insufficient evidence: The data are not enough to form the conclusion;
  4. Exclusion: The antemortem and postmortem data clearly inconsistent.


The tongue is an extraordinary vital organ of the human body with unique features and different tongue prints as like human DNA, which differs from individual to individual. The shading, shape, and surface highlights of tongue vary between each person, and this characteristic of the tongue can be used for human identification as described in traditional chinese medicine.[3],[4] Human identification is one of the most challenging tasks faced by physicians in forensic sciences, and identification of people depends on remarkable physiological parameters such as a fingerprint, retinal scan, radiographs, bite marks, etc.[5] Research on the tongue print framework was first proposed by Liu et al. in 2007.[6] The geometric state of the tongue is generally steady, and the surface fluctuates because of obsessive changes in the body.[6],[7] With this foundation, an impression-based analysis was intended to analyze on varieties in morphological qualities of the tongue as saw on the tongue cast and to survey the data recorded on a replica on the tongue for human identification.


  Subjects and Methods Top


A study was carried out for 4 months in the framework of the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology. The time-bound sample size was adopted for this study, whereby a total sample of 206 study participants was enrolled using the study's nonprobability convenient sampling technique.

Inclusion criteria

In total, 206 healthy participants comprising of 101 males and 105 females in the age group of 21–30 years were enrolled for the study after taking informed and written consent.

Exclusion criteria

Participants with preexisting tongue disorders and any systemic illness were excluded from the study.

Method of data collection

In the wake of acquiring the informed consent, an exhaustive case history was recorded, and point by point, the clinical assessment was performed. Before the assessment and impression of the tongue, patients were asked to clean food debris from the tongue with sterile gauze pieces and also by rinsing the oral cavity thoroughly with fresh water. Initially, visual assessment (for color, surface texture, mobility, etc.,) of the tongue was done by taking a digital photograph using a digital camera of 10 Megapixels [Figure 1]a and [Figure 2]a followed by the alginate molding impression of the tongue, asking the patient to keep up to maximum protraction, but in a relaxed position. The impression cast with Type II dental stone was made as a positive replica of the tongue to record the morphological characters of the dorsal surface of the tongue [Figure 1]b and [Figure 2]b. The cast was investigated and thought about for morphological highlights, for example, shape and qualities of crevices. Three reference points were made to determine the shape of the tongue. The reference points included the region of the tongue in contact with the commissure of the lips (when protruded outside the mouth) and the tip of the tongue.
Figure 1: (a) V-shape tongue frontal surface (b) dental cast of V-shape tongue

Click here to view
Figure 2: (a) U-shape tongue frontal surface (b) dental cast of U-shape tongue

Click here to view


Study sample

For the study of tongue prints, classification of tongue features by Stefanescu et al., was followed, and the total sample was grouped into 2 Groups [Table 1]:[7]
Table 1: Classification of tongue features by Stefanescu et al.

Click here to view


  • Group I: It consists of 105 female participants
  • Group II: It consists of 101 male participants.


The data were collected, analyzed, and participated in statistical analysis. In this original research, the three most important morphological characteristics of the tongue (shape, border, and fissure) were taken into consideration.

Statistical analysis

The discrete (categorical) data were summarised in number (n) and percentage (%) and compared using the Chi-square (χ2) test. A two-tailed (α = 2) P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The statistical analysis was performed on SPSS software using SPSS Version 17.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).


  Results Top


This research aimed to examine the morphological characteristics of the tongue and classify gender variations with the help of tongue replica (cast), and tongue cast was also used for human personal identification. The study was performed on 206 study participants, with an age range of 21–30 years. Out of 206 participants, 105 (51.0%) were female (Group I) and 101 (49.0%) were male (Group II) [Table 2] [Graph 1].
Table 2: Distribution of gender in two groups

Click here to view



The distribution of the shape of the tongue of two groups is summarized in [Table 3] and also depicted in [Graph 2]. In Group I, U shaped tongue was noticed in 61.0% participants; the bifid tongue was noticed in 15.2% participants, whereas the V-shaped tongue was observed in 23.8% participants. In Group II, U-shaped tongue was noticed in 74.3% participants; bifid tongue was noticed in 20.8% participants, whereas V-shaped tongue was observed in 5.0% of participants. On comparing, the relationship between the shape of the tongue and gender was found statistically significant (Chi-squared = 14.81, P < 0.001).
Table 3: Distribution and comparison of shape of the tongue between two groups

Click here to view



The distribution of the border of the tongue of two groups is summarized in [Table 4] and also shown in [Graph 3]. In Group I, a smooth border was noticed in 65.7% of participants, a partially scalloped border was noticed in 8.6% of participants, whereas a scalloped border was observed in 25.7% participants. In Group II, a smooth border was noticed in 50.5% participants; a partially scalloped border was noticed in 14.9% of participants, whereas a scalloped border was observed in 34.7% of participants. On comparing, the association between borders and gender was found to be statistically not significant (Chi-squared = 5.16, P > 0.05).
Table 4: Distribution and comparison of borders of the tongue between two groups

