Could the bitemarks, swollen lips or
severely decayed teeth in your patient
be related to child abuse or neglect?
A clinical report from the Academy
and the American Academy of Pediatric
Dentistry aims to help pediatric and dental providers
review the signs and symptoms of the multiple kinds
of maltreatment that manifest in the mouth.
Craniofacial, head, face and neck injuries make up
more than half of child abuse cases, according to the
updated report. New in this version are warnings that
victims of bullying and human trafficking also can have
oral health conditions indicative of abuse.
Oral and Dental Aspects of Child Abuse and Neglect,
from the AAP Section on Oral Health and the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, is available at
https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-1487 and is published in the August issue of Pediatrics.
The report recommends collaboration among health
care and dental professionals to help prevent, detect
and treat cases. Providers need to know how to document suspicious injuries, obtain laboratory evidence
and photo documentation, and consult with experts.
Pediatric dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons
can provide assistance, and a pediatric dentist or dentist
trained in forensic odontology can help ensure appropriate testing, diagnosis and treatment.