Dentists Could Play a Key Role in Identifying Domestic Violence Cases: Study

Patients visiting the dentist for lesions to the jaw and teeth could be victims of domestic violence, U.S. researchers warn. Oral biomarkers that might signal domestic violence include tears, fractures, breaks, and chips in the teeth and mouth.

Published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma in mid-April, the article reports that up to 75 per cent of cranial and cervical trauma associated with domestic violence occurs following injuries to the mouth. As such, dentists could spot potential victims of domestic violence in patients visiting them for consultation.

“It is an opportunity for dentists to be early detectors who can refer those individuals for follow-up care,” said Dr. Jonathan Lifshitz, director of the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, and study author.

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