Purpose of the study: The objectives were to study the morphology of the lingulae in adult human dried mandibles of South Indian population. Materials and methods: The study was carried out on 67 (37 males and 30 females) dry mandibles and the morphological variants of the shapes of the lingulae were macroscopically noted and classified. Totally, 134 lingula were studied from both sides of mandibles. Results: From our observations, 29.9% (40) of the lingula had triangular shape, 27.6% (37) were truncated, 29.9% (40) were found nodular and 12.6% (17) were assimilated. In 61.2% (41) of the mandibles, the shape of the lingula was symmetrical on both the sides. The triangular lingulae were found bilaterally in 14, truncated in 11, nodular in 10 and assimilated in six mandibles. Conclusion: In our specimens, the majority of the mandibles were having triangular shaped lingula and the shape of the lingula was symmetrical on both sides. There was sexual dimorphism observed, as in males the triangular shape was more common and in females it was nodular. The incidence of different forms of lingulæ can be used as an anthropological marker to assess the different group of population and races, with other non-metric variants of the skull. The morphology of this subject is important to the maxillofacial and orodental surgeons as the inferior alveolar nerve is close to the lingula and may assist in the inferior alveolar block.
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