LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)--75 percent of domestic violence cases involve head and neck injuries.
Everyone is told to watch for the warning signs but what if they were hidden inside the mouth?
When a dentist works on a patient, they may not make the connection to domestic and interpersonal violence.
But after they open wide, they may have a chance to help someone being abused.
Becky Wellner, Director of Domestic Violence Awareness Prevention and Intervention Program, works at the Youth Women's Center Association, says dentists have a unique opportunity to ask those hard questions.
She knows it's a hard call to make.
But some patients are waiting for someone to notice.
"There was a large percentage of clients that would have disclosed if they were asked."Wellner said
As a dentist Susan Snyder understands a patient's hesitation.
"All of our responsibility is to gain someone's trust, and that is not always easy for someone who can't trust." Snyder says.
Even a patient's response to a certain question can raise a red flag.
Wellner just wants dentists to be aware.
"If providers would be just open to asking." Wellner said.
A question...that could potentially save someone's life.