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Bite Marks
- Forensic Odontology

Bite marks are something else Forensic Odontologist look at. The specific areas of bite marks would be : the distance from cuspid to cuspid, the shape of the mouth arch, the evidence of a tooth out of alignment, teeth width and thickness, spacing between teeth, missing teeth, the curves of biting edges, unique dentistry, and wear patterns such as chips or grinding. The amount and degree of detail recorded in the bitten surface may vary from case to case. Human and animal teeth both leave conspicuous marks. In the flesh, they leave behind noticeable bruises or puncture marks and in soft foods, such as fruit, marks are also preserved. In situations where sufficient details are available, it may be possible to identify the biter to the exclusion of all others. Perhaps more significantly, it is possible to exclude suspects that did not leave the bite mark or marks. The skin is elastic, tending to slip along the upper teeth until it catches hold. Depending upon the type of victim, some bite marks last for hours and others for days, but almost all bite marks alter themselves as time elapses. Photographing bite marks at intervals over a set period of hours or days is part of the standard protocol recommended by the ABFO. Bite marks also change or become distorted when the posture of the victim changes, so the forensic dentist might be able to assist with determination of how the perpetrator moved the body.


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