Study of Age and Gender Related Variations in Position of Mental Foramen of Some Egyptians Using Digital Panoramic Radiography

Document Type : Original Article


1 Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al-Azhar University, Egypt

2 Oral Medicine, Periodontology, Radiology & Diagnosis Department, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Girls Branch, Egypt


Introduction: The mandible is the strongest bone in the human body and persists in a well-preserved state longer than any other bone. One of mandibular characteristic that can prove very helpful for age and gender determination is mental foramen. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the radiographic position of mental foramen in relation to anatomical structures in different age groups in some male and female Egyptians. Subjects and Methods: The study group comprised a total of 200 patients; 100 males (aging from 8.7 to 66.0 years old) and 100 females (aging from 8.4 to 66.5 years old), attending the outpatient clinics of the Faculty of Dental Medicine for girls, Al Azhar University, in Cairo, and required panoramic radiography for various dental treatments. The study population was divided into five age groups; 8-12 years, 13-17 years, 18-30 years, 31-50 years, and 51-70 years. On panoramic radiographs, the following parameters were measured; MF-ML: distance from mental foramen to the midline, MF-ABC: distance from mental foramen to the alveolar bone crest, MF-BM: distance from mental foramen to the base of mandible. These measurements were compared between different age groups and both sexes. Results:The results indicated that the mean values of the distance between mental foramen and the midline (MF-ML), the alveolar bone crest (MF-ABC) and the base of mandible (MF-BM) increase in a significant accelerating manner in children, become stable after the age of 18 and after the age of 50 the mental foramen becomes closer to the alveolar crest. As regards sex difference, males showed higher mean values than females in all measurements in all age groups except in the age group (8-12) years. Conclusion: This study concluded that the position of mental foramen varies with age, and there is a gender related variation in its position. Using mental foramen position measurements may be helpful to predict age and sex on panoramic radiographs for Egyptians. Recommendation: Further research and studies are needed with extensive and large number of samples from different districts of Egypt, in order to accurate assessment of position of mental foramen in Egyptians that would help in establishing its role in forensic applications.