Introduction: Dermatoglyphics is the study of dermal ridge configurations on palmar and plantar surfaces of hands and feet. Dermal ridges and craniofacial structures are both formed during 6-7th week of intra-uterine life. It is believed that hereditary and environmental factors leading to malocclusion may also cause peculiarities in fingerprint patterns. Objective: To study and assess the relationship between fingerprints and malocclusion among a group of high school children aged 12-16 years in Dharwad, Karnataka, India. Design: A total of 696 high school children aged 12-16 years were randomly selected. Their fingerprints were recorded using duplicating ink and malocclusion status was clinically assessed using Angle's classification. Results: Chi-square analysis revealed statistical association between whorl patterns and classes 1 and 2 malocclusion (p<0.05). However, no overall statistical association was observed between fingerprint patterns and malocclusion (p>0.05). Conclusion: Dermatoglyphics might be an appropriate marker for malocclusion and further studies are required to elucidate an association between fingerprint patterns and malocclusion.
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