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 03 Dec 2021      Forensic Medicine
10 min

Bite Marks and Kiss Marks

Bite and kiss marks occurred primarily in sex-related crimes, child abuse cases, and cases involving other types of physical altercations. These marks are common in sexual assaults, and it is important to measure and photograph them carefully to allow matching or exclusion of the teeth of the alleged assailant. In addition, bite marks can be seen due to peer violence or playing, especially in the child age group.

Bite marks analysis is important evidence as it allows the comparison of bite marks on a victim with the tooth structure of a suspect and with a DNA sample taken from the bite mark. It is important to clearly visualize the bite mark so that a comparison can be made with the tooth structure of the suspect.

If there is a bite mark on the patient or if the patient gives a history of the perpetrator’s oral contact a portion of her body, these areas should be swabbed to recover saliva. These swabs can then be analyzed for DNA. Positive DNA identification has been made in several cases from saliva on the body of the victim. After the swabbing of the bite mark, photographs should be taken. A metric ruler should be included in the photographs. Ideally, one should have a forensic odontologist on call so that they can examine and document the bite mark. They might take casts of the bite mark in addition to photographing it. The medical examiner should carefully search for fibres, hair, glass, paint, or any foreign material that might have been transferred to the victim’s body from the assailant.

Bite marks can be seen in many parts of the body, it is necessary to collect all evidence and take appropriate photos in a single examination without traumatizing the victim. Instead of taking photos from different parts of the body (armpit, perineum etc.) with a fixed camera, this process can be done in a short time and from many different angles with a mobile device. In such a case, using a mobile device such as a “Smartphone” will provide convenience in many ways.

"Smartphone" is a mobile phone-sized (6”) device and provides easy use with one hand. In addition, while taking DNA samples from the areas with bite marks, the examiner can easily manage other equipment (cotton swabs, etc.) with her empty hand. In this way, a DNA sample can be taken from the right place easily.

The examiner should carefully examine the entire body in order not to miss any other evidence that may have been contaminated by the attacker in the victim's body. “Smartphone” has different light sources (in different wavelengths between 360 to 720 nm) and filters so it provides detect body fluids (semen, sweat, saliva) that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Due to “Smartphone” has its own light sources and filters, it allows you to create the most suitable option for examining, collecting and recording evidences with a single device and making the best investigation.

Determining the size of the lesion and tooth marks is very important in terms of identifying the person who caused the lesion. According to the size of the lesion detected, it can be understood whether the person making the lesion is an adult or a child. Thus, it can give an idea of whether the case is sexual assault or peer violence. The "Smartphone" has a polarizer high-resolution multispectral camera with optical zoom so it can display the lesions in the most accurate way and allows the most precise measurements to be made. The photographs taken and the records obtained in these cases should be recorded securely. "Smartphone" can categorize and save thousands of photos in its internal memory as RAW format, allowing the images to be transferred to other digital media when necessary. A RAW file is a collection of unprocessed data. This means the file has not been altered, compressed, or manipulated in any way by the computer. Therefore, the RAW format is the most reliable file format known in international justice systems and is accepted as evidence in courts.

Fig: Samples of bite marks and kiss marks