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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-61

Tongue replica for personal identification: A digital photographic study


Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, M.R. ZAmbedkar Dental College and Hospital, R.G.U.H.S, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission09-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance27-Mar-2019
Date of Web Publication23-Apr-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. C Sreepradha
M.R. Ambedkar Dental College and Hospital, # 1/36, Cline Road, Cooke Town, Bangalore - 560 005, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaomr.jiaomr_59_19

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   Abstract 


The tongue is a vital internal organ well encased within the oral cavity and protected from the environment. The morphology and surface features are characteristics of every individual, and these traits can be used for forensic identification. Aims: To examine and classify variations in morphological characteristics of the tongue as observed on digital photographs and to assess the usefulness of tongue replica for personal identification in forensic science. Settings and Design: A study was conducted in the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, M.R. Ambedkar Dental College, Bangalore, for a period of 3 months. Materials and Methods: In total, 100 (50 male and 50 female) study participants with an age range of 21 − 40 years were included in the study. The tongue was subjected to visual examination following which digital photographs of the dorsal surface of the tongue were taken to evaluate different morphological characteristics of the tongue. Statistical Analysis Used: Chi-square test. Results: The predominant shape of the tongue in both males and females was U-shape, V-shaped tongue with a sharp tip was observed in more number of females compared to males. Scalloped borders were more common in females compared to men. Single fissures were more common in females, and multiple fissures were more common in males. Conclusions: Variations in morphology and surface features of the tongue may constitute distinctiveness, which can be adopted by dentists as a chairside technique on a regular basis. This could serve as a database and a guide for personal identification. The lingual photographic image can enhance personal identification along with other techniques in forensic science.

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


How to cite this article:
Sreepradha C, Vaishali M R, David MP. Tongue replica for personal identification: A digital photographic study. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2019;31:57-61

How to cite this URL:
Sreepradha C, Vaishali M R, David MP. Tongue replica for personal identification: A digital photographic study. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 15];31:57-61. Available from: http://www.jiaomr.in/text.asp?2019/31/1/57/256904




   Introduction Top


Human identification is one of the challenging areas, and identification of human beings based on unique physiological parameters is the central dogma of forensic identification and biometric authentication.[1]

Traditional biometrics like face, iris, fingerprint, palm print, and voice have been used in biometric authentication but has an inherent limitation in that they are easily forged. Research on the tongue print recognition system was first proposed by Liu et al. in 2007.[2]

The tongue is a vital organ well encased within the oral cavity and protected from the environment.[3]

Numerous advantages exist in using tongue print because lingual morphological aspects are difficult to forge and display stability over time. The use of photographs as forensic identification remains unexplored in the field of dentistry. The geometric shape of the tongue is usually constant, and surface texture varies due to pathological changes of the body.[4],[5]

With this background, a study was designed to classify variations in morphological characteristics of the tongue as observed on photographs and to assess the usefulness of tongue replica for personal identification.


   Methodology Top


Study design and study setting

A study was conducted in the setting of Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, M.R. Ambedkar Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore, for a period of 3 months.

Sample size and sampling technique

For this study, a time-bound sample size was adopted wherein a total sample of 100 study participants were enrolled using a non-probability convenient sampling technique for the study.

Inclusion criteria

In total, 100 healthy subjects comprising of 50 males and 50 females in the age group of 21 − 40 years were enrolled for the study after taking informed and written consent.

Exclusion criteria

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

Method of data collection

After obtaining the informed consent, a thorough case history was recorded and detailed clinical examination was performed. The examination of the tongue was carried out after its prior cleaning together with abundant rinsing of the oral cavity. The tongue was subjected to visual examination following which digital photograph of the dorsal surface of the tongue was taken.

In addition, the subjects were asked to protract their tongue up to maximum protraction in a relaxed position and not suddenly so as to prevent a marked contraction of the striated lingual muscles, which would alter the morphological characteristics.

The digital photographs of the tongue were taken under the same environmental and lighting conditions and from a predetermined distance using a Nikon S 6000 camera (7 megapixels). They were then evaluated for the morphological characteristic of the tongue. The data collected were subjected to statistical analysis using the Chi-square test.

In this study, three morphological characteristics which were taken into consideration were the shape, borders, and fissures of the tongue. The photographs were inspected for the same.


