Purpose: To record, determine and discuss the gender influence on the overall prevalence of occlusal characteristics of primary dentition of 4- to 6-year-old children of Bagalkot City, India. Materials and Methods: A total of 1000 children (583 boys and 417 girls) 4 to 6 years old were evaluated clinically for primary molars, primary canines, developmental spaces, measurements of overjet and overbite, crowding, anterior or posterior cross bite, midline discrepancies, lateral profile, as well as assessment of the presence of lip incompetency. A stratified cluster random sampling procedure was executed to collect the representative sample. Results: Highly significant differences between males and females were observed for the prevalence of flush terminal plane molar relationship, class I and II canine relationship, overjet and overbite of 0 to 2 mm, and for both convex and straight profile. A significant difference was seen for the occurrence of mesial step and asymmetric molar relationship, presence of developmental and primate spaces, shift in maxillary dental midline, presence of both single tooth anterior and bilateral posterior cross bite, overjet of 2 to 4 mm and convex profile. Conclusions: The data revealed that most of the children had a malocclusion and that there was a significant difference between male and female occlusal characteristics. This highlights the importance of identifying children who are in need of orthodontic treatment for dental health or aesthetic reasons. The study also indicated that the prevalence of most of the occlusal characteristics were comparable with other communities, but there existed substantial differences in prevalence of some traits.
Keywords: gender, malocclusion, occlusion, prevalence