A Comparative Study of the Canine Tooth as a Tool in Gender Determination in Nigerian Population


maxillary canine index
mandibular canine index
Delta Ibo
sex determination

How to Cite

Otuaga, P. O., Chris-Ozoko, L. E., Sakpoba, O. lynda, & Oyem, J. C. (2019). A Comparative Study of the Canine Tooth as a Tool in Gender Determination in Nigerian Population. Galician Medical Journal, 26(2). https://doi.org/10.21802/gmj.2019.2.9


Dental evidence has been demonstrated as a major forensic tool for the identification of individuals and sex determination.

The objective of the research was to determine sex in Delta Ibo ethnic group of Nigeria using the mandibular and maxillary canine teeth.

Materials and methods. The study comprised 201 (100 males and 101 females) subjects of Delta Ibo ethnicity at the age of 17 – 25 years. The mesiodistal crown width and intercanine distance of both the maxillary and mandibular canines were measured intraorally using a pair of dividers and a ruler. Unpaired T-test at a probability value of p<0.05 was used to ascertain the mean significant differences between the male and female canine indices.  

Results. Study results showed a statistically significant difference between male and female mandibular and maxillary canine mesiodistal width. This implied a sexual and reversed sexual dimorphism in the studied population.       

Conclusions. The study confirmed that the canines of Delta Ibos exhibit sexual dimorphism like other populations and the maxillary canine indices give the most accurate prediction in sex determination.



Boaz K, Gupta C. Dimorphism in human maxillary and maxillary canines in establishment of gender. J Forensic Den Sci. 2009;1:42-44. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2948.50889

Yuwanati M, Karia A, Yuwanati M. Canine tooth dimorphism: an adjunct for establishing sex identity. J Forensic Dent Sci. 2012;4:80-83. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-1475.109892 [PMid:23741147 PMCid:PMC3669482]

Vishwakarma N, Guha R. A study of sexual dimorphism in permanent mandibular canines and its implication in forensic investigation. Nepal Med Coll. 2011;13(2):96-99

Ash MM, Stanley JN. Wheeler's Dental Anatomy, Physiology and Occlusion, 8th Edition. Saunders Elsevier. c2003. 401p.

Anderson DL, Thompson GW. Interrelationships and sex differences of dental and skeletal measurements. J Dent Res. 1973;52:431-438. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/00220345730520030701 [PMid:4521632]

Işcan MY, Kedici PS. Sexual variation in bucco-lingual dimensions in Turkish dentition. Forensic Sci Int. 2003;137:160-164. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0379-0738(03)00349-9

Mohammed QAR, Abdullah MA, Ashraf I, Khan N. Dimorphism of mandibular and maxillary canine teeth in establishing sex identity. Saudi Dent J. 1997;9(1):17-20.

Eboh DEO, Ebeye OA. The effectiveness of canine teeth in gender determination and the relationship between canine width and stature. J Sci Eng Tech. 2010;

Eboh DEO, Ugorji EA. The mandibular and maxillary canine teeth in gender determination in a Nigerian population. J Exp Clin Anat. 2010;9(1):22-26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4314/abs.v9i1.66571

Hashim HA, Murshid ZA. Mesiodistal tooth width. A comparison between Saudi males and females. Part 1. Egypt Dent J. 1993;39(1):343-346.

Moss ML, Moss-Salentijlign L. Analysis of developmental processes possibly related to human dental sexual dimorphism in permanent and deciduous canines. Am J Phys Anthropol. 1997;46:407-413. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.1330460305 [PMid:860753]

Bansal P, Saxena S, Reddy V. Mandibular canine index as a sex determinant: a study on the population of western Uttar Pradesh. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2008;1(12):56-59. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-029X.44577

Garn SM, Lewis AB, Swindler DR, Kerewsky RS. Genetic control of sexual dimorphism in tooth size. J Dent Res. 1967;46(5):963-972. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/00220345670460055801 [PMid:5234039]

Nair P, Rao BB, Annigeri RG. A study of tooth size, symmetry and sexual dimorphism. J Forensic Med Toxicol. 1999;16:10-13.

Kaushal S. Patnaik VVG, Agihotri G. Mandibular canine in sex determination. J Anat Soc India. 2003;52(2):119-124.

Kieser JA. Human adult odontometrics: the study of variation in adult tooth size. Cambridge: University Press; c1990. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511983610 [PMCid:PMC258591]

Acharya A, Mainali S. Univariate sex dimorphism in the Nepalese dentition and the use of discriminant functions in gender assessment. Forensic Sci Int. 2007;173:47-56. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.01.024 [PMid:17320321]

Muller M. Lupipegurier L, Quatrehomme G, Balla M. Odontometric method useful in determining gender and dental alignment. Forensic Sci Int. 2001;121:194-197. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0379-0738(01)00399-1

Legović M, Novosel A, Legović A. Regression equations for determining mesiodistal crown diameters of canines and premolars. Angle Orthod. 2003;73:314-318.

Chennoju SK, Khaitan T, Ramaswamy P et al. Role of mandibular canines in establishment of gender. Egyptian J Forensic Sci. 2014;4:71-74. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejfs.2014.05.003

Agnihotri G, Sikri V. Crown and cusp dimensions of the maxillary first molar: a study of sexual dimorphism in Indian Jat Sikhs. Dent Anthropol. 2010;21(1):1-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.26575/daj.v23i1.64

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.