   Shape of the Tongue Top


Three reference points were considered to determine the shape of the tongue. The reference points included the region of the tongue in contact with the commissures of the lips (when protruded outside the mouth) and the tip of the tongue [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Reference points for determining the shape of the tongue

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The shape of the tongue was categorized as U-shape, Bifid, and V-shape [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Shape of the tongue

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   Borders of the Tongue Top


They were categorized as smooth, partially scalloped and scalloped [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Borders of the tongue

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   Fissures of the Tongue Top


They were categorized as absence of fissure, single fissure, and multiple fissures [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Fissures of the tongue

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   Results Top


This study was designed to examine and classify variations in morphological characteristics of the tongue as observed on digital photographs, to assess the usefulness of tongue replica for personal identification in forensic science.

The three different morphological characteristics of the tongue considered were, i.e. shape, borders, and fissures of the tongue. The photographs were inspected for the same. The study was performed on 100 study subjects, inclusive of 50 males and 50 females, with an age range of 21 − 40 years.

Study sample

The total sample was grouped into 2 Groups:

Group I: It consists of 50 female subjects. Group II: It consists of 50 male subjects.

The data were collected, tabulated, and subjected to statistical analysis (Chi-square test).

Out of 100 (100%) subjects, Group I consists of 50 (100%) female subjects and Group II consists of 50 (100%) male subjects [Table 1] and [Graph 1].
Table 1: Gender distribution of total subjects in groups

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Out of 100 (100%) subjects, in Group I, U-shaped tongue was noticed in 32 (64%) subjects, bifid tongue was noticed in 7 (14%) subjects, whereas V-shaped tongue was observed in 11 (22%) subjects. In Group II, U-shaped tongue was noticed in 36 (72%) subjects, bifid tongue was noticed in 10 (20%) subjects, whereas V-shaped tongue was observed in 4 (8%) subjects The association between the shape of the tongue and gender was not statistically significant (P > 0.05) [Table 2] and [Graph 2].
Table 2: Shape of the tongue

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Out of 100 (100%) subjects, in Group I, a smooth border was noticed in 23 (46%) subjects, a partially scalloped border was noticed in 7 (14%) subjects, whereas a scalloped border was observed in 20 (40%) subjects. In Group II, a smooth border was noticed in 23 (46%) subjects, a partially scalloped border was noticed in 10 (20%) subjects, whereas a scalloped border was observed in 17 (34%) subjects. The association between borders and gender was not statistically significant (P > 0.05) [Table 3] and [Graph 3].
Table 3: Borders of the tongue

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Out of 100 (100%) subjects, in Group I, fissures were absent in 14 (28%) subjects, multiple fissures were noticed in 15 (30%) subjects, whereas single fissure was observed in 21 (42%) subjects. In Group II, fissures were absent in 7 (14%) subjects, multiple fissures were noticed in 31 (62%) subjects, whereas single fissure was observed in 12 (24%) subjects. The association between fissures and gender was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05) [Table 4] and [Graph 4].
Table 4: Fissures of the tongue

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   Discussion Top


There has been considerable research in biometrics over the last two decades. No biometric has yet been developed that is perfectly reliable or secure. For example, fingerprints and palm prints are usually frayed. Voice, signatures, hand shapes, and iris images are easily forged. Face recognition can be made difficult by occlusions or face lifts, and biometrics such as fingerprints, iris, and face recognition are susceptible to spoofing attacks.[6]

Tongue print is a unique biometric tool which cannot be forged easily. Advantages of tongue prints over other biometric systems are genetic independence (no two tongues are similar), physical protection (well encased in the oral cavity), and its stability over time.[7]

Research on tongue prints is at a preliminary stage. A study by Diwakar and Maharshi reported the tongue as a reliable member of the biometrics family.[8] Application of the tongue biometrics system in a public use system such as the banking system has been proved by Naaz et al. in 2011.[9]

Recently, tongue recognition systems based on 2D dual-tree complex wavelet transform have been proposed by Bade et al.[10] Tongue scanners are under research and being tested.[11]

In the present study out of 100 (100%) subjects, Group I consisted of 50 (100%) female subjects and Group II consisted of 50 (100%) male subjects. We have taken an age range of 21-40 years because most of the individuals in this age group are devoid of any major systemic illness which can contribute to the morphological changes on the tongue. Many systemic illnesses such as diabetes, anaemia can show manifestations on tongue morphology as age advances and hence an age group between 21 and 40 years was selected for the pilot study.

