Dental experts believe oral health issues should be viewed as a sign of child neglect

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Dental experts believe that oral health issues should be viewed as a sign of child neglect.

Researchers at Kings College Hospital, London, said that 2 out of every 5 children who required oral and maxillofacial surgery as a result of severe decay in the last two years were already being monitored by social services. Based on their findings, the authors of the study are now calling for their review to be used to keep an eye on children who present with extensive decay. The review introduced measures, which have been used in London, and the researchers now want to see this approach rolled out across the country.

As a result of the review, children who are admitted to A&E with oral health issues are involved in assessments and tests, including risk assessment for neglect. Dental neglect is defined as a recurrent failure to meet the most basic oral health needs, which contributes to an increased risk of oral disease, cavities and general health and developmental issues.

Researchers claim that GPs are trained to spot the signs of neglect and suggested that they should be aware that dental signs can also indicate a lack of due care and attention.

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