Click here to view



The distribution of fissure of the tongue of two groups is summarized in [Table 5] and also shown in [Graph 4]. In Group I, fissures were absent in 61.9% participants, multiple fissures were noticed in 10.5% of participants, whereas single fissure was observed in 27.6% of participants. In Group II, fissures were absent in 15.8% of participants; multiple fissures were noticed in 57.4% of participants, whereas single fissure was observed in 26.7% of participants. On comparing, the association between fissures and gender was found statistically significant (Chi-squared = 61.67, P < 0.001).
Table 5: Distribution and comparison of fissures of the tongue between two groups

Click here to view




  Discussion Top


Human identification is essential in forensic sciences in which sex determination with the help of oral structures of forensic dentistry is a subdivision of human personal identification. Tongue print is unique to a person, and a new biometric tool is used as personal human identification and also in sex determination. A literature review analyses done by Jeedy N et al., in the year 2017 and Diwakar and Maharshi stated tongue as a reliable member of the biometric template and can be made using three views, such as left lateral view, right lateral view, and profile view.[8],[9] Zhang and Gaganpreet and Dheerendra did a study., in the year 2010 and 2015, suggested the use of alginate impression in obtaining lingual impression was a novel attempt and its application as personal identification in forensic dentistry.[10],[11] Similar results were presented in the study done by Yang and Li.[12] The extraction of the tongue algorithm of collecting points gives an efficient template for the shape of the tongue, whereas for texture analysis, normalized histogram with Scale Invariant Feature Transform is used. Matching is done by combining both the extraction techniques templates.[8]

Different types for obtaining of tongue print are:[1],[3]

  • Simple visual examination
  • Three-dimensional analysis of tongue by taking alginate impression and positive replica preparation
  • Sublingual vein analysis, recording tongue videos and use of digital software
  • Ultrasound methods with an ultrasound transducer placed in the sublingual area.


Every person's tongue is different in morphological characters such as different in wrinkles, ridges, marks, etc., and it cannot be counterfeit. In this impression-based analysis of 206 participants, Group I comprised 105 female participants and Group II comprised 101 male participants. We have taken an age group of 21–30 years because the majority of the people in this age bunch are without any tongue-related abnormalities, which can add to the morphological changes on the tongue. Numerous fundamental ailments, for example, diabetes, and sickliness can show indications of tongue morphology.[13]

In forensic odontology tongue prints can be used as human identification because of its shape and surface texture which include:

  1. Shape features


    • Length and bend
    • Thickness and width
    • Tip curvature.


  2. Surface Features


    • Pits and cracks on its surface (central part of the tongue).


Visual inspection of the tongue is a very simple, immediate, inexpensive, and noninvasive method to use for the identification of humans in forensic odontology. Yang et al., in the year 2009, describe the texture and curvature features of the human tongue can be used in diagnosis with the help of tongue cracks.[12],[13] For color features, Wang et al., in their study done on over 9000 tongue images, divided tongue colors into 12 categories through the statistical analysis of a large number of tongue images.[14]

Zhang and Zhang in an image-based experimental analysis done on 130 healthy and 542 disease human tongue with the help of an imaging device of 3 chip CCD Camera of 8-bit resolution and two D65 fluorescent tubes placed symmetrically around the camera to produce uniform illumination. In that analysis, they found five types of human shape of the tongue (rectangle, acute and obtuse triangles, square, and circle) based on geometric features and image analysis.[15]

Numerous studies have validated the use of human tongue prints, like in personal human identification in forensic odontology. The previous and even this study also suggest that visual inspection, as well as alginate impression in obtaining a positive replica of the tongue, can be proved as an efficient technique for human identification in forensic odontology. Even in today's era, the involvement of human tongue prints and its use as forensic odontology for the identification of humans remains unexposed in the field of forensic sciences. The intention to do this study was to make a novel attempt to increase awareness for the use of tongue prints in human identification and also describe the strength of tongue prints, which can be used in forensic odontology for human identification.

The shape of the tongue

In the present study, of 206 participants, In Group I, the U-shaped tongue was noticed more in participants, bifid tongue was seen more in Group II and V-shaped tongue was more in Group I participants. In Group II, the U-shaped tongue was noticed in maximum participants as compared to bifid tongue and V-shaped. In the present study, the predominant shape observed in the total sample was U-shape compared to bifid and V-shape. U-shape was more common in males compared to females. The V-shaped tongue was more common in females compared to males. These observations were in agreement with the findings of other studies by Stefanescu et al. and Jeddy et al.[7],[8] The reason for V-shaped tongue in females could be smaller mandible size in females compared to males.

