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Oral and Dental Aspects of Child Abuse and Neglect – Full Text

This paper is frequently cited and used by paediatric physicians in relation to bitemark assessments and whether or not they are caused by adults or children.  This issue is discussed in detail here, but the paper is of merit as it brings to the fore the importance of dental neglect, looking for evidence of this as well as the role of oral health as an indicator of children at risk.  The “lift the lip” campaign in New Zealand raised the importance of this.

In all 50 states, physicians and dentists are required to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect to social service or law enforcement agencies. The purpose of this report is to review the oral and dental aspects of physical and sexual abuse and dental neglect and the role of physicians and dentists in evaluating such conditions.
This report addresses the evaluation of bite marks as well as perioral and intraoral injuries, infections, and diseases that may cause suspicion for child abuse or neglect. Physicians receive minimal training in oral health and dental injury and disease and, thus, may not detect dental aspects of abuse or neglect as readily as they do child abuse and neglect involving other areas of the body. Therefore, physicians and dentists are encouraged to collaborate to increase the prevention, detection, and treatment of these conditions. Pediatrics 2005;116: 1565–1568; bite marks, sexual abuse, physical abuse, dental

About Odont1

Odont1 is a seasoned forensic dentist, researcher and educator with an interest in progressing the science of the discipline while retaining those elements that are evidence based and useful to the judicial system at any level.

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