The Morphometry of the Angle of Mandible and its Correlation with Age and Sex in the eThekwini Metropolitan Region: A Panoramic Study

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S. Pillay; S. Ishwarkumar; B.Z. De Gama & P. Pillay


The angle of mandible is formed by the tangent line joining the posterior margin of the ramus and the base of the mandible. The angle of mandible has population-specific characteristics therefore; it is imperative to the field of forensic anthropology for age and sex determination. Literary reports regarding the use of the angle of mandible for age and sex determination vary, as some studies support it, while other studies have documented inefficiencies. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to document the morphometry of the angle of mandible and to determine if a correlation between the angle of mandible, age and sex exists. Sixty four digital panoramic radiographs (n=128) of individuals between 16-30 years were morphometrically analysed using the Dicom Digital Imaging Software. The data was captured and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS version 23.0). Despite females having a greater angle of mandible than males, no statistically significant correlation was found between the size of the angle of mandible and sex (p=0.088). The angle of mandible was observed to decrease with advancement of age, however only the 16-19 year age cohort displayed a statistically significant correlation with the size of the angle of mandible (p=0.006). Therefore, this study concluded that the angle of mandible may not be a useful indicator of sex, but may be a reliable indicator of age for individuals between 16-19 years in the eThekwini Metropolitan region.

KEY WORDS: Angle of mandible; Age; Sex; Mandible; Morphometry.

How to cite this article

PILLAY, S.; ISHWARKUMAR, S.; DE GAMA, B. Z. & PILLAY, P. The morphometry of the angle of mandible and its correlation with age and sex in the eThekwini metropolitan region: A panoramic study. Int. J. Morphol., 35(2):661-666, 2017.