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Original Research

Open Access

Prevalence of malocclusion and oral health-related factors among pre-school children in Northern Albania

  • Elona Kongo1,*,
  • Ilda Gribizi1
  • Erila Spahiu1
  • Giovanni Manes Gravina1

1Dentistry Department, Faculty of Medical Science, Albanian University, 1017 Tirana, ALB, Albania

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.025

Submitted: 16 August 2023 Accepted: 20 September 2023

Online publish date: 22 January 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Elona Kongo E-mail:


The aim of the present study was to investigate prevalence and association between malocclusion and caries among pre-school children aged 4–6 years frequenting public kindergartens in Shkodër, the largest city in North Albania. The sample for this descriptive and cross-sectional study included 389 pre-school children aged 4–6 years frequenting 20 public kindergartens in Shkodër, the largest city in North Albania. The participants were divided into two groups according to their caries experience evaluated, as determined by decayed-missing-filled index dmf (World Health Organization criteria) score. Those with dmf score of zero were considered to be free of caries. The prevalence of children with at least one malocclusion trait was 89%. The prevalence of caries was 66% (mean dmf score: 3.63). Increased overbite (43%), followed by increased overjet, were the most prevalent malocclusion traits observed in children with a dmf of zero. Among children with caries, the most prevalent trait was increased overjet (42%) and increased overbite. Almost half of the entire study population had a straight terminal plane and class I canine relationship. There was a similar prevalence of bilateral crossbite. Significant changes (p = 0.008) were observed between the groups with regards to the absence of spacing in the maxillary anterior region. Regression analysis further revealed that children with an absence of maxillary spacing were 2.564-fold more likely to have caries; those with a deepbite were 0.814-fold more likely to have caries. More than half of the children had caries. Increased overjet, overbite, crossbite and maxillary crowding were malocclusion traits observed in the population included in this study. A positive association was identified between maxillary crowding, deepbite and caries. The association between malocclusion and caries, highlights the necessity for an increased awareness of these two conditions that are commonly found among children of pre-school age.


Malocclusion; Oral health; Preschool children; Prevalence

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Elona Kongo,Ilda Gribizi,Erila Spahiu,Giovanni Manes Gravina. Prevalence of malocclusion and oral health-related factors among pre-school children in Northern Albania. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024.doi:10.22514/jocpd.2024.025.


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