Author(s): Kapali S, Townsend G, Richards L, Parish T
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to determine whether rugae patterns change with age and to compare the number and pattern of rugae in Australian Aborigines with those of Caucasians. For the longitudinal part of the study, serial dental casts of ten Aborigines, from 6 to 20 years of age, were examined and rugae patterns were recorded. To enable comparisons to be made between different ethnic groups an additional 100 dental casts of Australian Aborigines and 200 casts of caucasians, ranging in age from 13 to 17 years, were examined. Characteristics observed were number, length, shape, direction and unification of rugae. The length of rugae increased significantly with age but the total number of rugae remained constant. Thirty-two per cent of rugae showed changes in shape, while 28 per cent displayed a change in orientation. In contrast to studies suggesting that rugae move forward with age, the majority of Aboriginal rugae that changed direction moved posteriorly. Changes in rugae patterns have been assumed to result from palatal growth but alterations in pattern were observed in the Aboriginal sample even after palatal growth had ceased. The mean number of primary rugae in Aborigines was higher than in Caucasians, although more primary rugae in Caucasians exceeded 10 mm in length than in Aborigines. The most common shapes in both ethnic groups were wavy and curved forms, whereas straight and circular types were least common. There was a statistically significant association between rugae forms and ethnicity, straight forms being more common in Caucasians whereas wavy forms were more common Aborigines.
This article was published in Aust Dent J
and referenced in Dentistry