Child abuse and neglect: Oral and Dental Signs and the role of the Dentist.
Historically, the law, dental and forensic literature has included numerous articles concerning abused children. The orofacial structures are injured frequently in the maltreated child. Injuries of the neck, head, face, and oral cavity represent the most affected areas of the victim’s body that routinely sustain physical trauma in child maltreatment cases. This literature review aimed to report the state of art of child abuse from the point of view of the dentist with focus on studies in dental aspects of child abuse and neglect of the last ten years. Considering the time slot, 20 papers were included with the following inclusion criteria: papers published in English, all keywords included in the title, articles available on PubMed. Many of the injuries are within the scope of dentistry or easily observed by the dental professional during routine dental treatment, and it is essential that the dentist recognizes them. Concerning neglect, it is appropriate to make a distinction between deliberate parental behavior that has the consequence of unavoidable and voluntary neglect towards their children and those conditions of involuntary carelessness determined by socio-economic and cultural factors such as family isolation, lack of finances, parental ignorance, or lack of perceived value of oral health. Therefore, it is relevant that the dentist pays attention to the cases to report and those that only need help