Borders of the tongue

In this study, of 206 participants, in Group I, a smooth border was present in most of the participants, a scalloped border was noticed more in participants, as compared to the partially scalloped border in participants. In Group II, a smooth border was noticed in less participants; a partially scalloped border was noticed in less in number as compared to the scalloped border. In this study, the predominant border observed in the total sample was smooth borders. Partially scalloped and scalloped borders were observed more in males compared to females. Tooth indentations around the edges of the tongue form a scalloped border. It is created by the negative pressure produced by parafunctional behaviors in the oral cavity (tongue thrust, bruxism, sleeping disorders, cheek sucking, etc.). A scalloped tongue can result from macroglossia, an irregular tongue enlargement found in nutritional deficiencies (temporomandibular joint disorders, other systemic diseases, malocclusion, or genetic disorders).[13] A scalloped tongue was observed more in males compared to females; the reason could be more parafunctional habits in males.

Fissures of the tongue

In this study, of 206 participants, in Group I, fissures were absent in a maximum number of participants; multiple fissures were noticed less as compared to a single fissure in participants. In Group II, fissures were absent in less number of participants; multiple fissures were noticed in more participants in Group II male, whereas a single fissure was also present in participants. In this study, the predominant fissures observed in the total sample were multiple. The absence of fissure was observed more in females compared to males. Multiple fissures was found to be higher in males while a little higher in females statistically and single fissures were found to be more common in males as compared to females. These observations were not consistent with the studies conducted by Stefanescu et al., and Jeddy et al.[7],[8] Fissures or grooves are considered merely a variation of a healthy tongue, which appears on the dorsal surface of the tongue, this condition is often harmless. Multiple fissures were more common in males compared to females, and this could be because of large tongue size in males compared to females.


  Conclusions Top


While several methods of biometrics have been used and created, not much research has been done on a replica of the tongue for personal identification. Despite the findings introduced here, it is important to emphasize that this study had limitations, which resulted in a smaller than expected sample size. The short period of data collection could have led to that. This work represents an analysis of the characteristics of the tongue and its differences in each person. Variations in the shape and surface properties of the tongue may be distinguished, which dentists may follow daily as a chairside strategy as a new diagnostic emerging identification tool.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Radhika T, Jeddy N, Nithya S. Tongue prints: A novel biometric and potential forensic tool. J Forensic Dent Sci 2016;8:117-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
2.
Rai B, Kaur J. DNA technology and forensic odontology. In: Evidence-Based Forensic Dentistry. New York: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg; 2013.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Zaidi FN, Meadows P, Jacobowitz O, Davidson TM. Tongue anatomy and physiology, the scientific basis for a novel targeted neurostimulation system designed for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Neuromodulation 2013;16:376-86.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Sreepradha C, Vaishali MR, David MP. Tongue replica for personal identification: A digital photographic study. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2019;31:57-61.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
Abraham J, Binita G, Sandra EJ. A morphological study of Tongue and its role in forensics odontology. J Forensic Sci Criminal Inves 2018;7:1-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Liu Z, Yan JQ, Zhang D, Tang QL. A Tongue-Print Image Database for Recognition. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Machine Learning and Cybernetics, Hong Kong; August, 2007. p. 19-22.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Stefanescu CL, Popa MF, Candia LS. Preliminary study on the Tongue based forensic identification. Rom J Leg Med 2014;22:263-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Jeddy N, Radhika T, Nithya S. Tongue prints in biometric authentication: A pilot study. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2017;21:176-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
9.
Diwakar M, Maharshi M. An extraction and recognition of tongue-print images for biometrics authentication system. Int J Comput Appl 2013;61:36-42.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Zhang DD, editor. Biometric Solutions: For Authentication in an Eworld. Vol. 697. Germany: Springer Science and Business Media; 2012. p. 1-21.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Gaganpreet K, Dheerendra S. A novel biometric system based on hybrid fusion speech, signature and Tongue. Int J Appl 2015;119:30-9.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Yang Z, Li N. Detection of tongue crack based on distant gradient and prior knowledge. Int J Image Graph 2010;10:273-88.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Zhang D, Liu Z, Jing-qi Y, Peng-fei S. Tongue-print: A novel biometrics pattern. LNCS 2007;4642:1174-83.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Wang X, Zhang B, Yang Z, Wang H, Zhang D. Statistical analysis of tongue images for feature extraction and diagnostics. IEEE T Image Process 2013;22:5336-47.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Zhang B, Zhang H. Significant geometry features in tongue image analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2015;2015:897580.  Back to cited text no. 15
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

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



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Subjects and Methods
Results
Discussion
Conclusions
References
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed23    
    Printed0    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded8    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]