Dr. Srishti, Dr. Needhika Chhibber, Dr. Isha Vaid, Dr. Sania
Bite mark injuries are not often unintentional and indicates genuine child abuse. In most cases, the person inflicting the bite mark is the person responsible for abusing the child. Bite marks in children represent child abuse until proven differently. Bite marks are identified by their shape and size. When necessary, serological techniques are available and may assist in identification. Bite marks in infants occur in body locations and under circumstances different from these of the preschooler, school age child, or adolescent. Bite marks tend to be punitive and are often a response to crying or soiling. As a result, bite marks may appear anywhere, but tend to be concentrated on the cheek, arm, shoulder, buttocks, or genitalia in infants. Usually there is other evidence of punishment as well, such as bruising, pinch marks, burns, etc. A time spectrum of bites may reflect repetitive abuse, with bite marks which are healed, healing, and fresh. Health professionals must be attentive to any and all signs of child maltreatment. Bite marks are one of several visual expressions of active child abuse. The efforts of forensic odontologists, in conjunction with recent technical advancements in bite mark analysis, support the uniqueness of the human dentition and have contributed to the conviction of numerous child abusers. Through recognition, proper documentation, and reporting dentists can help the forensic community use bite marks to solve cases of child maltreatment.