Problem: Child Abuse and Neglect (Maltreatment)

There are four basic types of child abuse and neglect, each with its own distinct signs and symptoms. Being knowledgeable of each allows the dentist to detect the physical and emotional manifestations of this disease. The main types of child maltreatment are:

Table 1. Types of Child Maltreatment.
Types of Abuse Description
Physical abuse: Any non-accidental injury or trauma to the body of a child by a parent, guardian, or sibling.
Sexual abuse: Any sexual behavior or activity with a minor or the exploitation of a minor, by an adult, for the sexual pleasure of someone else.
Emotional abuse: A pattern of behavior that retards a child’s development and self-esteem such as constant criticizing or belittling or not providing love or guidance.
Neglect: When an adult knowingly permits a child to endure pain or suffering or fails to provide the basic prerequisites for proper maturation. Includes subcategories of physical, emotional, and medical (dental) neglect.