Improvement of Age Estimation Using Amino Acid Racemization in a Case of Pink Teeth

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Age was estimated from pink teeth using racemization of dentinal aspartic acid. Materials for identification were two lower second premolars. The body was determined to be that of a 40-year-old man; however, the age of the decedent had been estimated to be 29 and 30 years by the conventional method and 30 years from findings in the oral cavity. To clarify the cause of this difference, the powdered teeth were further washed in 0.01 mol/L hydrochloric acid. The racemization ratio (D/L ratio) of ordinary white teeth from persons of known age was slightly lower than that before washing, whereas that of the teeth used for identification was higher than before washing. The calculated age of the decedent using the racemization ratio of his teeth was between 36 and 37 years. These results suggest that age estimated from pink teeth is probably underestimated, but a more accurate age estimate can be obtained after adequate washing.

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