U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Blunt Force Trauma in the Human Mandible: An Experimental Investigation

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Reports Volume: 5 Dated: 2022
Date Published
July 2022
9 pages

This study investigates the impact of blunt force trauma in the human mandible.


This study illustrates results of experimental blunt force impacts to five locations on the mandible: the ramus, posterior body, mid-body, anterior body, and midline. The results contribute a comparative sample of known blunt force trauma cases for practitioners evaluating mandibular fractures in forensic cases. There exist sparse data associating known points of mandibular impact with resultant fracture patterns. These data may provide an important foundation for interpreting mandible fractures in forensic cases. The experimental sample comprised thirteen intact heads from non-edentulous, unembalmed human adult male cadavers. Three key findings resulted from this study: (1) each impact produced a fracture at or adjacent to the impact site; (2) ramus and midline impacts produced more fractures than mandibular body impacts; and (3) fracture locations varied among mandibles impacted at the same location and exhibited similarities among mandibles impacted at different locations, suggesting there are limitations in estimating mandibular impact sites based on fracture location alone. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: July 1, 2022