Morphology of the human hard palate: a study on dry skulls

Masroor Badshah, Roger Soames, Muhammad Jaffar Khan, Jamshaid Hasnain


To determine morphological variations of the hard palate in dry human skulls, 85 skulls of unknown age and sex from nine medical schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan were examined. The transverse diameter, number, shape and position of the greater (GPF) and lesser (LPF) palatine foramina; canine to canine inter-socket distance; distance between greater palatine foramen medial margins; on each side, the distances between greater palatine foramen and base of the pterygoid hamulus, median maxillary suture and posterior border of the hard palate; palatal length, breadth and height; maximum width and height of the incisive foramen; and the angle between the median maxillary suture and a line between the orale and greater palatine foramen were determined. Palatine index and palatal height index were also calculated. An oval greater palatine foramen was present in all skulls, while a mainly oval lesser palatine foramen was present in 95.8% on the right and 97.2% on the left. Single and multiple lesser palatine foramina were observed on the right/left sides: single 44.1%/50.7%; double 41.2%/34.8%; triple 10.2%/11.6%. The greater palatine foramen was located above the third molar in 74.7% (right)/87.8% (left), between the second and third molars in 25.3%/9.5%, and above the second molar in 2.7% (left). A single oval-shaped incisive foramen was observed in 87.1%. The median maxillary suture angle was 13.74±1.58° on the right and 13.14±1.68° on the left. In conclusion, no significant differences were observed in any distances on the right and left side related to greater palatine foramen; however a significant difference (p <0.05) was observed between the right and left sides for median maxillary suture angle.


Greater palatine foramen; lesser palatine foramen; incisive foramen; hard palate; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Full Text:



Firenze University Press
Borgo Albizi, 28 - 50122 Firenze
Tel. (0039) 055 2757700 Fax (0039) 055 2757712