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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-16

Evaluation of occlusal forces in different stages of children - An exploratory study

1 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, The Oxford Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, India
2 Department of Dentistry, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Priya Subramaniam
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, The Oxford Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre, Bommanahalli, Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 068, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjos.SJOralSci_52_17

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Introduction: Bite force is one of the indicators of the functional state of mastication and loading of teeth. Bite force measurement is a reliable method of assessing the biomechanical properties of the masticatory system. Aim: To evaluate the occlusal bite force of children in different stages of dentition and to relate the occlusal bite force to body mass index (BMI). Methodology: One hundred and twenty children (60 boys and 60 girls) aged 3–13 years were selected and divided into three groups of forty children each matched for age and gender. The children were divided according to the teeth present into primary, mixed, and permanent dentition. BMI was calculated using the formula, weight/height2. The height was measured using a portable height measuring unit. Body weight of each child was measured using a portable glass electronic personal scale. Occlusal bite force was measured using a portable occlusal bite force gauge. The bite force was measured in triplicate, alternately on the right and left sides of the mouth. Data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis. Results: Mean occlusal bite force was highest in children with permanent dentition (269.7 N). Males showed a higher bite force than females in all three groups. The highest occlusal bite force recorded was in males with permanent dentition (326.6 N), which was statistically significant (P ≤ 0.05). The mean BMI of males was significantly higher than that of females in children with primary dentition. In children with primary and mixed dentition, bite force showed an inverse relationship with BMI. A positive but weak association was found between occlusal bite force and BMI in children with permanent dentition. Conclusions: There was a difference in the occlusal bite force at different dentition stages. It was significantly higher in males and in the permanent dentition stage. Height and weight can be considered as predictors of occlusal bite force in older children with permanent dentition.

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