Objective: To determine the maximum occlusal bite force (MOBF) of the complete spectrum of dental caries in first permanent molars (FPMs) in children aged 7–9 years. Study design: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 123 children. The evaluation of the caries spectrum of FPMs was carried out using the Caries Assessment Spectrum and Treatment index (CAST). The MOBF was measured in the FPM region using the portable occlusal force gauze. Independent sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance test were performed to compare MOBF with CAST scores of FPMs. Based on the CAST scores, FPMs were categorized into three groups, group 1: healthy (score 0, 1, 2), group 2: premorbid (score 3), group 3: morbid (score 4, 5). Results: A significantly lower MOBF was observed (167.56 N ± 49.77) in the morbid stage (group 3) than in the premorbid stage (group 2: 291.57 N ± 56.64), and healthy (group 1; 320.93 N ± 54.23). Intergroup comparison also revealed that FPMs in the healthy stage was associated with a higher bite force compared to those in the premorbid and morbid stages (p<0.001). Conclusions: The mean MOBF decreased with the progression of the caries spectrum of FPMs in early permanent dentition.

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Author notes

* Ravi Kumar Gudipaneni, BDS, MDS, MFDS RCS Ed (UK), Assistant Professor, Pediatric dentistry, Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Jouf University, Sakaka, Saudi Arabia.

**Mohammad Khursheed Alam, BDS, PGT, PhD, Associate Professor, Orthodontics, College of Dentistry, Jouf University, Sakaka, Saudi Arabia.

***Santosh R Patil, BDS, MDS, PhD scholar, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai, India.

**** Mohmed Isaqali Karobari, BDS, MSc, Conservative Unit, School of Dental Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian 16150, Kelantan, Malaysia.