We have excluded patients under 21 years because we don't expect to see any changes in the tongue morphology.

Shape of the tongue

In the present study out of 100 (100%) subjects, In Group I, U-shaped tongue was noticed in 32 (64%) subjects, bifid tongue was noticed in 7 (14%) subjects whereas V-shaped tongue was observed in 11 (22%) subjects. In Group II, U-shaped tongue was noticed in 36 (72%) subjects, bifid tongue was noticed in 10 (20%) subjects whereas V-shaped tongue was observed in 4 (8%) subjects.

In this 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. V-shaped tongue was more common in females compared to males. The association between the shape of tongue and gender was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). These observations were in agreement with the findings of other studies by Jeddy et al., Stefanescu et al.[3],[4]

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, out of 100 (100%) subjects, in Group I, a smooth border was noticed in 23 (46%) subjects, a partially scalloped border was noticed in 7 (14%) subjects, whereas a scalloped border was observed in 20 (40%) subjects. In Group II, a smooth border was noticed in 23 (46%) subjects, a partially scalloped border was noticed in 10 (20%) subjects, whereas scalloped border was observed in 17 (34%) subjects. The association between borders and gender was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).

In this study, the predominant border observed in the total sample was smooth borders. A partially scalloped border was observed more in males compared to females, whereas scalloped borders were observed more predominantly in females compared to males.

Tooth indentations around the edges of the tongue form a scalloped border. It is formed by the negative pressure generated in the oral cavity because of parafunctional habits (Tongue thrust, Bruxism, sleep disorders, cheek sucking, etc.). A scalloped tongue can be the result of macroglossia, which is an abnormal enlargement of the tongue observed in nutritional deficiencies (TMJ disorders, some systemic diseases, malocclusion or genetic disorders). A scalloped tongue was observed more in females compared to males; the reason could be more parafunctional habits in females.

Fissures of the tongue

In this study, out of 100 (100%) subjects, in Group I, fissures were absent in 14 (28%) subjects, multiple fissures were noticed in 15 (30%) subjects, whereas a single fissure was observed in 21 (42%) subjects. In Group II, fissures were absent in 7 (14%) subjects, multiple fissures were noticed in 31 (62%) subjects, whereas a single fissure was observed in 12 (24%) subjects. The association between fissures and gender was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05).

In this study, the predominant fissures observed in total sample were multiple fissures. Absence of fissure was observed more in females compared to males. Fissures were more in males compared to females. Multiple fissures were found to be more common in males compared to females. Single fissure was found to be more common in females compared to males. The association between fissures and gender was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05).[3],[4]

These observations were consistent with the studies conducted by Stefanescu and Jeddy et al. Fissures or grooves are considered simply a variation of a normal tongue which appears on the dorsal surface of the tongue, this condition is often harmless. Fissures were more common in males compared to females, and this could be because of large tongue size in males compared to females.


   Conclusion Top


Even though many biometrics have been used and developed, there is not much work done on Tongue replica for personal identification. This research represents a study of tongue features and its variations with respect to each individual. Variations in morphology and surface features of the tongue may constitute distinctiveness which can be adopted by dentists as a chair side technique on a regular basis. This could serve as a database and a guide for personal identification purposes. The lingual photographic image can enhance personal identification along with other techniques in forensic science.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Abraham J, Binita G, Sandra EJ. A morphological study of tongue and its role in forensics odontology. J Forensic Sci and Criminal Inves 2018;7(5):1-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
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. 2
    
3.
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. 3
    
4.
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. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
5.
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. 5
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
6.
Zhang DD, editor. Biometric Solutions: For Authentication in an E-world. Vol. 697. Germany: Springer Science and Business Media; 2012. p. 1-21.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Gaganpreet K and 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. 7
    
8.
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. 8
    
9.
Suryadevara S, Naaz R, Kapoor S, Sharma A. Visual cryptography improvises the security of tongue as a biometric in banking system. In Computer and Communication Technology (ICCCT), 2011 2nd International Conference; 2011. p. 412-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Bade A, Chavan K, Admane P, Komatwar R. Tongue recognition system for authentication. Int J Res Appl Sci Eng Technol 2015;3:76-80.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Available from: https://www.prezi.com/0o1lr5lssutc/tongue-scanner.  Back to cited text no. 11
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
    Tables

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



 

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