Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-65

Histological assessment of cellular changes in gingival epithelium in ante-mortem and post-mortem specimens

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, AECS Maaruti College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bangalore, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, V.S Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
G L Pradeep
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, AECS Maaruti College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2948.60375

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Background: Death is an irreversible cessation of circulation, respiration and cerebral function. A number of continuous changes occur in the period after death, and these vary according to the duration of time interval and circumstances of death. Since the rate of post-mortem changes varies between different individuals and there exists a range of normal values during life, extrapolation of the time since death will always reveal an interval, not an exact time point at which death occurred. Objectives: This study was conducted to demonstrate the features of decomposition at the cellular level in post-mortem gingival tissues at different time intervals after death and observe the cellular changes in the unfixed ante-mortem gingival tissue at regular time intervals. Materials and Methods: Thirty post-mortem and 30 ante-mortem gingival samples were seen microscopically to observe the cytoplasmic and nuclear degenerative changes. The proportion of cells exhibiting nuclear and cytoplasmic alterations in post-mortem gingival samples, during different time intervals, were compared using Chi square test. Results and Conclusion: There was a significant association between the time intervals and degenerative changes. The initiation of the decomposition process at the cellular level begins within 10 hours after death and the other clinical features of decomposition occur subsequently.

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